The Blog of Daniel

Just my place to write without any delusions of self-importance.

Arbitrary pricing

I am wondering if, like me, others experience seemingly random pricing at convenience stores and small shop restaurants.

In the mornings I used to stop at the Circle-K that is closest to where I live so I could fill up my morning 64oz Thirst Buster intravenous caffeine drip.  Depending on who is behind the counter I would get charged different amounts.  If I came to the counter with my $1 bill already out, counter girl charged me 96 cents.  If I wait for her to ask, she charged me 85 cents.  With the male clerks, it's always 96 cents unless they can see that I have a $1 bill in my hand and then they charge the full $1.  I never said anything because I always dropped my change in the collection box for Cerebral Palsy anyway.  Still, it leaves me wondering.  I suppose the bad side is that the more they charged me, less spare change would go to CP.  I now avoid that particular Circle-K all-together because it is attached to the evil fuckwad Popeye's Chicken that I have been ranting about lately. Popeye's can suck my left nut.  Assuming the owner of that place also owns that Circle-K, he can too.

Now I go to another Circle-K that is completely out of my way.  Everyone there is real friendly and lately they have not been charging me for my soda refills.  Actually, some of the clerks charge me and others don't even when I have money in hand.  I haven't asked why they give them to me for free but it is appreciated. The first time I wasn't charged was by a young man who apologized for being slow because it was his first day.  I congratulated him on his new job and that seemed to make his day.  The other clerk who was next to him hasn't charged me since that day either.  To the management of that store, good job!  I get a good deal and you get a repeat customer for all of my food, snacky, lottoey and hotdoggy needs.

While in line the other day, I heard another customer talking about what assholes were at the evil Popeye's/Circle-K amalgam down the street.  It was weird because customers behind him suddenly piped up and said the same thing.  For whatever it was worth, when it was my turn I told the manager how I drive 3 miles out of my way to go to KFC instead and then directly to his store to get the rest of the stuff, even though the evil one is within a minutes walking distance of my apartment.

Arbitrary pricing also happens at a little restaurant located in our corporate facility.  The price of the same blueberry muffin can range from $1.25 to $3.  Soda and chips ranges $1.50 to $2.00.  What I do now is go in with the amount I want to pay in hand, get my items and put them and the money on the counter at the same time and the price is consistently matches what I have laid down on the counter.  I have no complaints because they are really nice people.  Still, I wonder.

The most ballsy incident I ever had was at the Tori Amos concert that Liz and I went to last fall.  The counter lady at the snack stand clearly and loudly counted out my change on a $20 but she was counting each flap of the folded bills (counting each bill twice.) Nice try.  I wonder how many people fall for that ruse.

What I want to know is if this is common for everyone or is this disability related wherein some clerks may be showing "pity" while others try to take advantage and pocket the money?  On the other hand, does it nothing to do with disability and its just a bunch of assholes ripping off their boss by skimming from the tills.

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