Here in Georgia, our seasons are displaced forward by about a full month. That means that spring is already here and has been for quite some time. As such, my wife has developed the urge for me to start getting the yard ready for growing season. That means of course, digging up well established bushes and trees from the front yard and relocating them to new spots in the backyard. Keep in mind now that these spots in the backyard don't yet exist, so I need to first scrape out all the grass with my flat shovel first, create the edge trough to define the garden, then dig the massive hole to replant the five foot holly bush that no longer looks "right" in the front. I am telling you all of this not just to elicit sympathy for my aching back and sore joints, but to get to a point: I needed to get some pine straw as a dressing for the newly created garden.
So I hop in the truck and headed on down to my favorite locally owned nursery. As I pull up I can already tell they are empty since I can see from the road that their trailer has been picked clean. A quick u-turn has me heading now in the opposite direction toward the large, franchise owned "Home Improvement Center". Yeah, me and about a thousand others. I stand in line for about 5 minutes to place my order.
"Do you have any pine straw left?" I asked.
"We sure do, how many?"
I place my order and pay for 6 bales and head over to the "straw trailer". The check out girl also put out an intercom call for assistance at the trailer. I sit and wait. Five minutes passed and I go back to ask her to please call again. She looks amazed that I have not yet been helped and calls again.
Another 5 minutes passed.
I ask her again to call someone. She looks even more astonished. I notice that in addition to her and another cashier, there are three other ladies in uniform standing around doing various things. I tell her, "If you will just unlock the trailer for me and I will load it myself, doesn't anyone else have a key?" She says that she has to call one of the "guys" to unlock it. Not the most efficient process at all.
I debate refunding my purchase but realize that it would have no effect at all. The store would not miss my $30 purchase nor would the message be sent since the cashier has no personal investment in the transaction. After 20 minutes of waiting I finally got some guy to open the trailer and I was on my way.
Obviously I had some time to think about what was happening. I decided as I sat on the back of my truck tailgate that even if I pay a small percentage more for locally provided goods it is certainly worth it. At my local nursery the process goes like this: I walk in and am greeted by the owner, I tell her what I want and pay for it, and she then helps me load the pine straw. Simple as that, done deal. Yes I pay a little more, but I saved on frustration and time both of which have value to me.
I saved money but lost time – overall I call that a net loss.