Got to work yesterday, and it felt different. Just really slow.
I wonder if the next two days will be more indicative of the month than the first 10 days or so....
I waited most of the day for customers, got a guy who comes in from Eugene periodically, and because he was an out of towner in the know kind of guy, I kind of dumped on him. (I mean, I complained about how hard it was to sell comics....)
After he left, I was surprised by the bad taste that left in my mouth. Wow. I didn't know I was that down on the business.
Then, I got a father and son in the door. He reeked of alcohol and was a big, loud pain in the ass. Expounding about the 'right' way to collect cards, (the son was actually pretty right on his observations, the father completely wrong.)
I finally stepped in and explained that I don't "really do" singles anymore, that all the cards in the boxes and albums were a flat .50, that I don't have any inside knowledge on trends.
And hour in, the father is still asking if I have "Joe Namath Rookies" in any of the boxes, and how the Beverly Hills Card shop he goes to is so much better, and on and on.
It was the on and on thing that finally got to me. The son had pulled about 100 cards out of my alphabetical albums before I thought to ask if they were going to buy them.
They both froze. I went over, quietly closed the albums, and said patiently, "Why don't you pick a few cards out of this stack you want, before we go any further...."
Anyway, a family came in an started shopping for books, but every time I tried to say anything, this guy kept loudly interrupting.
Finally, (after about and hour and a half of this of trying to reason with a brick wall), I said, "Come on guys, you need to finish this up. I've got work to do. Buy something."
He said something rude, and I said, "O.K. then, I'm going to ask you to leave."
He got all blustery, and told me he was going to shove the cards up my ass and it was too bad I wasn't doing well and was burned out, but I didn't have to be such an asshole.
Just leave, I said tiredly.
He got in my face ready to fight, but I didn't feel fear or anger, just tired and he saw it in my eyes.
I said, "You might want to think about not drinking during the daytime."
He said a few more rude things.
Finally he left.
The father of the family in the store, who had been watching all this in stunned silence turned to me and said, "Well, that went well, considering."
This is the second incident with sports card collectors, concerning singles. I think I'm ready to remove them completely. Pat was always on me to remove the Magic singles, as well. They both seem to attract the wrong kind of business.
If I'm going to run the store by myself, I need to simplify. The 'burn out' accusation isn't far off, at least where it concerns cards. Simply selling packs and boxes ought to remove some of the tension between 'collectors' and me and will reinforce -- confirm and nail down -- that I don't buy, trade or SELL singles.
4 days ago