Worst excuse ever.

"I really wish I could help you, but our system won't let me do that." - Purple Yoga studio manager, Sequanna Williams. (Yelp review)

Sequanna is not the first person to use this excuse to not do something, nor will she be the last. However, I expect better from small business, particularly one that values morality (as any good yoga studio should).

There are many reasons to say "no" to a customer request. Perhaps it's unreasonable, perhaps it's against long-standing company policy and there is no compelling reason to make an exception. Perhaps it's too much work, or the person just doesn't feel like it. Or maybe it's too expensive. But to say that you cannot make an exception because "the system won't let me" is not a valid reason.

Why is "the system won't let me" not a valid reason? First and foremost, because it's a lie. Businesses, especially small business, have extraordinary freedom in the types of contracts they enter into. Or, another way to look at it: if the Dalai Lama was the one making the request, do you think Sequanna would tell him, "I'm sorry, the system won't let me do that"?

Second, because it places "the system" above human judgment. Basically, the person is telling me that both of our actions are circumscrived by the whim of the system. They are saying that "the system" is actually above them, controlling them, and indeed above all people at the business, including customers. "The system" makes decisions. "The system" controls what they can and cannot do. If "the system" doesn't allow it, then it cannot be done.
She can, and should, do better.

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