Monday, September 14, 2009

C-Store and Financial Responsibility

Happy Monday readers! Things are going about the same in c-store land -- general craziness and backwoods good times! Over the last couple of days, I've noticed some trends with our customers that make our current economic times abundantly clear.

Let me start with credit/debit card usage. Personally, I only use my credit/debit card for larger purchases or things I need to keep track of like gas, groceries, etc. I always keep my receipts and attempt to keep my bank account balanced. I have learned that I am the exception and not the rule!

I do about $1000 a night in credit card sales...and most of them are under $5! Buy a $1 drink...charge it! Buy a candy bar...charge it!! Lottery ticket...charge it!!! Now Clerk K, you might say, what's the big deal? We've all desperately needed that 72oz Mt. Dew and had no cash...that's what a debit/credit card is for. And I would agree with an exception not a rule.

What shocks me is the number of people who don't take their receipts. They just leave them on the counter. So, me being me, I asked..."why don't you take your receipt?" The answer "it's just $2...that's not a big deal."

Correct, but you come in her 2 and 3 times a day. That's at least $6 a day for 30 days...or more than I make in a week. And if you're doing this're doing it EVERYWHERE! The grocery store, a restaurant, Starbucks, etc. I don't know about you folks, but even when I was making GREAT money, I didn't have a $500 play in my budget to just spend all willy-nilly. If this is something common across the country, no wonder we are in this current mess.

Now, let's talk about these free-wheeling adults and how they are teaching their kids about money.

Example one: I had a girl come in on Friday night and show me her new shiny debit card. Now, she drove up to the store and had a class of '09 shirt on, so I'm guessing she was at least 18. The conversation went something like this...
Girl: "Do you have one of those machines that I can use this card to get money?"
Me: "Do you mean an ATM?"
Girl: " of those!"
Me: "No, I'm sorry, we don't."
Girl: "Well can't you just run it through your register and give me some money?"
Me: laughing "I'm sorry hon, but I can't. You have to buy something."
Girl: "So if i buy something, you can give me money back with my card?"
Me: "No. You can buy something with your card here, but I can't give you money back."
Girl: "Ugh. That's bullshit. The bank told me that i could use this to get money and I need money now! Do you think if I took it to the bank behind you that they would give me money?"
Me: "You can probably use their ATM, but you'll have to have your pin."
Girl: "I didn't bring a pen...won't they have one at the bank?"
Me: "I'm sure they will...have a great day."

WTF? Does this girl have parents? Did she actually graduate high school? And I get at least three requests a night asking "can you give me money back when I buy something?" Jesus Tap Dancing Christ people.

I am in no way a money guru, and even less so with my current employment situation, but I've never wondered "how do these new fangled debit cards work?"

I've also learned that if you tell people you can "save them some money" they will blindly do as you tell them. Whether it saves them money or not. We have several specials where if you buy two items you save a buck or two. You're still spending more money than if you bought one, but you are saving on two. I'll tell people..."I can save you money if you buy two." They blindly agree and look confused when it costs more than they thought it would.

DUH! You came in to buy one item. You bought two...ergo a higher price. Dumb-Dumb.

So, take a look at your purchases and see if you're guilty of credit/debit card abuse. Also, if you have children, make sure that they understand how these little tools work and what a check register'll thank me down the road.


  1. Well, in defense of *some* people, there are stores that, if you make a purchase using your debit card, you can get cash back as well. Like, Target. I've never heard of a convenience store doing it, though.

  2. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  3. Going out on a limb here, I bet debit card girl said "umm... like" after every 3rd word or so, correct?