Friday, October 10, 2014

on coffee creamers and thievery.

so, what is the etiquette for those little coffee creamers at the gas station?

asking for a friend.

they just sit there near the coffee, all sorts of varieties and flavors, as a courtesy to coffee drinkers. but there's no cost explicitly associated with them. your cup of coffee costs the same whether you add seven creamers to it, or none. so are they free? because that doesn't seem like a sustainable business model for the gas station. or is it more likely that the cost of them just automatically factored into the price of the coffee, assuming an average number of creamers that would be used per cup of coffee? would the gas station then turn a profit if no one took creamer in their coffee?

but the real question here is: how unethical would it be for a person to just... take a few creamers for their own brewed-at-home travel mug of coffee?

again, asking for a friend.

would that be a definitely-going-to-hell kind of offense? (after all, stealing is addressed as one of the ten commandments) or is it more of a kind-of-a-gray-area sort of issue? does it depend on how desperate one is for their morning coffee? let's say that a person absent-mindedly drank the last of the milk in the house before brewing their morning cup, leaving them with an undrinkable travel mug of coffee and no time to spare before having to head out the door? what if said person had every intention of actually buying something at the gas station in order to offset their creamer cost, but then it turns out there was a giant line at the register and seriously you guys she was already running late at that point and there was no time to waste.

is that stealing? or just taking advantage of a universally-provided courtesy?

my friend is conflicted.

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