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

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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