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Why Do Companies Put The Person Who Can Hurt Them The Most In The Middle Of All The Action?

In 1994 I lived in Center City, Philadelphia. At the bottom of the building where I worked there was a convenience store, so it was no surprise that around 7:15am I would walk in and pick up a few things for breakfast. Actually I would always pick up the same things. Please don’t laugh at my order (which was a Rice Krispy Treat, chocolate milk and a pack of Big Red gum). Please stop laughing–I am very sensitive!

Ok lets get past what I ordered which isn’t the real point of the story. The real point is that I would get those same three items day after day, week after week and was charged different prices…yes different prices. I understand items can be on sale, but they DON’T typically change everyday.

Last week when I paid for parking, I was given the wrong change. The same thing happened when I bought some food at a recent concert. Frankly I could go on and on because I truly believe it happens over 30% of the time–yes 30% of the time.

I’m sure stuff like this has happened to every one of you. The real question is why? If you owned a retail establishment wouldn’t you put the person who is most numbers oriented on the cash register? Wouldn’t you put the person that you trust the most on the cash register?

I am sure you have asked a cashier for directions or where an item is in the store. This just happened to me again this past weekend and I get this puzzled “why are you asking me” look and “NO I can’t help you!” I am still amazed when this happens. This kind of stuff affects where I shop the next time. I can’t be alone in that type of thinking!

I have nothing against cashiers (I was one of them in High school) but it doesn’t make sense to me. Typically cashiers are paid minimum wage or a little above and aren’t always looking at it as a career. Since that is the case wouldn’t it be better, smarter and frankly more efficient to have someone up front that is your best! Not to mention customers do notice if they are short changed or charged too much and I am sure all of that affects customers and their future shopping habits.

  • How do you feel when it happens to you?
  • Are you amazed how often it happens?

I look forward to your stories and comments.

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