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Please no tipping!  It is our pleasure to help you. We pay all of our team members perfectly well: that’s why good ones work here for so long.  We do not ever want you to feel that you should pay more than whatever we charge for our products and services. Yes, I have seen tip jars at the water lab and cash registers of other stores, and it just drives me crazy. I pay every water lab technician a bonus of twenty five cents a test, which can be more than $4 an hour on a busy day. That doesn’t mean a lot to Patrick, but it’s a pretty good bonus for a high school kid.

So we do not accept tips, and we do not accept kick-backs from vendors who want to pay our people to advise you to use their products over another vendor’s products. Our job is to give you the best advice to help you.  Period. All vendor kickbacks and gifts are turned in to me, and I use them to buy lunch for everyone on busy days. Or, they go into a raffle at our January Wrap Party.

We always refuse tips when offered by customers. After three refusals, we will not continue to argue with you, but we won’t keep it either. That goes into a fund to buy everyone “Make Your Own Ice Cream Sundaes” in July.  So we appreciate your thoughtfulness, but we really don’t want to be that other kind of store.

We are planning to improve our mailing list practices this winter, and we will appreciate your patience in the meantime.  It’s a long story, but we kind of don’t have only one mailing list.  We have a base list going back to 1980, for which I created subsets of department interest codes in 1983. Over the years our data processing vendor made some coding mistakes on the dates names were updated that I did not notice until a few years ago. We stopped using that vendor and tried to do it ourselves, and that didn’t work, either.

Right now, your address could be on a dozen sub-lists according to what you bought.  If we try to remove you, we could easily miss one or two lists.  We need to hire a new vendor with custom software so that we can combine addresses without losing your interests,

We mail to swimming pools twice a year, to hot tubs once a year, and to other things only when I can think of a good reason. We need to change over to email, but first we have to get you to give us your email address. And, we need to attach it to a real address, or we won’t know what address not to mail to.  When people write their email address for us, about 20% of the time, we can’t read it well enough to get it to go through. So, we hope to be greener and more efficient in the future, but it’s going to take some time to get there.