Nov 29


Rudeness - ShopRudeness. Well I guess you have to expect is occasionally when you’re dealing with the public and I know there’s an English obsession with ‘Please’ and ‘Than-you’ – common courtesies that seem to have become increasingly eroded in this text-and-internet age. But what I’m really talking about is deliberate rudeness. To your face. From people you don’t know.

This is our first venture into retail and I’m pleased to say that 99.9% of the visitors to our shop have been nothing less than delightful. They may not all buy something, but the general feedback is very complementary and there is a real appreciation that we are trying to keep a book-business alive when so many are going to the wall.

Rudeness - shopShrinking Violets

I’m not some shrinking-violet! 25 years corporate life toughened me up somewhat. I also understand that there are a few people in the community who are a little ‘challenged’ and, perhaps, can’t help their attitude (especially when the medication wears off!). But when someone stands at one end of your shop brandishing a piece of sheet music and says in a loud voice: ‘This rubbish isn’t worth ?2.00,’ that’s rudeness. It’s also a shock. We don’t normally expect well-dressed, mature people to behave like this. But, on occasion, I’m afraid they do.

Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism is great. It sharpens you up and helps you to be more effective. But deliberate rudeness for the sake of effect seems such a waste of energy. How unhappy must you be to be so negative. We obviously get the odd comment that a certain item can be bought cheaper elsewhere and that, by implication, we are somehow ‘ripping people off’. Well, we aren’t forcing anyone to buy from us and they are very welcome to buy said book elsewhere (usually a charity shop), but one or two people seem to take things personally as though we deliberately priced the book to spite them!

Rudeness - shopAnonymity

The anonymity of the internet also encourages people to give vent to thoughts and emotions which they would never voice out-loud or to your face. We had one chap say in a particularly mendacious little post on an on-line forum ( a ‘book-lovers’ site!!) ?that our stock ‘wasn’t fit to be sold in a charity shop.’ ?I’m not sure why he felt that such rudeness was warranted (it’s rude to us, charity shops and our customers), but there you are. The annonymity of the internet allows him the ‘oxygen of publicity.’ Perhaps it was just a bad day and his haemerroids were playing up!

The next 12 months

But that is the minority. The overwhelming majority of our customers are nothing less than complimentary and rudeness of any kind has been conspicuous by its absence. The fact that our customers continue to buy books from us and have made our first 12 months in the market so worthwhile suggests that we have broadly got things right. here’s to the next 12 months!



Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.