Broken Contract

By Linda Nidiffer

All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.

I am not a lawyer.  I have never played one on T.V.  I have as a part-time high school kid worked in a lawyer’s office answering the phone and taken messages.  That is about the extent of my knowledge of contract law.  Over 50 years ago Tom and I entered into a contract to love, honor and I can’t remember about the obey part, but we have stuck to the high lights of our contract while renegotiating along the way.  I never promised to do breakfast or lunch; I did promise to do children. I never promised to do anything to do with numbers; he promised never to sing.  

That is our private contract but what about public every day contracts?  In today’s world they get broken more than we would like.  You go to the grocery store and expect to buy the things on your list only to find the shelves empty.  You go to the filling station to buy gasoline and find the pumps empty or the gas so expensive that you can only afford half a tank instead of a full tank. You try to do some banking and you find you have to make an appointment to get inside the bank-and don’t forget your mask-which requires another trip and more expensive gas.  You go to your favorite fast food joint to take a breather and it is closed. The sign on the door says, “No employees”.  The grocery store, the gas station, the bank and the fast food joint have all broken their contracts with us.  When they opened their doors they promised that they would be there with their products during the posted times and we promised to support them.

These are minor inconveniences that we have put up with for the last two years.  We have grumbled and complained, moaned and groaned, but what can be done?  Covid, supply chain, inflation, what can you expect?  Let me tell you what I expect! Simple common manners would be nice to start with and how about decent communication?  What comes to mind is that old saying, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” Let me tell you about a serious breach of a public contract.  We use a large public pharmacy for all of our prescriptions.  Tom called in for some refills and went to pick them up.  The pharmacy was closed. That was odd but okay; he went for lunch and tried again later.  Still closed.  They stayed closed for at least 5 days.  We didn’t die or kill each other during that time, but it was close.  The pharmacy had no sign on the door or window; no message on their machine.

We changed pharmacies.  We pulled all of our prescriptions and are now going to a pharmacy that understands the public contract something about an oath to not let anyone die on their watch.  The new pharmacy treated Tom like a real person and not just a number nor a nuisance. Our old pharmacy is the talk of the town and not in a good way.  Their management team didn’t manage very well and they are paying a big price for their failure.  Tom and I are happy with our healthy choice.