Many people pay attention to gas prices that are posted on the giant signs at the station, but how many people pay attention to what they are really being charged at the pump? Our local Sam’s Club is notorious for posting a lower price on the sign, but actually charging a higher price. The difference is usually only a few cents per gallon, but when you multiply that by the number of gallons and the number of people who are affected, it adds up. And it happens more times than not, so it is a system error, not a one-time mistake.

I have received my refund for the difference, but never a sincere apology. I have complained to three different managers (“Oh, I did not know; we’ll fix the sign”), but it continues to happen. I have even written the state Secretary of Agriculture, which resulted in the outside sign being removed but discrepancies continue inside.

We’re talking about a half dollar per fill-up, so maybe I should not care. My time to retrieve the refund and aggravation are worth far more than that. But where do you draw the line on transgressions that you let slide and those you try to fight?

I have always said that little=big: small things add up to affect culture, the environment, energy and change. You can’t make an issue out of everything, but if no one speaks up there is no incentive for violators to make things better.

In the words of the Civil Rights movement: “If not now, when?” “If not me, who?” Gas price deception is my issue de jour. What little improvement can be yours?

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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