The better part of wisdom is silence.
How does that fit with having a blog?
It doesn't. But then, I never pretended I was particularly wise. Still, I find myself most often reading or hearing something I think is outrageous, opening my mouth to make a nasty comment....and then closing my mouth tightly without saying anything.
Let it go.
Driving home last night, I watched as a huge new pickup, with two new 3-wheelers in back, the driver talking on a cell phone and waving his hands, tailgating a smaller car.
What's to say? It could just as easily be a Bendite as a Californian. Rude, thoughtless, reckless people are everywhere.
I see that Bend's metro area grew by 37.5% from 2000 to 2008, or over 43,000 people, and I'd love to come to the conclusion that we've been overwhelmed by barbarians, but it's just too much a cliche.
I'd love to be able to say this new batch moved here as 'white flight', that they are shallow, materialistic, conservative, status seeking, life-style fashionista's, but I've heard too many natives delighted with the arrival of Trader Joe's to believe it all the newcomer's fault.
I can get a little annoyed by how many people say outloud, "I didn't know you where here!" But there are just as many people who say that who were here pre-2000, as post-2000. And I haven't done any advertising. I've been in the paper a number of times, but many people don't read the papers. Much as I think any newcomer ought to check out downtown, I realize that there are many shopping zones in Bend nowadays.
So I stay silent on the subject.
Much the same is happening in the store. I keep quiet, take a wait and see attitude, bite my tongue when I see product manhandling, or cell phone talkers, or out of control kids, or people who don't have a clue.
If they want something, they'll come to the counter and buy it.
I may be abrogating my duties a little, these days. I'm curious how much the store itself triggers sales. I'm curious to see what happens if I don't try to sway people.
Oh, I still get in there and mix it up if I think it's called for -- but I'm much less interactive than I was when things were booming. Pressure sales -- or anything that can be perceived as pressure -- is counterproductive these days. My behavior is adapting to the 'shopping' mentality I'm selling; newcomers, checking out the stores downtown.
I'm satisfied with the results. There so far has been a base of customers, and enough browser buying, to justify all the diversification efforts I made. It all seems to be falling into place -- reorders, preorders, current inventory, newcomers, regulars -- all are at understandable levels, which can be dealt with.
I think I'm going to continue to need to get used to it, to settle back and accept current conditions, because I don't think the arc is changing direction anytime soon.
5 days ago