Obstacles Diminish Enthusiasm

I’m a firm believer in being better than you need to be just because you can. However, sometimes others go out of their way to make it less smooth than it needs to be.

While visiting a supermarket this morning, I had cause to use their toilets, during which I discovered the paper holder in the stall next to me contained no paper. At cost of slight convolution, I availed the person in the stall a small amount of the paper from my stall. A minor kindness, easily accomplished.

However, I felt the issue might reoccur with greater inconvenience should there be no one in a neighbouring stall to pass, so decided to mention the deficit to the supermarket before I left. And, indeed, there was a notice on the inside of the door requesting I please ‘tell one of our colleagues’ if I had any comments on the toilets.

After dismissing from my mental list those members of staff operating tills (for obvious reasons), I selected two members of staff who next to a closed till, having a conversation about how the day was going quickly. I mentioned that there is no paper in the Gents. In response, they told me I needed to tell Customer Services; which niggled me somewhat but not enough to comment.

At the point I decided I would mention the lack of paper (a decision reached trousers in hand), my inchoate thought was to go to Customer Services. Thus having to go there is not the cause of my niggling. Rather, the notice suggesting I could tell any member of staff suggested that I didn’t have to; so being told I did yanked away what seemed like a benefit I’d gained.

I will almost certainly make the same choice to go out of my way to mention such issues in the future, but I can see how someone might feel slighted enough by such things that they decided not to bother in the future.

And, on an entirely supermarket-centric view, I now doubt their competence in all areas. Which might well influence my behaviour in areas less related to ethical living.

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