Wednesday, May 27, 2009

There is a beer/wine/liquor store across the street from my apartment, that I have given my business to for almost two years now. The guy who owns it is from Pakistan, and his main man is Ethiopian, and ever since the first time I visited there, they either call me by my name or they call me brother. They asked me for my ID the first time I ever walked in there, and after that they never asked me again. It wasn't because they were negligent or lazy or cutting corners, its just that I talked to them enough for them to really know me (and my lady for that matter). Considering so many mom and pop stores are going out of business, or are priced out by larger chains, its nice to have what feels like my very own liquor store(that sounds bad) at my disposal. But at this man says, times they are a changing...

The last few times I've gone into "my" store, I've noticed completely different guys in there. They barely look me in the eye, they follow me with their eyes around the store, they ask me for me ID every time, even though I KNOW they know who I am, and my attempts at friendly banter are met with one word answers and dismissive attitudes. They are more concerned with talking to one another in their language and joking around, than they are with building a rapport, and it makes me want to steal(not really). To me its more than customer service, its just plain nice, to humor the folks you see regularly giving you business. Or, maybe just maybe, I'm getting to be a crotchety, Dick Cheney like man, who doesn't embrace change..at least not where my liquor stores are concerned.

By the way, a few weeks back when I saw the Mike Tyson documentary, there were some very poignant moments of him discussing his children. After his last fight, he mentioned that fighting was no longer his passion, and he was much more concerned with how his children viewed him. In another scene, he mentioned that seeing his kids grow, play sports, graduate and have grandkids was his biggest desire at this point in his life, and they showed extended footage to hammer that point home. So when I saw that his daughter passed away yesterday, it made me sad, not just because I'm a parent who worries about his child, but because I know a part of him died too.

The Times They Are A-Changin' - Bob Dylan

5 comments:

sixfive said...

Was it the little girl he was fake-boxing with in the film that died? She seems about the right age. Sad story...
And I know what you mean about having your own liquor/local store that the people are cool. I go to the Best DC Market on U Street and it's nice to have people know you by name. I try to buy all my little items from there too to support. Sucks that some new people came in and don't understand customer service; there's little that annoys me more than that.

rashad said...

sixfive,
I've been trying to figure out if that was the girl..i think it was

Janelle said...

I hate having to break in new people (that's what she said...hahahahaa). But in true Larry David fashion, you should tell them the following: "Look, I come in here often and there is a certain level of service I'm accustomed to. When you see me, greet me. When I speak to you, engage in small talk banter. You want my money?? These are my terms." If they don't comply, walk in there one day with a windbreaker that has INS on the back. They will love you later. hahahahahaa (yes, I know that last part is dead wrong but it is so Larry David appropriate...hahahaha)

I haven't watched the Tyson documentary but its so sad to hear about his daughter. That's a grief he'll never get over.

rashad said...

janelle is a racist

Chubbs said...

I think you should say "Hi, my name is Rashad, and I've shopped here for years...longer than either of you have been employed here, in fact. If you appreciate my patronage, I'd appreciate you remembering my face and not carding me everytime I purchase liquor here." This will probably make them both really uncomfortable, but funny thing is, it might just do the trick. If it doesn't, find another (more friendly) liquor store.

Tyson's daughter's death was terribly depressing, and completely avoidable.