June 6, 2011

On My Soapbox: What Not to Do or Say...

I realize I haven't been around a whole lot.  It's been a rough few weeks for me due to a variety of things.  One thing has been on my mind for quite some time, now.  Watching and being involved with my LSS's closing has had an effect on me I didn't quite anticipate.  I'm angry.  I'm very angry.  I haven't done  a "soapbox" vent in quite a while so indulge me for a moment.

For those of you who read Yahoo or Reader's Digest, you'll know that there are regular features such as "13 Things Waiters Never Tell You" or "15 Things Your Doctor Wants You To Know" or "21 Things To Do With Your Toothbrush".  Well, today I'm going to share with you:

Things this Scrapbook Store Associate Wants to Say to You, But Won't...
  • You may think I'm your friend... and truly I may really like you... but I'm not.  I'm a salesperson and I'm doing my job.  I'm nice in hopes that you'll be a loyal and repeat customer.  When you are a loyal and repeat customer, I am even nicer - I'll remember your name and some details about your life to ask you about.  This does NOT mean I will give you private information about the financial situation with the store or the health status of the owner or my co-workers or their spouses or children.  Please stop asking or insinuating that you know something and want me to confirm your "belief".
  • Along those lines, when you hear the store is closing, please don't act all offended that I, your super close friend who doesn't spend any time with you outside of the store, didn't tell you about it in advance.
  • Please don't lie to me about how often you shop at my store.  I'm there often enough to know who our regulars are.  You're not fooling anyone by coming in when we're liquidating and crying crocodile tears and telling me you shopped here weekly.  Besides, if you really want to know how "loyal" of a customer you were, I can look it up in our database and tell you that the last time you shopped with us was in  2008, and you spent $5.34.  I know you're only here for the liquidation sale.
  • Along those lines, if you were truly sad that we are closing, and we are your "favorite store" why didn't you really shop with us more often?
  • Please stop thinking that a crop at the store is the store's big "moneymaker".  When you crop at a store, the store is providing you edible goodies, drinks and often free giveaways or perks like a store credit to shop.  You paid $15 and you got $5 or $10 back in store credit.   That gives us $5 or $10 of what you paid to cover the food, the drinks, the freebies, the extra salary of the employee who has to stay with you five hours past closing until the crop ends, the extra electricity for your Cricut, lights and heat/air for staying "open" until midnight.  If you only shop up to that $5 or $10 credit, we're actually losing money.
  • Please don't get mad at me for having to pay tax on the product you buy with store credit. That would be true in pretty much any retail store situation.
  • Please stop bringing in product that you bought at other stores displayed in their branded bags to our crops, eat and drink our food and beverages, and then choose to not spend a dime on product while you're in our store.  Seriously, would you take your McDonald's cheeseburger and fries into a Panera and sit and eat it there while using their free Wi Fi?
  • Along those lines, it's really not okay to sit at a crop at our store and talk about how much better you like another store... their crops, their product or their staff.  If you do, why are you here?  
  • And one more  thing... are you an independent sales rep for Creative Memories, Stampin'  Up or Close to my Heart (or other similar type of home business)?  It's really not okay for you to sell your product while shopping or cropping at my store.  I don't bring product into your home demonstrations to sell, do I?
  • Please stop asking me if I'm sad the store is closing.  I've worked here over seven years.  Yes.  I'm sad.  On many occasions, I'm really struggling.  But while you're here, I'm going to smile and help you find what you need.  Having 20+ people ask me if I'm sad each day... well,  it doesn't help.
  • If you really want your local scrapbooking store(s) to stay open, then shop at them.  Support them.  Frequently.  Yes, you may pay a slightly higher price, but you'll get that value back in better customer service with people who know the product or who can give you alternative ideas.  Don't believe me?  Go to any big box store and ask someone there to help you find a name brand scrapbooking product.  Guaranteed nine times out of ten you'll be told they don't have it (even if they do) or you will get a blank look not understanding what you are looking for. 
  • Please stop asking me what I'm going to do, or what my co-workers are going to do, now.  We will do what anyone does when they no longer have a job.  In my case, I already have a full-time job...  when I tell you this, the next question out of your mouth should not be (and I quote an actual person), "but you had this job for a reason, you must have liked it.  What are you going  to miss the most?"  Seriously?
  • Do not assume that the store is closing because we "couldn't make it".  There are a lot of reasons business owners choose to close.  Those reasons are their own.  But it is not always because we "couldn't make it".
Aside from all of those gripes and frustrations, I do really appreciate those people who have come in and shared a fond memory or two.  I appreciate the people who have supported us from the beginning to the end. I am so glad for some of the people I have met during my time at the store.  In a few weeks, there won't be a chance for me to really ever see some of them again, other than a random meeting.  I also realize that people "shop for the deal".  It's human nature. 

But sometimes... sometimes you have to realize that the cheaper deal isn't always the best deal.

We'll be back to regular programming soon. Again, thanks for your indulgence!


  1. I love it. I was going to do a post similar to this but you said it all perfectly!! :)

  2. Brilliant. It ought to go viral

  3. Well I can't believe the cheek of some people! Great rant... well deserved! :)

  4. We have the same situation going on with my LSS. And since I did NOT frequent the store, I wouldn't go in and feign sympathy or pretend to be a huge fan when I wasn't. In fact, I haven't even gone in for the sales.

    I hope you find your way through this trying time and find constructive uses for the time freed up in your schedule.

  5. What Rachel B said...I can't believe some people...I'm not a "frequent" store person for any "LSS" because they are all 30-45 minutes from where I live. I cannot imagine going to a store and talking about how often I was there when I'm not. Its just rude.

  6. Sorry about the store! Your rant reminded me why I do not work in the service industry (I can't smile and nod when people are spouting bullshit, asking stupid questions, or blaming me for something that isn't my fault). More power to you for being able to do so, rant well deserved.

    Which reminds me, once I have my craft room set up, I really do need to find a speciality scrapbooking store in the area. I found one down in Tallahassee when we were living in Florida that I loved, but I haven't had the time or energy to find one in DC.

  7. Amen, sista! As always beautifully expressed.

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