Quote of The Day

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday Scribblings " Chronicles Change"


Eight months ago Bryan was lured, by a friend, into a new job with the promise of a pleasant working environment, and higher wages. He relinquished his solid full time daily hours of seven to three shifts, as a prep cook, at a corporate restaurant, to a less secure position. Bryan stepped into the shoes of their main prep guy. It wasn’t long until he realized that the majority of the long term employees had bolted for new jobs at other restaurants down the road.

My intuition was in high gear, feeling this restaurant, serving the best prime rib in town for over twenty years, could be in dire straights. Sure enough my favorite restaurant where I always received a free birthday dinner was sold, and closed its doors January first. Even though Bryan suspected the demise, he loyally trudged through until the end.

This last month he has been working diligently on music, starting early in the morning until almost dinner, taking only a few breaks in between. More than he had at the restaurants, where he could be known to work a full eight hours with out so much as a bathroom break.

I pride myself in shopping locally to support small business. I despise the big superstore concept, where you need a pair of skates to locate the washroom in order to beat the call of nature. Large economy stores aren’t always convenient; there are too many distractions, temptations and line ups! Save Costco, where I take care of waste management before I go, cart along my entourage and stick to my list. I’ll admit I am a cherry picker, known to buy many things on sale. If I need a gallon of milk though, I don’t hesitate to pay a few cents more to shop local, rather than spend it on gas to drive up the road.

For seven years we have frequented our local video store. We prefer them, to the large conglomerate, with the big line-ups, we have everything, keep it as late as you want, don’t know your name attitude! At our local store, a six minute walk from our house, we’re known as Sherrie, Pepper, Bryan, or 606. They know our voices on the phone, they think about us when they’re viewing movies, knowing exactly the ones we’ll enjoy.

There is a lovely camaraderie, we have taken them baked cookies, given one of the kids some of our fresh pizza, they’d wave our rare, tardy returns. When we’ve called ahead to say we’d be late returning the movie, they offer to let us keep it a few hours later free of charge. The family owned business, is run by the parents, their kids and a few long time employees, who always greet us with affection. We’re very loyal patrons never having deviated from them, even when we know the corporate store has the movie we want. We wait until it’s available.

Friday night after picking some movies for the weekend, Pepper asked them blatantly if they were closing. Surprised at her out burst, they quickly shushed her. When she returned to the car I asked her why she thought that, she told me it was just intuition. I asked her to elaborate. Her intuition sparked because they were selling off all the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at half price. Last week they fibbed and told her it was because ice cream doesn’t sell well in winter. Unfortunately her intuition didn’t deceive her; today they’re closing the store. We were absolutely shocked to hear of their termination, totally unaware until this Friday. The owners are boxing everything up to sell as a video store in a box. That’s all we’re privy to, covertly shared by a young employee we all adore. It’s truly a sad day; life is changing as we knew it. Two of our favorite family owned businesses are gone, what’s next?


LisaOceandreamer said...

Isn't that sad? This is the way of the world....no more 'mom and pop' shops, no more small, intimate places where you always feel like family. Puts me in mind of the movie You've Got Mail....how that lovely book shop was forced out by big business...it's not just a storyline, this really is happening all over. sad indeed.

Pam Aries said...

Sadly..this has happened to business after business here in Mt Pleasant.Locally owned stores are few. We used to have THe only healthfood store ironically called The Good Neighbor. Gone...all the local video stores..gone...Now we are getiing SUPER WALMART..Ugh... I boycott Walmart. 8 years ago this was just a sweet sleepy little town on the way to the beach. NOW it is overgrown, overbuilt...the epitome of urban sprawl. Yuck! Well. i could go on and on.

Terri /Tinker said...

It is so sad! Hurray for you though, doing what you can, shopping locally. I have been trying more and more to think about where my dollars are spent - who they'll actually go to.
Thanks for the reminder of how important it really is to shop locally.

Paris Parfait said...

This is such a sad story - and it's happening all too often, all over the world! It's happened in London and it's happening in Paris too, although the French are better at keeping their local shops in business and don't like the idea of big superstores. Yes, as Lisa said, just like "You've Got Mail." All the charm and personal service of small stores is falling by the wayside. Corporations are taking over and that just shouldn't happen. (Pepper has great intuition)!

gautami tripathy said...

The personal touch has disappeared. Modern life, be as aseptic as you can!


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