Monday, January 26, 2009

Borders On Being Silly - I Can Read & Count

It has been a long time since I walked into a book store. I love books. I have an addiction to computer magazines, the UK ones but I'll read a US computer magazine in a pinch. I hadn't been in a bookstore in three months. Probably explains why I have more money in my account.

I just happened to walk in today. Got my computer mags that I buy with the CD of free software. Mass quantities of Linux distributions to explore. (When? I'm time challenged as it is?)

Anyway, I walked by this table with a big honking banner that said buy 1 book and get the other for 1/2 price. I look up at the banner and look down on a bunch of neatly stacked books. Julie Cameron's new writing book and a book about clean eating.

I study the other contenders and head for the counter. Young lady rings me up. $65 and some change. The addition in my head is banging the gong. "Excuse me, but aren't these books a part of the promotion?" She said "no, they don't have a sticker on them."

I point to the seven foot banner hanging from the ceiling. " But the banner said that you buy one and get the other for half." She sighs and ask for register back-up.

I can read her face and tell her to please remove the books from my purchase. The young lady ask a co-worker who confirms if they don't have a sticker they are full price.

This is known as the old okie-doke. Customer has books in hand. There is a slight bond or relationship between me and the book. If you are well off you might say ok, ring them up.

I, on the other hand, am a very frugal shopper. My love runs hot and cold.

Every book in my home is invited. With the except of a book by Gore Vidal where I did pay full price cuz he cracks me up, I buy on sale. I would have bought one of the books if I was told the honest price. It is on the back of the book. I know cuz I flipped it over to figure out the discounted amount of two books.

I am telling you true. None of the books on either side of that table had any sticker on them. The table ahead with no banner had a few books with stickers but I only saw them as I was leaving the store.

I do not like being manipulated. I really don't like being told that what I see is not the truth. Yeah, I know times are rough, a merchant got to do what they got to do but running the old flim flam is what is closing Circuit City's stores right now.

How do I get store managers to understand that if I can't trust you to indicate clearly which books are on sale and those that are not then why should I come in your store? Blaming a mythical customer for placing a non-sales book on the table is bull. All of the books were stacked, untouched. There was no stray book.

I do shop Amazon, Powell's and Sounds True. I don't have to put up with limited coupons on receipts that I never can use. Or e-mail promotions I can't see because I've blocked the images in my e-mail program.

I know every used bookstore in a five mile radius so really I don't need the hassle of looking for a red sticker or a green sticker or walking through an obstacle course to get to checkout.

"Please remove the books." I asked. Well she didn't know how to do that so she canceled the purchase and rang me up all over again. I was cool. It wasn't her fault.

It was business. The way business is currently being performed. Newspapers heading south, retailers shutting their doors, like the one across the street and the one in back of your store? Take a hint why don't you? It is not too late.

Well, good luck to you. I'm done. Maybe in six months I will have forgotten. Probably not. I'm kinda steamed and I have a long memory about these things. If you are still operating and a friend wants to go in sure, I'll follow. That is if I can't talk him out of it first.

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