Posted in business advice, dining, humor, Quality, rant, Savannah, shopping, Uncategorized

Advice for Entrepreneurs



It was an average kind of day. My hubby and I had a number of errands to run so we were going to do the 25-mile drive into town. We generally try to do a number of things in a trip. It saves gas and it saves time.


First on the agenda was my trip to the doctor. The office is on the large campus of one of the major hospitals in town. It was my first visit to this particular physician and while they did provide a street address and a room number on the appointment card, there are about twelve buildings at the hospital. It is a bit of a crapshoot to pick the right building. Since I did some fairly convoluted searching on the Internet, we did find the place. The doctor was nice and competent and other than having to schedule some normal follow-up tests all went well with the visit.


Tip Number 1: Provide complete address information for all places of business or recreation.


I get positively cranky when an event is advertised and it says, “The fabulous mart is held at Saint Sam’s Church.” I would love to go to your event. I might even buy something and add to your profits. I am new to town or I am a tourist or I am directionally challenged. How in the heck am I supposed to find your location? Your 4-color full-page ad was wonderful and it caught my interest, but if you don’t tell me where you are, I’m not getting there. Unless I really, really want to go, I am not going to do the additional research needed to find out your location.


Back to our day trip, next on the agenda was a stop at the drugstore to pick up some gosh awful expensive medicine for hubby. The drug store is a bit out of the way for us, but since it is where we can get the drug for a reasonable price through our insurance, that’s where we go. We pick up the bag at the pharmacy and scoot out of the drugstore. What wonderful service. Right?


Next stop…the craft store. You have seen the comic strips with the older couple in the store and the woman spending an hour picking out the right skein of yarn and the husband rolling his eyeballs. We are those people. But this time I was prepared. I had a particular target in mind and a fine coupon for 40% off. I found the item, didn’t loiter and headed for the register. Price was $15. Now let see, 40% off is $6, leaving me with a $9 item plus a bit for tax. The lady at the register asks me for $17. Say what? Okay, she just misread the register, so all was well. I pay my $9 and leave.


Tip Number 2: Make sure employees have some basic knowledge of grade school arithmetic.


I know, you have electronic registers that scan UPC codes, manage inventory and do all the calculations for you, but a bit of knowledge about addition, subtractions and dare I demand percentages, really would help. I just feel like bashing my head against the counter, when a clerk can’t deduct 10% from a sales item without using a computer. Yes, I went to school a few years ago and yes we did have calculators, but we learned the basics without relying on those calculators.


Stop number four on our itinerary was a local “variety” store. Hubby likes to go there for the weird sodas and I like their cheap plunk. We had about 20 minutes kill before the restaurant that we were planning to have dinner in opened. We did our browsing, bought our wine and soda and all went well. So now we are off to dinner.


We pull into the restaurant at 5:05 PM. I had wanted to try this place since they reviewed it in the local newspaper. The journalist raved about the food and the prices seemed reasonable. I had my eye on a nice seafood dinner. Hubby and I had tried to get in the place a few weeks ago for lunch, but they were closed. The review had said that the restaurant was open for lunch, but sometimes in a new place traffic doesn’t support the original hours and things change. I understand that, not a problem. So we are here for dinner. We walk in the hostess looks at us and asks, “What can I do for you?” I say, “Two for dinner”. She says, “We are not open yet”. I ask, “What time do you open?” “5:00 PM.” I did mention it was 5:05 PM didn’t I? She sees my face and says, “You can have a seat but the cooks are out in the parking lot and we aren’t ready yet.” I say, “Thanks but maybe not.” As we leave we see a bunch of guys in the parking lot staring in a cooler, chatting and laughing. I guess they were comparing the size of their fish. At least the catch of the day was fresh.


Tip Number 3: Post your hours and open on time.


Guess what? We are not going back to that restaurant. Hubby and I now have an ongoing bet on when this place will go out of business. My guess is by the end of the year. Hubby said at the end of the tourist season.


Back to our day trip, all is not lost for supper. I had a fall back plan for one of our local haunts. It is a bar and serves food. They have great burgers and buffalo chicken. It is quirky, so I fit right in. There is a boar’s head displayed prominently over the bar with a bevy of bras adding to the festive décor. Gosh, I love that place. Hubby and I have a nice dinner and head home. Looking forward to some mindless TV viewing for the evening. We unpack the car.


