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e-mail from a consumer (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
[email protected]

Penelope Allen (me)


I'm going to begin this e-mail with some background information about me. In 1969, I was a waitress at a Husky House in Lloydminster Alberta. I worked the night shift and felt my employer was considerate about me as an employee. I now am fifty-three years old and have worked at Canada Post for over 26 years. I have been required to travel to Kamloops a number of times since January 19th and something happened in the early hours of January 20th that I'd like to bring to your attention. Normally, I'd write you a letter and support my employment but I feel that I'm already indebted to your company financially.

On the morning of January 19th, I received a call from the long term care facility where my mother has lived since March 2000. She'd been physically disabled in the fall of 1999 because of a severe stroke that she did not fully recover from. The call was to inform me that my mother had suffered a second stroke and it was felt she would not survive for very long.

Needless to say, I rushed up to Kamloops to be with her. The trip was harrowing due to the freezing rain that had left the roads treacherous from Chilliwack to the Coquihalla toll booth. My stress levels were further compromised by the weather conditions. When I arrived in Kamloops, I went directly to the Overlander facility to be with my mother and father. In the early evening, I went and checked into the Sagebrush Motel on Columbia Street. Because I'd worked all night and then dealt with the family crisis, I fell asleep easily but awoke at 0130 am.

I began to fret about my job. Even though I'd left a message as to why I'd been absent from work, I hadn't spoken directly to my shift supervisor. I work in a station and my supervisor travels from job site to job site so I knew I'd be unlikely to contact him if I phoned my station. I'd only recently changed jobs so I did not know my supervisor's cell phone number. I decided to call my home station and get his phone number and call him. The problem was that I had no pen to jot down his number and knew I'd be unlikely to remember it for the length of time it took to make the second phone call. I searched my purse and then the motel room for a pen and came up empty. I remembered there was a Husky House next door with a store attached. I got dressed and went to my truck. I drove the short distance because it was cold and an unsafe time to be walking around.

When I walked into the store there was a man behind the counter. I asked him if he had pens for sale. He told me that there usually was but they'd been sold out. I asked for directions to another store and he helpfully told me how to get to a nearby Mac's. With this information, I returned to my truck. I should let you know I drive a gas guzzling 1994 red Dodge Ram 4x4 pickup. As I started up my truck the gas jockey came hustling out and rushed around to the driver's side. I motored down my power window and he told me that he would sell me the 'used' pen he had. He held up the pen for me to inspect it while telling me the price would be eighty-nine cents. I contemplated bartering about the price but thought better of it. I really did need a pen and I didn't feel like going off in search of another store. I fumbled through my purse and came up with a 'loonie' and handed it to him. At that point, I thought about telling him to keep the change but decided I shouldn't even be spending eighty-nine cents on a half empty bic stick pen. I waited while he hustled back into the store and returned with the eleven cents I was 'owed'.

I drove back to the motel and began making my phone calls. I'd made the journey with my 36 year old niece and when I told her what had happened in regards to finding a pen she was incensed. I thought about it some more. The free enterprise actions of the gas jockey became more relevant in the next few weeks as I dealt with the death of my mother. Twice, I needed a pen because I'd misplaced mine and twice pens were offered with the words, "keep it". My niece was with me both times and reminded me of the actions of the gas jockey.

Perhaps it would be a good thing to let you know that I don't look like a regular late night scavenger of pens. I hardly ever am out at such times and don't have a good handle on the consumer tactics required. I was polite and meekly accepted the price of a half empty bic pen at two in the morning. I did begin to wonder if your company is in such dire straights that it needs such penurious capitalism. I also began to contemplate whether your employee put the eighty-nine cents in the till or pocketed it. If he did record the sale, how did he ring it through on the till?

My niece suggested I write you a letter and then I began to think about further putting myself in debt to do so. This morning, I went in search of the Husky website and found this e-mail. It costs nothing to e-mail other than the effort of writing the words so I decided to do so.

I don't believe your employee was acting out of malice. I do understand no one thinks very clearly at that time of the morning. I will suggest that a person's true character comes into play when they are mentally fuzzy. I think it might be a good idea to offer up some customer relations advice to your employees when dealing with such odd events. It's very unlikely that people in search of pens at such a time are operating a scam and trying to bankrupt your company.

I enjoyed my time as a Husky House employee and I'd like you to know that. It was so long ago I can't remember if I ever offered a pen to a customer but I can guarantee you I never sold one. My income is such that I can afford to drive my truck and make gas purchases on a regular basis. Just imagine the gas required to make four return trips to Kamloops from January 19th to February 10th. Now understand that none of the gas I purchased was at a Husky House gas bar. As you can see from the content of this letter and my choice of words, I'm no stranger to the written word. I just completed a piece on this event and posted on a writers' site on the internet. I think it is important to share such circumstances with other consumers. Don't you?

Sincerely yours,
Penelope Allen


Senior Member
Kitten, I've been chuckling about the actions of that gas jockey for a couple of weeks. I'm equally amused by the easy way I accepted the transaction. I suppose I was tired and couldn't be bothered pointing out just how ludicrous it was to sell a half empty bic stick pen for any price. I wonder how the receipient of this consumer e-mail will react? :)

Kitten Courna

Senior Member
As do I. Honestly, I was just puzzled all around. I've never met anyone who has tried to sell a pen someone needed for a note. It's just very strange.