Two pet peeves I have these days are self-checkouts and gratuities. They are wrongs inflicted on employees and customers alike. Gratuities and self-checkouts belittle the employee and are an imposition on the customer. I am not in this place to help the owner to insult the employee and do the check-out job for them. Nor am I there to ensure that your employee receives a living wage. It is just not my responsibility.
If you are so miserably incapable of providing your employee with a living wage then your business model is wrong. Gratuities came into being ‘for service added.’ Why are we seeing ‘recommended gratuities’ as high as 30 per cent these days? And why are restaurants and other businesses recommending anything? If I wish to tip someone for service, I will also choose the amount. Whether it is a waiter or waitress or the person who delivers to my front door, I will determine the value, not the employer.
Face facts: it is not the value of the items delivered but the value of the extra service. If the person making the deliver has to climb a particularly arduous flight of stairs, that they might not have to climb to make normal deliveries, a gratuity might be justified. A dour and dull delivery demeanour deserves diddly.
And why should I contribute to the booster bucket at Tims? I came in for a cuppa and maybe a cruller. These high school kids at the counter are there earning some extra money as part of life’s experience. And life experience is not awash in additional dimes and nickels.
But I save my most egregious complaint for last. It goes to my corner Shoppers Drug Mart. This used to be a good store when it was really run by the pharmacist franchisee. When it was bought by the rapacious Loblaw clan, I thought they should add a sign over the door, along the lines of: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here.
They forgot that the last chance the store had for some redemption was the cashier. If you could just say hi to that last hope for a friendly face. That friendly face could lighten your step as you go out the door.
But NO. That one lonely, harassed clerk has a long line of customers to serve and your only recourse is the self-checkout. What I have found works is to attack the self serve computer with so many screw ups, it starts ringing bells for help. Someone will come soon to help the clumsy old man. I appreciate the help.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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