The world post pandemic is certainly a different place.
I thought the biggest change would be not wearing a mask any longer. With fall upon us, the colder weather and the traditional respiratory season ahead, the recommendation is to mask up again, although it’s not mandatory – yet. I heard a study said 72 per cent of Canadians agreed with the return to mandatory masking. Odd, I haven’t seen 72 per cent of people wearing them.
But there are other things that have slipped in as well. It seems if you go to a fast-food outlet in the City of Vancouver, you’re charged for a bag or a cup. Their council mandated it back in 2020 as part of a zero-waste program. The restaurants can be fined for not following the rules. You have the option of carrying your own cup (I don’t think McDonalds wants me using my A&W mug), or declining the bag and carrying your meal by hand.
A few nights ago, I stopped for a quick bite. I was given the option of how many bags I wanted (there’s a volume discount). The screen said it was the law to charge for the bag. The law! I opted for none, do my part, but when I picked it up, it was in a bag. Oh no. I didn’t pay for the bag! Did I break the law? Do I have to turn myself in?
It seems strange that there was such a big deal made about saving trees a few years ago, thus the move away from paper bags, but now that’s the only option. I can’t keep up.
The icing on the cake is retailers being allowed to charge the transaction fee on credit card purchases. I don’t know how many are doing this, there were a few that announced it right away when it was allowed. Seems a little short-sighted to me. I thought a cashless society was what we wanted, or do stores really want me to start using cash again, something they have to count, take to the bank, and have to worry about when the store is open. Bad guys like stores full of cash, but can’t do much with credit card transactions.
The one thing to remember, consumers have choices. If they don’t like these things, they’ll do something different. And then people wonder where the customers went. Funny how that happens.
Brad Sherwin, MBA is a long-time resident of South Delta, and has over 30 years’ experience in marketing, public relations and business strategy. He teaches post-secondary marketing, coaches hockey goalies and is past president of Deltassist.