There are some disturbing new business practices that have left me scratching my head and wondering if the company actually thought the practice out and considered the worst case scenario before implementing them. I had a boss in the radio business who said – “When you are planning a promotion think what the worst case scenario is, and if there is one, don’t do it.”
The one that really gets to me is a new practice by some restaurants and one in particular who won’t even offer you your change if it is a penny or two. I promise you, I won’t go broke on these pennies, but having managed businesses in the past, I am wondering how the cash balances out at the end of the day if it’s a penny here and two pennies there.
Another practice I am running into is a clerk asking me if I want to donate a dollar when he or she is totaling my bill. Joyce and I have a lot of charities that we give to on a regular basis. Some are the same as those they want me to contribute to in the store, so I look like a jerk to the guy behind me when I say I don’t want to donate a dollar, when in reality, I already have.
The one that probably upsets me most is the one-clerk store. I am running into them all over the place. At one major store chain in town I have to go searching for a clerk because she not only works the point of sale but stocks the shelves. I have even seen them raise their head up and look at me then duck down and go back to their work hoping I didn’t see them see me. I have been in the one chain store in which eight people have been lined up at the point of sale and no one behind the counter. In case you are one of the people who came up with this business concept, let me tell you, there have been scores of times I have stepped in the door, seen the line, saw no clerk and turned around and left.
Two chain stores locally have someone yell at you from somewhere deep in the store so you will know they know you are there, which is a little better than being ignored, but not much better.
Another thing I would like to see is more variety in soft drinks. I have weaned myself off cola, but I like the cola company’s other drinks, but when it’s cola and nothing else, I’m out of luck. Wendy’s has spoiled me with being able to select from scores of possibilities. Whoever thought we would be able to get Canada Dry from a soda machine? Thanks Scott.
None of these practices will make me turn into a non-shopper or a non-eater. It just troubles me that in a time when competition demands best practices, some companies are implementing worst practices. We can and should do better.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.