Thursday, January 12, 2006

One of those days...

So, what a week! New books were delayed a day AGAIN, as you probably read/heard about either from me, Craig or somewhere (and if you didn't believe that it wasn't just us, it was a story on today). The “regular schedule” was thrown off once again. I spent part of Tuesday trying to fix the problem, based on a tip-off a customer got when he sent an email to the distributor to complain. I think it’s fixed, but Craig is worried… so, I either fixed the problem or made it worse. Not sure which yet until next week.

Monday was a typical Monday, except we found out about the book delay. Tuesday was a little slower than the usual Tuesday, to which we blamed having new books on Friday last week and then our anniversary party on Saturday. Wednesday was busy for a day without new books, but slow for a day we would get new books. Unfortunately I spent a good part of the Wednesday evening “rush” explaining that we, once again, did not have new comics. Now today has been slow for a new book day—but there aren’t too many really good books this week, a few, but not many. Plus, some people will hold off coming in now until Friday when they get paid.

Now, when I say it has been slow, I mean I haven’t seen all of the usual folks, and our walk-in crowd has been light. However, there have been enough of the “irritating” people to get under my skin. I don’t mind most people on a day like Monday or Tuesday, which are usually very slow days, but on a new book day I like to talk to regulars about the books and what’s going on, etc. It is hard to do that when the “irritating” people are in.

Who are these folks? Well, there’s the guy who comes in once a month to check on the books we’re holding for him. See, he is now unemployed and supposedly has been for several months now. So, he stops in to make sure we’re still holding on to his stuff. He doesn’t get a ton of stuff, but by now I am sure he has over $50 of merchandise on hold. Now, he could call, or stop in for a second, but NO. He will stand here and talk for hours, and not with an “inside voice,” if you get my drift (yes, he shouts—we refer to him affectionately as “loud talker”). I don’t mind spending hours talking to people who are spending money, and to people who respect that I have other customers to talk to also, so they will step aside when I try to do so. But, if you are NOT spending any money at all, and want to interrupt every conversation I have with the people who ARE spending money, well, that’s just plain irritating (how about spending that time looking for a job so you can pay for your books).

Then there’s the guy who buys everything wholesale through a “company” that’s basically a Paypal store he runs from is basement. He comes in and takes forever for him and his son to look through cards- which is fine-except he covers the ENTIRE front counter. Again, if the store is quiet it’s not a problem. But when it is a new book day and I have 3-4 people trying to purchase items, it gets uncomfortable. He also has to tell me about all of the good deals he gets on-line, and complain that he can’t buy cases of this particular collectable card game because he doesn’t have a “brick and mortar” (a.k.a. a real) store. Then, when he is finally ready to make his purchase he will haggle, trying to get a discount on things—“if I buy ‘a bunch’ will you give me a price break?” Hmmm….no! And a bunch is more than 5, in my book anyway. At least when you are talking about 10 cent cards and $4 packs. Now, if he was buying 5 statues or something expensive like that, something over $30 each, then maybe I would consider it. But our prices on card packs are quite fair, and this guy needs to learn that you can’t buy everything wholesale, take the part you want, and then blow the rest out at cost, hurting every retail store in your wake.

Another “favorite” of mine—the “lapper” and the “toucher.” Both of these are people who come in, say they are “just looking” and leave. The lapper though doesn’t really look like he/she is looking. They just walk around the store and then go. The “toucher” doesn’t just look, but has to touch everything—even though they have no plans to buy it, or any real interest in it from what I can see.

Honestly, I’m just glad that people do come into the store. And I am even happier when they spend money. But if you have ever worked in any kind of retail environment, you know how there are just a few certain people, or types of people, that just have a way of bothering you. I shouldn’t complain, but there are just those weeks when things don’t seem to go right and then people that normally are just people become irritating.

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