Friday, January 12, 2007

Happy New Year! (and how NOT to run a wine store)

Happy New Year!

Aaaaaah, another year, another bunch of resolutions broken within 24 hours...

So this year, no resolutions, except the one to live my life to the fullest and the vow to never get trapped in a bad situation again. For 15 years, I worked doing something I hated as much as I love wine, and I was terribly miserable. Now, I'm free and working to settle on something I like and want to do. More and more, it's looking like I'll be somewhere in France. Tough life.

With that in mind, I was shopping for some Italian wine in a local store, which shall go unnamed for obvious reasons. I was in a good mood, it's been a mild winter and it was warm out the other day. I figured since I was in the neighborhood I'd drop in and give them another chance. I've had bad experiences in the past that completely turned me off of them (cooked bottles, bad service, hot store, etc...).

Well, I can honestly say NEVER AGAIN.

Here's why:

1 - Walked in and it was hotter than hell. Granted, it was warm out, but this was ridiculous. I started to sweat immediately (nice imagery, eh?).
2 - Tried to find the wine that a trusted friend mentioned on the racks and the bottles were scattered willy-nilly, no sense of any organization.
3 - Only 1 salesperson, busy helping others.
4 - I asked a checkout girl where the salespeople are and she waves dismissively and says "They're on the floor somewhere..."
5 - After about 10 minutes of waiting, I interrupted said salesguy and asked him if there was someone else he could point me to, he said there were some other salespeople on the floor. Really? Are they playing hide-and-seek? Are they trying to be coy and hard to get? Or are the new uniforms camouflage suits? Is something wrong with my eyesight? I mean the store's not that big.

I finally stormed out and was pretty pissed off about the whole experience.

I am pretty easy-going, I don't expect to be treated like a king or a God or even anything more than a thirsty geek, but jeez a little interest in someone willing to spend upwards of several hundred bucks would be nice.

In addition, why turn off potential customers with warm temps in the store, especially with something perishable like wine? I mean, would you buy warm milk? Milk costs $1 and change, and it's treated like liquid treasure. Wine is treated like any other commodity, despite its much higher costs.

So, NEVER AGAIN. I've learned my lesson.