August 4, 2014

Don't Patronize Me

Most dictionaries have three definitions of the world patronize. Today's post will concentrate on the lack of definition #1.

There quite a few businesses that I will not patronize due to a given incident/incidents that I had experienced over the course of visiting those businesses. For those of you who may not know, I spent roughly 20+ years of my life in what I like to call "grunt retail". "Grunt retail" is simply those businesses that you visit on a daily basis, usually out of necessity (i.e. gas stations, convenience stores), and not those you visit on a weekly/semi-weekly basis (i.e. everywhere else). And because of that work experience, I have developed a high/low tolerance of honest mistakes/stupid behavior.

So without further ado, a few examples of those businesses that have lost me as a semi-regular/regular customer, due to their perceived stupid behavior.

The first one is the toughest. The business that helped me create this summer time picture that would periodically grace my old blog:

Was one of my favorite places to eat. However, back in mid May 2013, when I asked if I could leave a few postcards of my debut novel, the owner politely said "no.", with the reason being that he was trying to establish a family restaurant. I said I could understand that, and left with my order. Haven't been back there since. While I can understand the basic premise on what the owner wanted to do, doesn't mean I actually have to like it or support it.

2} Certain Subways. There are 4 Subways in my town: three free standing and one located in WalMart. I've never been to the one in WalMart, so that one doesn't make the short list here. Two of the remaining three do. #1 is located on the local highway, and one day when I decided to visit that one for lunch, I got stuck in line behind two people, of which one was putting in a very large order (three foot longs I believe). What got me annoyed was the cashier at the other end of the counter. Instead of jumping in to help his co-worker, he was busying hitting up on a friend who'd happened to visit. I soon left without placing my order and it's been at least a year and a half since I walked inside the store.

As for the other Subway, I haven't been there since I saw a guy who had a beard preparing subs. Call me snobbish, but I really don't want dander, etc. falling into my sandwich. This happened about a dozen years ago, so there you go.

3} A certain Citgo gas station. We have 3 Citgo gas station/snack stores in Newington. Only one will I actually refuse to go into, and the main reason is lottery. My only annoying vice is playing the lottery (not instants, but numbers) and for a long period of time I used to go to this one on a daily basis to play. Eventually though, I stopped going there because I started getting the distinct impression that I wasn't really wanted. Whenever I went there to play my numbers, most of the clerks had a major attitude in doing the lottery. Granted, it can be a pain in the ass to do, but most stores carry lottery as a loss leader (same reason goes for coffee). They make diddly/squat on lottery (commission is roughly 3% of every dollar spent), so they use it for people to come in to perhaps buy other things as well (i.e. gas). So I haven't gone inside for about three months or so.

4} A certain Mobil gas station. I work in the capitol. Not directly downtown, but roughly a mile away from the actual capitol building. Up until this spring, I used to go to this particular Mobil because it was right on my way to work (like 1 minute away). But after awhile, I got fed up with being bothered/approached by panhandlers. Not the homeless, but panhandlers/beggars. The store even had a standing policy of calling the police if their customers were being bugged, but fat good that did. I now do my morning stop at a Gulf station, which is even closer to the capitol and smack dab in the middle of a major intersection. The owner is very proactive about beggars/panhandlers bugging his customers, so my daily stop there has been smooth as silk and I have no problem spending my money there. Plus, it seems that most of his regulars take a very narrow view about that kind of stuff as well.

So my friends, how 'bout you? Do you have any businesses that you no longer patronize due to some of the reasons I've outlined here?

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I've had enough bad fast food experiences at the businesses around my house, that I have pretty much given up fast food (taking that as a sign.) :) 1) Dairy Queen - there was hair in my burger! I'm still nauseous thinking about that. 2) Burger King - wrong order at the drive through, so handed the bag back in and still went home with the wrong food and the wrong food was less expensive than what I ordered. The store didn't answer the phone when I called and the online complaint I filed resulted in one of those "so sorry - we've let the store in question know." No refund promised. I'll never go back there. (This happened just last Sunday.)

  2. Really poor service will make me stop. And there's a sub shop in our town I won't visit because half the time they don't use gloves when preparing the subs. I'm picky about germs so I don't go there anymore.

  3. Ooh, yes, I have a story like #2. I went to a restaurant with my wife for a date night, and it was pretty much empty. Anyway, we ordered a nice dessert (a pastry with ice cream on it) after dinner. The waiter was so busy hitting on the bus girl that it took him 20 minutes to bring our dessert, which had been sitting out for at least 15 minutes, and by the time he did, it was completely melted and ruined. We left him a one cent tip in the form of a penny, and on the receipt I wrote "I hope hitting on the bus girl all night was worth ruining our dinner, dumb ass", and we've never been back.

  4. I avoid going into Subways because for, reasons unknown, the guys behind the counter are frequently creepy and hit on me. This doesn't happen anywhere else. I have never been hit on in a Mr. Sub (Canadian competing franchise). I can't understand the pattern, as I assume that each location has a different owner, but it's the case nonetheless.

  5. Nope I can't think of a store that I avoid, although I don't like Home Depot much because the staff are often sexist towards my daughters and often staffed by men who think they know more about stuff than their customers.

  6. Lynn: 1) That's disgusting; 2) Been there with a Wendy's. Had service so horrendous that I made a complaint to corporate, but it did absolutely nothing.

    Alex: That's downright nasty. No gloves while prepping food? Makes me wonder what kind of owner runs the store.

    ABFtS: Woah. Excellent tip left though. I tell ya, I was so annoyed at that Subway that I came this close to mouthing off about it.

    S.R.: That definitely is creepy. When you go into a store, you shouldn't be hit on by the staff.

    Joey: Wow. I found at the Home Depots here, the women know more than the men (in fact, one helped me because I was so clueless about what I needed). However, to disrespect your daughters like that means that they really don't care about you as a customer. Which is sad to say the least.


These days, the written word is to die for, so please leave a comment that shows me and everyone else the real you. All kinds of verbiage will be cheerfully accepted in the spirit it was written.