Work...and other unclean subjects.


Reverend Blair
#1
I have an odd job. I work at a photo studio that shoots a flyer for a huge retailer every week. I vowed back in photo school that I would never waste my love of photography shooting this crap and I've mostly managed to keep that promise. Instead I babysit the camera monkeys that have allowed themsleves to be trapped into shooting this crap.

To be fair, they used to be paid a decent wage...above average even. Those days are gone. So are the days when they used to be considered, deservedly, artists. They are all artists in their own right, don't get me wrong, but when they walk through that door and start the formulaic crap that earns them a living they become nothing but camera monkeys.

Anybody else deal with crass commercialism and the bare edge of morality on a daily basis at work?
 
Diamond Sun
#2
My boss lives by the phrase "It's easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission" which goes against everything I think about customer service...
It's all about the allmighty buck, and if we can slip one past the customer, we oughta give it a try.

<sigh>
 
Reverend Blair
#3
Ya know, when I had my business I lived and died by not trying to slip one by anybody. I had a fair number of people try to slip one by me (fence warranties do not cover drunk people in pick-up trucks) but the real success came from people who got good service at a fair price.

They called back and told their friends and I did things for some of them that had nothing to do with wood and nails as a result. Still do when they call and need a hand.

The guy who took over when I had to give it up is doing well on the same principles. I had to lend him tools when he started, and I gave (not sold) him the customers because he'd earned it.

Think of that the next time you see a home Despot (never a typo) ir Rona truck bragging about how they install. I know they don't offer that kind of service and sure as heck don't give their customer lists to former employees.
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by Reverend Blair


Think of that the next time you see a home Despot (never a typo) ir Rona truck bragging about how they install. I know they don't offer that kind of service and sure as heck don't give their customer lists to former employees.

I hate going to those places. We have a little old lumber store called Mara Lumber, it is a chain but a very small one. The guys who work in there know what they're talking about, and when you spend your money there, you know you're spending locally. That means a lot.

If people really understood the enormous community cost of saving a few pennies at places like Wal-Mart, they would, I have to hope, think twice about doing it again.
 
Reverend Blair
#5
Yeah, I buy all my stuff at a place called McDiarmid Lumber. It's a small Manitoba-owned chain. It costs a little more sometimes, but the lumber is good and the people are friendly.
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#6
There's a little place in town called Woodstock, locally owned, a ma and pa operation I think. All they sell is cedar, but it's good stuff and it is a lot cheaper than elsewhere. Only good when a person needs cedar, but that's okay. Woodstock for cedar and Mara for everything else. I love that kind of store, there are some amazing treasures to be found in a little local lumber store.
 
American Voice
#7
I don't know, I have pretty good luck with Home Depot. You have to be careful which one you go to, though. I wouldn't even go in the door of the one up on Cleveland Avenue, near Westerville. Place creeps me out. There's a certain dark, dirty, smelly ambience about the place. Now, the one over on Sawmill Road is an entirely different story. I enjoy going in there, even if it is twice as far to drive. I go there for hardware, mostly. They allow you to cut molding to your own desired length, as well, and that's good.

Generally, Lowe's has the better lumber, I think. The red oak is choice. I'm going to tile the kitchen floor, when the weather's cooler, and I'll be getting all the material there, and taking their course, probably twice. Lowe's also has a pretty good nursery.
 
Diamond Sun
#8
I like the Home Hardware in my town. We were doing some reno's on our house (mostly paint) and Home Hardware had a sale on paint there so we stopped in. Tony that paint guy was so amazingly helpful the the next time we needed paint, we went back (even though it wasn't on sale anymore).

Tony remembered us, asked how the room turned out and told us he'd looked up some information on Faux Finishes for us (which we'd asked about on our previous trip and of which Tony didn't know anything).

That is what customer service is all about. I'll never go anywhere else...at least not until Tony retires.
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#9
Hey, I've had good dealings with Home Hardware too!

A year ago, we were looking for one of those wire soap dishes that hook over the edge of claw-footed bath tubs. Well, everywhere we called they wanted $200 or so for such a thing. When I commented to the 'friendly' people at a bath shop, the woman jeered, saying that I sure wouldn't find one cheaper anywhere else.

Finally, in frustration, I called Home Hardware and the guy was so nice... and had the soap dish I wanted for under $10.
 
American Voice
#10
DS, yes, finding a good paint dealer is priceless. That stuff is so expensive. I have a Pittsburgh Paint store in the area. When my Dad spent two weeks in the hospital a couple of years ago, having a hip replaced, I think I went through like fourteen gallons, altogether. The owner-manager remembers me. He still gives me the contractor discount, even when I buy only two or three buckets. I love retailers who comprehend the crucial importance of repeat business. Hey, only a chump pays full price!
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by American Voice

Hey, only a chump pays full price!

Uh-oh, then I'm a chump!
 
American Voice
#12
Never pay full price, Haggis.
 
Bushanti
#13
Diamond Sun: "My boss lives by the phrase "It's easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission" ...............It's all about the allmighty buck, and if we can slip one past the customer, we oughta give it a try. "


Diamond - I know you were being serious; still, your turn of the phrase made me chuckle. :]
 
peapod
#14
I am of the mind I would rather spend a few more dollars and support the ma and pop operations. Its personal and you develop relationships with these people. Its your neighbourhood. I have lived in the same neighbourhood for 5 years now. I know all the businesses around me. The Irian grocerier, who explains Iran and their customs to me, except for the dates he is always shoving in my mouth whenever I go into his store I don't like dates, but I am to polite to tell him so Suki the japanese florist and I discuss our love lillies. All the university kids working at starbucks that I jest with. The little family from kosvo that indured so much to be able to come here and live in my neighbourhood. And yes we do have a ma and pop hardware store to.

Yet to my amazement there are people in my neighbourhood who have lived here for alot longer than me and and do not know these people and don't want to. They deprive themselves of community and feeling a part of something. No its costco, home depot, superstore, and anything warehouse for them. Sure its cheaper most times, and where they shop is their business. When friends come to visit me from out of town I dread the fact that I will have to go to a mall I hate it, stores with names like "baby gap" and my favorite "please mom". A brave new world, but I guess I just prefer my expensive mom and pop operations, I find it much more rewarding, and alot less choices, which I like, keeps my life simple.
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#15
Yikes! So perfectly put, and what a great neighbourhood you're in. That's how to use a neighbourhood, too. Support them and know them.

We do the same, we love the greeting we get when we go into those shops. In the big chains, you can go in a dozen times, the staff can be the same, and yet still have absolutely no clue who you are.

I. HATE. THE. MALL. I go maybe once a year at the most, and then am ready to leave in five minutes.

You're right that it is everybody's own business where they shop, yet unless people change their habits, we will continue to lose all our Canadian businesses to the States. Even the Hudson's Bay has one foot in the States and another on a banana peel (10% American ownership, with intend to buy).
 
Diamond Sun
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Bushanti

Diamond Sun: "My boss lives by the phrase "It's easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission" ...............It's all about the allmighty buck, and if we can slip one past the customer, we oughta give it a try. "


Diamond - I know you were being serious; still, your turn of the phrase made me chuckle. :]

Glad to help. Smiling is definitely my favourite pastime!
 
Diamond Sun
#17
I much prefer the privately owned little stores where (like you said Peapod) you are recognized when you walk in the door. AND you are appreciated. The walmarts of the world see dollar signs walking in the door, the ma and pa's see people. That's the difference.

However, when you're living from paycheque to paycheque sometimes you must sacrifice your preferences for what you can afford. Or else, just go without.
 

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