I decided, since I needed coffee, that I'd head out to the new Starbucks just down the street. I'd pick up my dry cleaning on the way. So out I went, and on the way to the dry cleaners, right next to the fabulous liquor store, there was a sort of tchotke store. You know them- the sort of place that sells flasks and $500 chess sets and super adorable cutesy baby clothes and that no man is ever allowed to set foot in because everything is so pretty and frilly.
So I went in. I'm looking for some new stationery. I like to have pretty stationery on hand, because I like to send handwritten notes to people from time to time. My stash is just about out, and it's time to get some new stuff. I like nice crisp notecards with a detail like an image or an initial on them so I can use them for many purposes. Once I splurged on this gorgeous set of paper with a single bumblebee embossed on it. I used it for a year before I ran out and every single time, I loved writing on that paper.
This frou-frou shop had all sorts of items, and a rather paltry selection of stationery. Not a deal breaker... I did find a set of color-it-in postcards that I thought some of my friends might enjoy.
And then I heard it... laughing, chatting. I look over my shoulder, and all the shop workers are clustered in a small group, talking to each other.
I continued to browse. I found a few stationery things scattered throughout the store.
No one came over. No one came to ask me what I was looking for.
I kept browsing. I picked things up. I put things down.
NO ONE CAME OVER!!
Now I have worked retail. M has worked retail. One of the big things is to ASK people if you can help them, or what they are looking for, so you can assist them to actually find what they are looking for.
We used to get Secret-Shopped at the Sears where I worked (I really liked working for Sears, by the way). And the Secret-Shoppers would inevitable ding us if we didn't come over to talk to the customer.
So this shop in DC... HORRID customer service! I was actually pushing the door open on the way out when someone finally called out, "Thank you!" I looked at the group, and they were already back to talking.
So they did have some potential stationery options. But no one talked to me, or showed me if there were other options, and that's the way you lose a customer. I felt like I was invisible to them. And I won't be going back there any time soon.
Now on the other hand, the dry cleaning one door down... they have WON themselves a customer. They cleaned a quilt for me, for more than $25 cheaper than the same quilt was cleaned in Tysons Corner. They were affable and immediately greeted me and they said nice things about the quilt. So I'll be taking a dress to them for alterations.
All in all, I'm really, REALLY getting to love my neighborhood. Grocery store. Drycleaners. Tailor. 5K loop.
We just did some rearranging in our apartment, which I call the Beautiful Postage Stamp, because it's TEENY. But it's getting to be so cosy and lovely... I don't want to leave! I love my view and I love this neighborhood. Maybe we should just stay and hope that the universe comes to its senses and stop selling the homes around here for $1.4 million...