Last night Z and I were returning home from her NaNoWriMo write-in and she decided she wanted to pick up some french bread for a late night snack. Alas, the grocery store was closed, but she had the great idea to stop by the Subway which was still open and just buy a “footlong” of bread. The conversation went a little like this…
“Hi, may I help you?”
“Yes, can I buy just the bread without a sandwich?”
“No sandwich? Just a loaf of bread?”
“Yeah, a footlong of just bread.”
“Ummmmm … hang on a second.” Clerk goes into back room and returns a moment later.
“No, sorry, you have to buy a sandwich.”
That’s right, not even an offer to sell her the bread from a footlong for $5. Just “No.” What kind of business is this?!? Turning down money for something they’re probably going to throw away in a half hour anyway? Ridiculous!
Can you imagine a small business owner not only turning a customer request down flat, but also rejecting money that’s about to be lost? I submit that it would never happen. It only happened at Subway ( a franchise operation about which I have raved on my other blog) because the clerk (just a lowly worker) and his supervisor have no actual financial interest in the health of the business. Well, the do, of course, but they aren’t incentivized to realize it.
Had a local deli been open we would have gone there. Small business owners are far more likely to impress some economic reality onto their staffs. Namely, that any money coming into the store is good for the workers paychecks as well as the owner’s. After all, if money doesn’t come in, they won’t get raises or bonuses and may even lose their jobs either through layoffs or the business itself closing.