Usually a job position assumes certain authority to it in its service area. And a person in that position is presumably qualified for that position in the eyes of its customers. So they — the person in that position and the position — are regarded as one by customers. The person becomes a person of authority, and the words from that person are then crowned some authority to the position, which makes a customer feel timid to ask for clarification if he/she is doubt of any words out of the person’s mouth.
That’s my logic of thinking. However, two recent cases made me realize that a person in a position doesn’t equal to the authority of the position.
One morning I went to drop off an item at a courier service office. The item was in its original retail box, which was brand new and sturdy. I had printed out shipping label and attached it to the retail box. Since I sold items on ebay, I was very familiar with shipping items. This was what I always did in the past.
However, when I gave the item to the staff over the counter, she said I couldn’t use retail box, and I have to use their brown package box. I was a little confused for a second, and then I thought maybe their policy changed and now it was one of the new requirements. I asked her if there was any additional charge. She said no and then started to add a package box outside the retail box. After she finished the repackaging, she said the total will be $30. I assured her I have paid the postage and printed out the shipping label. She replied there was no additional charge to the postage, and the money was for the packing box material. What? I couldn’t believe it. My item was only worth $10, and the package box would cost me $30!! In disappointment, I said I didn’t want to post it. She then agreed to tear off their package box.
Later that afternoon, I told hubby what had happened. He couldn’t believe it because in the past retail box was accepted well. He took the item to the same courier office again to try his luck. This time, another staff was there. That staff just checked the postage and shipping address, and accepted the item in its retail box without saying anything.
Which staff was right? I don’t know. But clearly, two staffs in the same position handle the same item differently.
I bought 1 year supply of contact lens at a store. The lady told me the total was $400. I was surprised because the amount sounded very high. I asked her to double confirm it was for 1-year supply. She replied, “Yes. It is correct amount. Actually it is cheaper for you to buy 1-year supply at a time. If you buy 3 -month supply a time, the unit price will be much higher. You see, your total amount is less than $600.” Whatever. She sounded like she knew her stuff well. I asked her one question, and she replied me four sentences. I nodded and paid $400 quickly.
When it was time to pick up the contact lens, another lady was there. She looked at the receipt and asked me if I bought for 1- year supply. I replied yes. She then frowned and said from the receipt I paid for 2 year supply, instead of 1 year. Oh, so I paid double!