Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm Sorry, But 'Sorry' Isn't Good Enough

You'd think that I would gush tears and smile warmly at everyone who expresses sympathy because our local Borders store will soon be gone.  

I realize that the friends and neighbors who frequent our bookstore are upset because their usual 'hangout' will cease to exist.  And I feel bad for those families who will miss our children's storytime.  Those are the people who come in and actually BUY books.  Those are the people who do not sit in the café and read books and magazines and leave piles of them all over the place.  Those are the people who don't come in just because we have free WiFi.  Those are the people who don't let their children run wild in the Kid's section.  They respect the store and the employees and prove it every time they visit.  They are our 'real' customers.  They are the ones who see my tears and receive my hugs.

I'm affected by those who say "I'm sorry" and don't really mean it.  Those are the people who rarely come in, and when they do, they take pictures of books via their phones, and then go to the café and order those books on Amazon.com.  Those are the people who look the other way when their children destroy books and toys.  Those are the people who constantly haggle for a better discount.

Their false sympathy tends to leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

I will miss our cherished customers, many of whom are now our friends.  One of the nicest compliments I received from one of them was, "Please let me know when you'll be working in another bookstore.  I really rely on your recommendations!"  

That customer buys 'real' books, which does my heart proud.  Of course I'll keep in touch with her.  She and I both realize that we all need to keep brick-and-mortar bookstores in business.

The citizens of this country need jobs, and when you actually buy something from a 'real' store, you are contributing to someone's paycheck.  You are helping that person pay for groceries, 
rent/mortgage, utilities...everything.  

Believe me when I say that the job you save might be your own.


KSConkin said...

Nice, Jackson.
I hear what you are saying... but in my opinion, Borders was destined for the dust-bin the day that the money people took over operations from the book people. Borders missed the boat on several key changes in the world of book-selling: the internet and e-readers. They actually helped Amazon beat them into submission. They operated on credit and opened WAY too many stores too quickly...
Most customers are NOT fully evolved, tis true. But it isn't their fault that it went under. The fact that Borders was a place for the community to hang out and put their feet up is a testament to the great people, like you, that put their heart and soul into that company. They should be appreciated, even if their children were possessed by the devil.

Jacki said...

Yes, possessed by the devil. And they still are, but now some of the parents are included.

I hear what you say about Borders' debacle. The day Ron Marshall took over the reins, we knew the end was near. And, yes, Borders DID miss the boat on e-readers and having a viable website.

But who are we? They didn't listen to any of us. But when it came to groceries (i.e., 'make books'), our 'fearless leaders' were all over it.

Believe me, I didn't mind it when some customers spent time in the café. It was those that didn't deserve the title 'customer' that chapped my hide. They were there for the free WiFi. Most have admitted it to me. I so wanted to tell them to get the hell out, but we all know what would have happened. lol