The past month has gone by too fast. And everything I read about social media says you’re supposed to create content, content and even more content. I’ve always wondered who has the time to take all the selfies and spend time posting to Facebook and Twitter and all the other channels. When do they get any work done? Am I so inefficient that I have no time for all this self-promotion? I don’t get it.
At any rate, I’ve got a simmering issue and I just have to get it off my chest.
I used to shop all the time at a large photographic supply place that had two locations in the Chicago area. They had other locations as well. I spent thousands of dollars at this place. I bought my Nikon D-700 there, some lenses, lighting equipment, and an awesome printer for about $1,000. I bought all my paper from this place, as well as my printer ink. My wife Rita got me a great tripod and ball-head there too. So we’ve made more than a modest investment in them and they’ve received, in return, several thousand dollars from us.
So it made sense then, for birthdays and such, that my mother-in-law would get me a gift card from this place. I could get more paper, camera bags, or whatever I wanted. She knew I’d be happy getting things I could actually use. So I had a gift card from this place.
Well, this company went through a spectacular bankruptcy. Spectacular in that they didn’t notify their own employees about it, there was no warning. One morning, they just didn’t open up. I had noticed that the shelves had become a bit more sparsely stocked, yes, but there was no speculation, at least among the general public, that there was an impending bankruptcy. It does seem that there is an unfortunately close connection and similar history among several of the camera places that buy each other up, close, etc. Some weird cycle.
Well this store reopened. Same name. Same location. Same signs. Same products on the shelves. Same everything except for the employees. Since they now are closed on Saturdays (the only real visible change except for the employees) it was tough to get in there. Saturday is my day to go out and play and do things I need to get done. I figured a month ago that I had better get in there with the gift card and spend it while they were still in business. We went in, found something we liked, and when I tried to pay with the gift card, was told, “oh, that’s for the old Calumet; we can’t honor this.”
Seriously? I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars with you, and all you’d have to do (even if you are now the ‘new’ Calumet) to keep me as a customer, would be to honor the gift card. You have my mother-in-law’s money (super fixed income); you have the name and reputation of the company, and you have their mailing list (which you liberally use). But you’ve lost me as a customer. Goodbye Calumet. I’ll buy from B&H Photo.
On the upside, Rita and I released another episode of The Prehensile and Gretel Show last week, which celebrates in part, our survival of the July 4th festivities in our neighborhood. And our schnauzer got a bath today, so he’s now all fresh and huggable. He likes to play in the ferns and comes in the house with slugs all over him, which drive him nuts and frankly, it twists our sensibilities as well.
– Phil Reebius