So I have come to my blog to prattle. Ego is an amusing thing, as are words. Whenever I start wondering why i have chosen this small life of service over the other possibilities life offered something happens to remind me. This began innocently enough with me suggesting local over Barnes and Noble (now Borders is closing a large percentage of its store fronts). These were my comments to someone elses note.
"Better than Amazon, buy local! Anybody who does have a local "Mom and Pop" bookstore do something for literacy this week and buy yourself a book. One of James (if you don’t own them all already) would be nice, if not maybe something else intelligent like Jasper Fforde or Charles de Lint"
The conversation went on and later I added…
"See, I would rather not own books than shop B&N. I am all about old fashioned stuff, like quality, community, loyalty, etc, hence my buy Local stumping. Like this real wise man we know says, "Never trade what you really want, for what you want now." or something like that so if I can, I buy first from the producer of the object (food, book, etc); then next local sources; and when (rarely) they can’t provide it I go national, has been Borders for decaded, never BN. I have a warm place in my heart for Borders and many friends who will be affected by these closures."
OK. I have many reasons for not liking Barnes and (Ig)Noble and none are personal, they have to do with the Corporate "profit over people" philosophy. If you don’t know how corrupt Barnes and Noble and Czar Riggio is, try entering a few search words in Google. Try "Barnes & Noble" with "lawsuit", then add "Ingram", "Nook", "One click", or "Retirement account". But I am not so much anti Barnes & Noble as I am pro local. And if you don’t know about that go here www.sustainabletable.org.
Then came this response (just excerpts cause his responsese are really long)
"I just "love" seeing folks prattle on about B&N and how they’re just not as community oriented, loyal, or concerned with quality, etc as store X and how they’d rather never read anything ever again than shop at B&N"…….*then a full really long paragraph about writer’s knowledge, prowess and unselfish hard work at B&N*…….then said writer continues with an attitude which seems way out of sinc with aforementioned dedication to customer service and not at all related to anything I thought I said "You’re right. We B&N folk are the crap of the earth.Of course over those 10 years I’ve seen more than a few customers who think they’re better than everyone else; even better than the other customer waiting in line. And of course they are deserving of the treatment bestowed upon kings of old, and if they don’t get it, well, it’s hissy fit time……."
So I apologized for hurting his feelings. Even though I still believe that a store that advertises price, price , price is not focusing on quality. I, for one like my McSweeneys, and my small press artist comics and chapbook poetry and unabridged classics. As for community and loyalty, at my local bookstore they remember my name, they point out new stuff in my own special areas of geekiness, and they all care about the local economy right down to the owner because they are part of this community, not multimillionaires living many states away. I totally believe good customer service can happen at any size store….its just this other stuff that can’t.
"@Steve I am sorry if you were personally offended by my stumping for buying local. My argument with Barnes and (Ig)Noble is purely with their corporate philosophy. I am certain that just like WalMart they have hundreds of incredibly amazing employees. I shall now prattle on somewhere else. LOL (But for the record if you reread my posts and then yours, you are the only one attacking people, just for the record.)"
He responded with a much longer rant (of which Glen Beck would be proud) in which he himself admits to not feeling supported by corporate or even his own management, but concludes from all this that my stumping for local values is a slap to good book sellers everywhere. I think this rates right up there with the giant goose step stride of many recent political debates, and I quote again.
"But when you make comments about those old fashioned ideals you threw out there, you take a pot shot at every one of us who report for work every day and who bust our humps, sometimes without the proper support from corporate, and in some cases without even the proper support from our own management staffs, to put that book in the customer’s hand and provide the service they would expect that would get them to come back."
And that Virginia is why I prefer to hide away and just use my heart to provide palliative nursing care. At least when my patients are hysterical, angry and illogical it is actually about life and death matters not just bruised ego. And I applaud all the authors ( Owen, Scalzi, Wheaton, Gaiman) who not only still write professionally, but also blog and fearlessly put words an ideas out into these ignorance invaded waters. Y’all rock. I, on the other hand am a chicken. It may look like passive resistance, but I haven’t gone all Ghandi, I am just too flumoxed by all the ego and rage flamed around in the blogosphere to even speak.
Why, back in my day, of mimeographed sheets and manual typewriters….
anyway that’s the funny thing that happened to me on the way to this forum…I was just fiddling around, and went down in flames. So now I will roam off and get some sleep.
“I asked God for strength that I might achieve. I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey. I asked for health that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity that I might do better things. I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among all men, most richly blessed.”