As I was getting a drink, I notice the bag from the pharmacy. I get the prescription out to put it away and look at the bottle. “Dang, Dang and Double Dang”, I yell. Hubby comes running into the kitchen saying, “What’s wrong.” (For full disclosure, maybe those are not the exact expletives that I used.) The pharmacy gave you the wrong prescription I rant. Hubby now has Mr. Smith’s bottle of Oxycodone and we don’t have his drug.


Tip Number 4: Put the right item in the bag that you are handing your customer, especially if you are dealing with items that can kill you.


Yes, we should have checked the bag. But really, shouldn’t we be able to rely on something that basic being done right. Hubby calls the pharmacy and explains the issue. Then it is the 50-mile round trip to town again. Frankly hubby was a lot nicer, when he returned the drugs, than I would have been. He only gently pointed out that they gave him a heavy-duty narcotic and that the results could have been like in the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” if George had never been born and the druggist, killed the patient.


We returned home to the cat and the TV. We got our stuff and nobody died. The trip was a success. Hopefully if you follow my tips, your business will be too.


Posted in dining, humor, taboos, Uncategorized

My Guilty Secret

Over the years society’s taboos have changed.  What was once frowned upon has become acceptable. However, some things still stay forbidden or at least are considered declass.  Once it was considered in bad taste to stare at people…now people watching is an acceptable hobby.  Now I am not saying that folks have not people watched forever, they were just more discrete about it.  Can’t you just imagine one Neanderthal talking to another and being catty about the length of a fur shift?

But I digress. I know you can’t wait to hear my secret.  Well here it is.

I eavesdrop.

I am deeply ashamed.  Actually I’m not…I do it in public places and my logic is as follows:  If you don’t want to share your conversation, don’t talk so loudly.  Now I am not particularly fond of one-sided cell phone conversations.  They can be irritating and generally you don’t hear anything of major interest.  But that is a rant for another day.  I am talking about those conversations or snippets that you hear in restaurants or any other crowded place.  Sometimes it can just be something like the best place to get ice cream in a touristy town, but other times it is more meaty.

Here is one of my favorites.  It happened about thirteen years ago in a little seafood place in Pennsylvania.  My then fiancé and I were sitting in a booth in downstairs section of the restaurant.  You know the kind of place.  Good food, kind of dim, going for the ambience, but never quite making it.  We really liked the place and went there for dinner relatively often.

There was a group sitting in the booth across from us – two couples.  I would guess they were about seventy and nicely dressed.  They were enjoying their dinners and chatting.  One of the men in the group dominated the conversation.  He spoke clearly and given the fact that we were about three feet away, I didn’t even have to strain to hear.  The conversation started with speeders in “his” gated community.  Ironically, this community was where my fiancé was living, so my ears really perked up.  This gentleman went on and on how often he called the police and the homeowners’ association to complain and how evil these people were.  Now don’t get me wrong, you really shouldn’t speed in residential areas, but I had never notice a major problem.  The way this guy was talking, I got the impression that the militia would be called if you so much as plucked a dandelion from his lawn, let alone drove two miles over the speed limit.  None of the other members of his party got a word in except for maybe a grunt of agreement.

By this time, I am thinking okay, the dude is a blowhard and not someone I really am enamored with, but to each his own.  Then the conversation (or should I say monolog) shifted.  He moved on to “bad behavior” at the community center.  He spoke graphically and at length about a young man who was acting rambunctiously at the pool and who got what he deserved.  The youth was jumping in the pool.  The rules say no jumping.  Bad kid, bad kid.   Apparently, the lad did a face plant and came up bleeding copiously with an imprint of the pool tile on his forehead.  Lovely dinner conversation, it was a blow by blow of each and every drop of blood that flew, the depth of the tile dent and how the kid deserved it.

So I am sitting there, with my guy and I loose it. Normally with my eavesdropping, I can remain stoic and hidden.  This conversation was so inappropriate and the guy was so much a caricature of a domineering, self-absorbed critic that I started giggling. That became contagious and soon the two of us were doing some non-stop laughing at the table.  I couldn’t stop.  I know it wasn’t polite and that speeding and gore are not funny topics, but there it was.

We got the evil eye from across the way.  I suspect the next time they went out for dinner the monolog focused on how rude people can be laughing in restaurants.

What can I say?  I eavesdrop.

Have you overheard anything good lately?