Stupid business owner tricks: Closing the gas pumps for a day

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It's one thing to take a stand and make a statement. It's another thing to deliberately sabotage your own business with something foolish. And sabotage is exactly what a gas station owner in Mequon, Wisconsin is doing today.

To "protest" high gas prices, the owner of Towne Market Mobil has closed all the gas pumps. Harvey Pollack says his convenience store is staying open, but customers won't be able to buy any gas. Here's what's so stupid about this: This isn't sending a message to anyone. It's only hurting the owner of the business.

Trust me, motorists aren't paying high gas prices because they want to. They don't stop at your gas station to fill up because it's a special little treat to watch those numbers on the pump. They are just as upset about gas prices as the owner is. And the gas prices are largely so high because of a whole bunch of market conditions which frankly aren't going to change any time soon.

But customers need gas and they're going to fill up. Incidentally, they'll be filling up at the gas station across the intersection from this guy. And buying items at that convenience store too. (The convenience store is where the owner makes the real profits.) So Pollack says he's happy to lose the $300 to $400 profit he otherwise would have made today. It's his choice to do this, but I think it's pointless and foolish.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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