Beautiful little bookstore, Between the Covers, at least from the pictures.
Liked the quote from Tina Davis, owner of the Camilli Book Company. "You know, I think it's great. Bend could do a lot worse than have another independent bookstore. We have restaurants open all the time, and nobody says boo. But suddenly, it seems like people get a little wacky when somebody opens a bookstore."
She could, perhaps, be referring in part to my amazement that we've gone from one indy bookstore for the last 7 years, to three in Bend. But she misunderstands me.
I think she's right. I think there should be a bookstore on every corner. Really, that's a world I'd like to live in!
Meanwhile, Keeneye, who has a charming blog about her new pizzeria in Baker City said she's getting a bit of flack from the locals, and wonders if she shouldn't have an anonymous blog instead.
Since I've recently gone through the same kind of self-examination, I'm sympathetic. But her blog is fun and interesting and inoffensive, so I think anyone who has problems with it is someone who has problems, period. I'm way more opinionated, but then I'm in a bigger town.
Still, I know that she's written about run-in's with customers, and I've sort of avoided talking about that because of the reactions.
The customer is always right, and all that. Except when he's wrong. But what do I know? I'm just the guy who's been doing this forever.
But, like I said, the customer is always right.
She'll eventually realize that no matter how perfect her place becomes there will be people who aren't happy. Eventually, you just have to accept it and move on.
I generally don't talk about the worst things that happen. It won't solve anything. I'm amazed sometimes by the way some people act. Small example, because we just got done dealing with it: We had a hose connected to the bookstore all summer, and people would come by and water themselves and their dogs. They would also leave the hose running, leave it in the roadway, and tightened it so much that it took a pipe wrench to take off!
I got the advice one time of looking at them and thinking, "They've got a brain tumor, they can't help it."
I'll give you an example of a complaint about a customer that I wouldn't ordinarily make, because it happens every day and it's part of doing business and why worry about it. A mom and daughter came in, and the daughter 'loved' our store and she wanted to look and examine everything. We have hundreds of dice behind the counter for gaming, and she had Pat take out one dice after another for her to look at. She went over the the anime section and wondered why we didn't have an obscure later copy of a series because it was the "she hadn't downloaded, yet." She had him get up on the ladder and pull down a Japanese toy from the very top section of the wall, and then had him get back up and put it back. And she had a running commentary of what all she wanted and all we didn't have.
I finally got a bit exasperated and said, "What do you want from us? Our store is packed! We'll order it from you."
And I get the deadpan. "I'm just looking." And they start to walk out the door.
And I did what I rarely do and said, "After all that, you aren't buying anything?"
They did a right turn into the other half of my store, and spent another half an hour on their own. Came to the counter with 20.00 worth of stuff.
"Are you happy now, we spent money?"
"Yes," I say. "Thank you."
My wife would say, they had every right to browse, and I would say, yes, within reason but if you make us your monkey, that's just rude.
And retailing wisdom would say, you just take it without complaint. And I would say, yeah, but I got them to spend 20.00 by pointing out their energy expenditure. And the fact they spent the 20.00 means that they knew it.too.
So there you are. A dangerous thing to do. Complain about a customer.
And generally, it makes no sense to complain. People are people.
It's the same kind of everyday aggravation that everyone goes through, and there is little point in talking about.
Even this relatively mild incident makes me nervous to talk about. I remind myself that I get 70 or 80 people a day, and most are perfectly fine. And that in the scheme of things, the kind of situation I just detailed is so unimportant, that there is no point talking about or mentioning it.
But since this blog is a reflection of my day to day work life, I thought just this once I'd talk about it.
3 days ago