Thursday, May 28, 2020

Business Thursday

I've heard about it happening to other people, and last week, it finally happened to me.

I was at a store.  My bill came to $ 9.51.  I gave the cashier $20.01.  She asked me why I gave her the penny.  No clue.  I explained that she would give me $10.50 in return, and I wouldn't have a pocketful of change.  She finally figured it out when she punched $ 20.01 in to the cash register and it showed I would receive just one bill and two coins in return.

I weep for the future of America.

And, there's more.

I was on an out of the way trip last week, and I stopped in a store I rarely visit on the return.  Yes, it was a necessity.  The clerk asked for my phone number for their loyalty club.  I replied that I never signed up and I rarely visit that chain, anyway.

I know working retail, especially these days, is tough.  She became surly and there was no need for it.  For the life of me, I don't understand why so many stores want your phone number.  I can't be the only one on the planet reluctant to give out personal information.  Yes, printing and distributing cards and key ring tags is costly, but it has to be better than basing a system on telephone numbers.  I get enough junk calls, and now, they're coming in on my work and personal cell phones.

Some stores have key pads, where you can quietly enter your information.  It seems to be a much better choice, even though there is a "touch phobia" out there these days.  It's still telephone number based, which is a constant annoyance.

Upon returning home, I noticed a web site for a survey on my receipt.  Guess who got toasted?  Yes, the surly clerk.

Retail is tougher than ever in the current climate.  I try to be kind.  I expect it in return.

And speaking of kindness, the steak house at the corner of North Washington and Linden in downtown Scranton has closed.  I never ate there, but let me take you back to a steaming July day a few years ago.  I was about to do a live report on Newswatch 16 at Noon.  The topic was an Independence Day celebration that was just starting, and it would really get rolling later in the afternoon.  I had to park blocks away and walk to where our live truck was set up, which happened to be just outside the restaurant.  A waitress saw the heat was taking its toll on me, plus I was there in a shirt and tie.  She offered a bottle of cold water.  I declined the exceptionally kind offer becaue I would be back in my air conditioned car right after I finished at 12:05 PM.  Little things mean a lot.   The waitress didn't have to make the offer.  She is simply a nice person.   I'm sorry for all the people losing their jobs.