Seen and Heard

   Posted by: admin   in Merchants

The Fort Dodge Messenger: Nov. 7, 1906

Seen and Heard

A group of men were lounging in one of the drug stores of the city. The proprietor of the establishment was sitting at one of the little round tables used by soda water fiends during the summer months. After writing vigorously unaware of the discussions around him, he suddenly looked up, gathered a sheaf of neatly folded papers in his hand and said, “There’s sixty-seven statements of small accounts for one month which I am sending out. The items total from twenty cents ($4.79 today) to ten dollars ($239.40). Probably the whole amount involved is thirty-five dollars ($838.23).”

Cigars were relit and the loungers settled back in their seats. “Yes,” said the proprietor,  “I have seen men come in here, buy a cigar and have their five cent ($1.20) purchase charged. If the man is a fairly good customer I have my clerks do it. This shows how the charging habit affects people. I should think that a business man would have at least five cents in his pocket. Possibly that man will not charge anything else for that month. At the end of thirty days a statement must be mailed to him. This takes up a large amount of the profits accruing from the sale.

“There is another side of the charging question that I have noticed nad that is that most of the young men who are addicted to it spend far more than they have any idea of and far too heavily in proportion to their wages. Of course this benefits me but still I don’t think it is right. I think that the best way a father can teach a boy frugality and thrift is to warn him against the habit of charging promiscously (sic) every purchase he makes. It is so easy to charge a thing with no thought for the day of reckoning.”


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