Two weekends ago I ran an errand for my wife. She wanted me to rent a camera lens from a place in Minneapolis for a photo shoot the coming weekend.
During my lunch break on Friday I swung over to the camera shop to pick up the lens to use the next morning.
I arrived at 1:10pm on Friday. They informed me that because they are closed Sunday, I would be charged for a day and a half. But if I came back after 2pm, I would be able to rent the camera for the pricing of a day.
I asked about making an exception. They said No.
I clarified that if I stood in the exact spot I was standing for 50 minutes, I would save $35.
When I asked why they wouldn’t make an exception, they said because everyone would start coming in earlier and abuse their rules.
They had a zero tolerance policy. No matter who I was, they would have said no.
It didn’t matter that I read the name of the lens to the cashier from a text message with the grace of an American tourist ordering a fancy meal in Paris.
They treated everyone the same.
I told them it was now or never and that I wouldn’t come back if I couldn’t rent it now.
I bought a lens instead.
Why treat everyone the same?
If one person abuses your system, is it healthy to treat everyone like they do?