Last night I swung into my local chain-store pharmacy (for international readers, “chemist”)to get a beer. Their prices are pretty high so I wouldn’t ordinarily buy a six-pack there. I only wanted one anyway. Unfortunately their singles section is very limited. They only carry a few name brands and even then only in cans larger than what I wanted. I didn’t want to think about it too much so I just grabbed a 25 ounce Budweiser and headed to the register.
While I waited in line the cashier asked the guy in front of me if he wanted to donate a dollar to some sort of charity and enter a raffle to win a pot of flowers. At this point I turned around, put the beer back and headed back to my car so I could go to the convenience store down the street. There I got the micro-brew beer that I wanted. Even at the smaller size it was a little more expensive than the big can of the first one I grabbed, but I knew I would like it more.
So, two questions arise from this. Why did I put the can of beer back at the pharmacy when it was just a beer? Also, why did I not just go to the store that I usually go to in the first place?
There’s a few reasons to answer the first question. First of all, the Budweiser that I grabbed was still warm, despite being in the cooler. It wasn’t the beer I wanted. I’m more in favor of supporting local businesses than local ones, even though I knew somebody that worked in that pharmacy that was friendly to me while I was in there. I had just come from my sister’s place, her cats love me, and I’m allergic to them—which meant that because of my physical irritation I was emotionally irritated over things not working out for me, despite being a small issue. None of these issues are deal-breakers by themselves, but they add up.
What put me over the edge was the knowledge that I was going to get pressured into donating to that charity. It might be a good one that I might donate to some other time, but I hate when large businesses put these add-ons to the sale right when you get to the register. I heard somewhere that these businesses have already donated and they’re just trying to make their money back. That seems fine at first, although I would rather they felt the loss it takes to actually make a donation to something. Aside from that I still feel bad saying no, which I almost always do. I hate being asked to donate on the spot when I’m not familiar with the charity. It might be one that I don’t support. There might be another one out there that I would be more likely to support. I would rather make the decision for myself.
Besides, I also dreaded the possibility that I might have won the flowers. I wouldn’t know what to do with them.
I don’t really know why I didn’t go to the convenience store first. It is a difficult parking lot to get into, and even more so on the way out. I would have to make a left turn and the visibility there is poor. I think I might have just wanted a change of scenery. I know I wanted to go to the post office, which is between the two, so maybe my thought process was “well, I’m already going this far down the road, so I guess I’ll head in to the pharmacy.” If I hadn’t forgotten to go to the post office until after everything else I would have probably have not thought that way anyway.
I just want to make a small point about local businesses at the end of this post. I would have put it in the paragraph above about why I didn’t buy the beer where I first went but I couldn’t make this fit. There seems to be a rationale in my family that local branches of chain stores and restaurants count as local businesses. Usually the argument goes that its local people who work there. Maybe, but I would rather support the local business owner than some CEO of a large corporation in some other state. I’m not denying that I ever go to these places but I try to make the majority of my money go to locals whenever I can.