One of the things I have come to hate over the years is “equality”, mostly because people just don’t use it right. To me, equality means equal opportunity. The door is there, whether I open it and go through it is up to me, but the door is there. Too many people, however, see equality as meaning true equality. If there is a door, and I make the effort to open it and go through it, they should be allowed to go through it too, even if they don’t do the work.
Tied in with this is the concept of trust. Trust is something you earn by being consistant, and when you are trusted, you will be given benefits that less trust worthy people don’t get. Lots of people see those benefits as being “unequal” because they don’t grasp that if they work and become trustworthy, those benefits will be given to them too.
My rent is due each month by the 5th. If you are late, you have to pay a late fee… fair enough. There is a deadline, you miss it, you are penalized. However, since in the past they have run into deadbeats who bounce checks when they are late, my apartment complex requires that late rent must be paid with a cashier’s check or a money order. I’ve lived there for three years, and in three years I have never missed a payment until now. I’m perfectly willing to pay the late fee. I’m late, I don’t deny it. But I asked if, given my payment history, I could be allowed to just write a personal check. They said no. I asked why and they said it was policy, no exceptions. I could totally understand if they demanded all rent in certified payment, but its only the late rent. I tried to pursue it, since I’ve made the last 36 or so payments on time and never bounced a check, but she cut me off, said no again, told me to have a nice day and hung up.
On the other hand, I went to the bank to get myself a cashier’s check for the late rent and the bank manager said that since I’d been a loyal customer for over ten years, they would happily wave the fee for the cashier’s check. Meanwhile, the guy next to me, who was also getting a cashier’s check and was paying the fee, said he thought it was real nice the bank rewarded loyal customers and he looked forward to doing business there for a long time to come.
So today is a loss and a win. More loss than win though, since the late fee on the rent is much much larger than the fee for the cashier’s check. But hey, I’ll take my wins where I can get ’em.