Editorial Notebook

Business expectations

For most of my notebooks, I tend to choose a light hearted theme, but this week, I’m so heated about this issue that I need to have it printed in the paper for everyone to read. Let me frame the problem. Last week, during a late night of studying in the Rensselaer Union, at 11:50 pm, I decided to get some ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s, 10 minutes before the posted closing time. However, when I approached the vendor to claim some delicious ice cream, I was horrified to see the shop dark, locked up, and not in fact open ten minutes before the closing time. To say I was flustered is an understatement. I felt cheated, abused, and neglected by this action. The Union food services, a set of organizations I held in high esteem for getting rid of greasy Chester’s, gross 99 cent Arizona sugar water, and disgusting calzones, has broken my heart.

Of course, I’ve been heavily exaggerating, but honestly, this is something I’ve encountered a fair amount and it bothers me. If a place of business posts hours of operation, they should be fully operable for service during those times. 10 minutes before closing a business may be cleaning up, but to be dark and locked up at that time, maybe the business hours should be revised. But I’ve faced worse before, at a certain Rite Aid near campus I was turned away half an hour before closing. This problem is a bit trivial and spoiled, being from the northeast, I’m used to a certain level of convenience where most things are open during basically all hours. But if a store puts out their hours of operation, as most do, they are advertising those times as fact, but when in reality, employees can close down the store as early as they want, without losing a large amount of business of course. However, as a customer who trusts a business in what it posts, I expect service up until the minute the shop closes.

I don’t want this article to seem like I’m angry at Ben & Jerry’s or Rite Aid, the business or employees, because I’ve had great service at both and still use them frequently, but businesses should take their hours of business more seriously. Customers trust what is posted, so it is only fair for shops to reciprocate that trust by following the hours they make. Then, just maybe, I could love the Union food services again.