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Friday, April 27, 2012

Penny Wise and Dollar Foolish at the Pelican Resort?

At the Pelican Resort in Destin, FL, a few hundred feet from the warm breeze off the Gulf of Mexico, there's a cafe that sells sandwiches, beer, soda and other beach items.

A few days ago, as I was waiting in line for coffee in a wet, sandy bathing suit, a woman, a guest at the Resort, was being waited on and was purchasing snack items, including candy, soda, and chips, but was one penny short on a $12 purchase.

The cashier, apparently having a bad day, insisted the woman pay her one more penny. The cashier certainly didn't appear to want to budge on this issue.

Everyone in line at the cafe embarrassingly dug in their pants' pockets for a penny, nickel or dime but considering all customers were coming in from the beach, none of us could oblige. After a little more wrangling and awkward silence, another cashier stepped in and said she'll take care of it.

After that transaction was completed and I was at the checkout, I noticed a tip jar near the register which included dollars, quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. Amazing. Would you call this penny wise and dollar foolish? The initial cashier appeared to be so focused on that penny that she lost perspective on serving customers who happened to be guests at the Pelican Resort.

Could this have been avoided? Was the cashier simply having a bad day as to be insistent on the customer/guest providing one more penny for her purchase? Was she ever empowered to "make the right direction," when it came to small, discretionary decisions? Was she penny wise and dollar foolish focusing on the penny?

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