Monday, December 15, 2008

My Kingdom for a Dime

Our company has had a policy of letting employees make personal copies for five cents each. Collection has been on the honor system, with little collection boxes by each printer. This has been a wonderful convenience for me, as I can print out my homeowners association newsletters (I'm president) without having to go to a copy shop.

Recently we went through a major renovation of the building, and in the process the collection boxes disappeared. I've had to track down the department secretary and pay her directly, which is still much easier and quicker than going to a copy shop. I printed out another newsletter last week and took her the money to cover it.

A little while ago she contacted me through the company instant messenger to thank me for my integrity. Evidently it's not that common that people pay for their copies, which is sad. People are willing to sell their souls for five cents?

I just hope that everyone else doesn't ruin it for me. It's incredibly convenient. I used to print out the newsletters at the local office supply store, which would take close to an hour out of my evenings. And then there was the time I spent an extended session with a clerk who was either very lousy at math or even more lousy at explaining how billing worked. The way she explained it it would actually cost more to make one double-sided copy than it would cost to get two single-sided copies.

She eventually caved in and gave me a discount (ie. the right price), but she made it very, very clear she was only doing so to save me as a customer and to get me to leave. Which I was happy to do. I'll still shop that store, but I'll never get copies there again. It's unfortunate, as other clerks I've worked with were quite nice and understand basic math.

On the other hand, I'm thrilled with the service I get at the Schucks Auto Parts stores in my area. I've had good experiences with the store closest to my house, and last week I had a great experience with another store farther away. I'd been out running errands and remembered I needed a bulb for my car's dome light. I stopped at a competitor store first, but they were already closed.

Farther on up the street I saw a Shucks store, and the "Open" light was still on. I pulled in, and then noticed the Store Hours sign indicated they should have closed ten minutes earlier. I decided to try it anyway. I poked me head in the door and asked the clerk if they were still open.

He said that they were, but if the register hadn't been closed yet he'd be happy to help me. He then personally looked up the bulb I needed and, finding the register was still open, rung up my $3 purchase. He could have told me it was too late and I would have understood. But he didn't, and now I'll never willingly go anywhere else.

Heck, I even sent a email of commendation to the company.

1 comment:

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