Those of you who don't live in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Eastern Virginia and parts of Florida don't know what you're missing. We get to go to Wawa, the greatest of all convenience stores. Forbes Magazine knows what I'm talking about. They ranked Wawa 47th on their list of the largest privately-owned companies.
Last night we ran into a rare customer service mishap in the usually cheerful and efficient Wawa. A faux-pas so rare that — for a minute there — we thought we were in a 7-11.
My wife and I stopped for sandwiches at Wawa and, while they were being prepared, we grabbed two corn muffins from the self-serve bakery case for tomorrow's breakfast. The usual clear plastic bakery bags had been replaced with smaller bags usually reserved for soft pretzels. They were even imprinted with the UPC code for pretzels. With no other option, I shoved two muffins into the bag and got in line at the checkout. When it was my turn, I handed the cashier my bar-coded order receipt for the sandwiches, along with the muffin-stuffed bag. Without batting an eye, the young lady scanned the bar code on the bag. The cash register screen identified the purchase as "two pretzels" at a cost of $1.19. Mrs. P. brought the discrepancy to the cashier's attention.
"Those are muffins," she noted, "not pretzels. I'm not sure if muffins are the same price."
The cashier was just as confused. She sought assistance from the store manager. The manger, an unusually unfriendly fellow, corrected the item and informed the cashier that muffins were $1.59 each. The item was voided and the right price was entered. Because I pride myself on being honest, I joked that I would have felt bad cheating Wawa out of eighty cents. The cashier awkwardly smiled, obviously not getting my attempt at humor.
We picked up our wrapped sandwiches and, as we crossed the floor towards the exit, a doughnut rolled across our path. We looked in the direction of the rolling pastry. The manager was dumping every last morsel of doughnut, cruller, croissant and — yes! even muffins! — into a large, industrial-size trash receptacle.
Mrs. P spoke up. "You're throwing everything away? After we just paid full-price for those muffins? Even though you charged us the wrong price and we honestly paid the higher price. Now you're throwing them away?"
The manager stared blankly at us. "Well, we're getting a delivery of fresh ones."
So, how were we rewarded for our honesty? We paid full price for muffins that were 90 seconds away from becoming trash.
* * * * UPDATE * * * *
Wawa redeems themselves with a letter of apology and a ten dollar gift card. Muffins for everyone!