Tuesday 27 June 2017

Market Forces

So, there I was staring at the cashier in stunned disbelief. It was after work yesterday and I was doing something that I have done many times before: paying for propane.

At first I thought that the attendant who had filled out the paperwork for the bottle of propane I had just received, had just made an error. 

It had happened the last time that I had bought propane here, two weeks prior. He had written down the amount for a 30 pound bottle rather than my 20 pound bottle. 

No biggie, it happens . . . but nope, the cashier insisted on the $20.24 (I think) for the bottle of propane . . . I needed clarification . . . why? 

Because the bottle of propane that I had bought two weeks ago cost me $12.00, that’s why. This has been the average for the previous year or so.

I have been buying my propane at this truck stop in my Eastern Home for about as long as I’ve had Wanda. 

I also pay to dump here, and when they had their water working (over two years ago) I got water there as well. 

I have been a happy customer, because the staff is always friendly and professional and the prices reasonable. 

They have, up until now, been a great place to buy propane because they charge you for the amount of propane you buy . . . go figure.

They recently have changed to a “flat fee” for a bottle of propane because “they weren’t making much money on propane.”

Sooooo it’s my fault that the price of oil and therefore gasoline and propane have dropped? 

This is crap, of course because they are still making their few cents spread on each litre (or pound) of fuel that they sell. 

Volume dictates the amount of money they make, not the price at the pump.

This was a corporate decision, so I didn’t take it out on the clerk or the shift manager (person) who “reduced” my price to $18.00. 

When the shift manager informed me that a particular chain of gas stations also charged a flat fee (and have for years) I thought “that’s why I don’t buy my propane from them.”

Soooo . . . I am now looking for a new propane supplier, I have an idea, and will check them out on Friday, well before I have to fill another bottle of propane. 

I don’t want to cheat anyone, I just want a fair deal. Charge me for the fuel that I have actually purchased, not some arbitrary, inflated “flat fee.” (Imagine if they tried this for gasoline.)

I figure that two can play this game, so when my boss comes in today, I will inform him that due to economic pressures that I am increasing the rate that I am charging him for each hour of my time. 

(Retroactively to the beginning of the current pay period, of course.)

No, no, I am not going to ask, or even demand, a raise. I am just going to tell him that I have just gotten more expensive. 

There will be no discussion or haggling, after all . . . it’s not me, it’s just “Market Forces,” so it’s fair . . . right? 

Anyone want to hazard a guess how that conversation will play out? Yeah, I thought as much, the market forces can only shove me around, I can’t shove back. 

(Yeah, yeah, buying elsewhere is doing just that, but I am a but a gnat in the large scheme of things, how much will my shove affect things?)

I will survive though, I will find a new and reasonable source of propane, and keep myself focussed on October 22 and beyond.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

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