As many locals know, our little 'green' haven is far less progressive than some in the media, government and Arcatarati would have you believe. Evidence of this comes in many forms, including this eye-rolling incident I experienced at work today:
An esteemed councilperson, upon checkout, was seemingly begrudged to hear (from me) that they had an overdue fee.
This led to the not-subtle-at-all-and-all-too-common customer threat: "You guys are pushing me towards Netflix. I shop at your store because I live in Arcata, but you need to find a better system."
This, after I cut down their late fee (which is rare).
After a short explanation of the rental industry (if you don't give people incentive to return your property, they won't) they dubiously rescinded their threat: "Well, it is my fault."
Yes. It is your fault. You didn't return your movies on time and thus obtained late fees. Thank you for clarifying, because I was being submerged with guilt over the fact that I, personally, had cost you 4 precious dollars. Or that, tyrannical in nature, the VX return policies are ravaging the innocent citizens of our fair hamlet like a modern day Sherriff of Nottingham.
It wasn't an angry exchange, but if was frustrating in its own right. For all of the "shop local" rhetoric flying around here, people (including those in power whose goals include "Economic Development") are still pulling the "I'll shop elsewhere card."
And since it was suggested that change is needed, I have a proposition. Perhaps, after some infrastructure enhancements, some of Arcata's new sales tax income can go towards setting up a late returner's help group. Kind of a mash-up between AA and consumer credit counseling, it will helpo chronic "overduers" find a system that helps them get their movies back on time. Arcata City Council, the people are calling for it!