June 30, 2008

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While I'm Thinking About It

It's Over

Pilgrim Discount Book and Bible Supply, the place I've been working for the past four years, is no more. Sales had been plummeting for the past five years (so it can't be directly traced to my signing on), and combining that with the general manager Roger's ongoing health issues, makes liquidation and closure the most logical choice.

That said, the way he went about it left something to be desired. See, we the staff knew it was coming back in March. And the signs were there for anyone paying attention. In January it was posted that invoicing would be cancelled as of May 1. Buying used books and music was put "on hold" in April, which also took away one of my duties as the used book buyer. Gift certificates were no longer sold. Despite what I may imply up there in the strip, customers are not stupid, and a few did put two and two together.

We had to deny everything.

Roger didn't want word to get out ahead of time, for fear of depressing sales until the liquidation. Which, yes, I can understand. Especially since the shutdown was a several-month process. The more books sold at our regular discount prices, the fewer would have to be sold at a significant loss.

But.

Roger called it being "evasive", or "diplomatic" (a word he liked using to describe my polite way of disagreeing), or "evasive." When someone asked if we would be buying used books and music again in June, we were instructed to reply with something along the lines of "it'll be a management decision." Technically true, but it left them with a bit of hope.

Technically true, but it sure felt a lot like lying to customers. To fellow Christians, and that can never be a good thing.

If you go over to his blog, you can read some of Roger's thoughts on the closing. Not all of them, since he decided to just update a single post with each phase of the liquidation (also eliminating the praise he had for me and the others who got laid off May 24th). The comments in the "Closing Remarks" post are a thing of beauty, both for those who will miss the store, and those who won't.

Certain customers inspired weeks worth of strips. I'm tempted to provide linkage and commentary later in the week



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