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Ruminations. Reflections. Refractions. Code.

Jan 12, 2009 - general gripe

My Change Please, Yes All of It

So, the Jakarta Post doesn’t seem to like my letters (or me) very much, after my last unaccepted letter, I sent this little gem:

  • * *Dear Editor(s),

I’ve noticed a trend here. I visited a couple of large and famous cafe chains (names coming up) in our many malls. I purchase some food and drink and I pay cash, and they don’t always have small change available. In some instances the cashiers have half-heartedly, very quickly apologised while handing me back partial change. It is clear that they’re not really sorry, and would not have made any effort to get all my change. In other instances, they just give me back partial change! No fake apologies, no effort to explain, nothing, as if they committed no mistake – to quote the Brits, “How Rude!”.

It is small change, I’m talking usually between Rp. 100 to Rp. 500 or so, so my gripe is not so much the money as it is the principle. I can tolerate this behavior if I were buying nasi pecel from a warteg in the streets, heck I would even consider it charity. But from multinational and large joints like Dunkin Donuts and Cafe Oh La La (ooh la la, names!), er no way! I wonder, if I went to Dunkin Donuts, where a donut costs about Rp. 6000, and I had Rp. 5900, would they allow me to have the donut if I apologised for my lack of cash? Or perhaps I had an Rp. 25 candy to supplement my insufficient cash, would Oh La La give me my hot chocolate? Or perhaps, even better, were I to hand in insufficient cash and glibly walk away with my donuts, would they let me? Or would donut guards be called in? Oh, does this also mean that if all the small change adds up, they make hidden profits? Perhaps something the tax department might want to look into, heh.

I want my change, yes, all of it.

Oh well, their loss, they just ignored a very valid opinion, and some A-Class gripe material. For foreign readers, warteg or Warung Tegal is a street side food tent, and nasi pecel is a delicacy: rice and vegetables (optionally with catfish – pecel lele), spicy peanut sauce and sambal (== chilli sauce), yum yum.

— Kamal