Jackoatsmon's Blog

November 12, 2011

My Favourite Bookstore

Filed under: Service — jackoatsmon @ 2:59 am

I have been going to the same second-hand bookstore regularly for than twenty years now and had always liked the collection of books that they had as well as the knowledgeable and friendly staff that they had there.  The first major change they had was when the person that served as the face of the store left after selling the bookstore to another company.  While I missed her friendliness and her vast knowledge of the books she had, she was replaced by a team that was also friendly and knowledgeable.  More recently, the shop was relocated to a more up market shopping mall.  This took away the comfort of the familiar as the layout of the books had changed.  A more serious change, to me, was the fact that all of the existing team had disappeared.  While the new staff at the store were pleasant enough, I did not know them and they did not know me.  As a result, they were not able to make any recommendations on what books were available and did not engage in any small talk.  This is not usually important to me as I normally just go to a shop, buy what I want and leave.  This was different as I had grown up with the store and made connections with the people there.  They had bothered to note what I liked to read and would make recommendations and call me up to let me know when the books I liked arrived and offer to set them aside for me.  They recognised my family as well and would ask about them when I went to the store.  While I have kept going back to the store, I realised that I did not enjoy my visits as much.

I learnt that one of the old team was working at a another bookstore and promised that I would go down to take a look.  I finally made it down yesterday after a long time.  I was very pleasantly surprised to see the whole team there.  They still remembered me and it was like meeting old friends again.  They still remembered what I liked and asked about my family as well.  I will have problems making it down to the shop regularly as they do not open on Sundays but knowing that everyone on the team is there makes me determined to try to do so.  The shop may not have as big a collection as my previous place but I am confident that they will have the books I like and the warmth and service means a lot more to me.

For those who like books and enjoy good and knowledgeable service, I would suggest paying them a visit.  They are located at the ground floor of Hitachi Tower, Collyer Quay.  They have a basic information website located at www.preciouswords.com.sg.

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December 24, 2009

Going Solo during Christmas

Filed under: Service — jackoatsmon @ 2:38 am

I never had problems going out on my own to shop, eat or watch a movie but recently, a night of Christmas shopping at Vivo City made me understand why some people do not like to do it.
I was at Vivo City doing some final Christmas shopping for my wife without much success. Feeling tired and hungry, I decided to go and have dinner. I decided to have a nice dinner at Shin Kushiya, a Japanese restaurant on the second floor. This is a restaurant that I had been to many times on my own previously and never had a problem getting a table. Things were different that night…
I was asked by the waitress whether I wanted a bar seat and I requested for a table. The waitress was leading me further into the restaurant when we met another waitress who was informed that I would like a table. The response given was that tables are for two people only. It is worth pointing out that at that point in time, there was no crowd yet and there was plenty of space. This was, to me, a decision to maximize the space available and discriminating against me because I was alone. At this point, I said “thank you” and left.
Here is the math of the situation. I would have taken perhaps half an hour to an hour tops to have my dinner during which time, the restaurant still had space to fill up. They chose to discriminate against me and alienate me. This result in a very unhappy customer who will now cease to patronize the restaurant regardless of the season unless there is no other choice. I will also cease to bring friends and family to the restaurant or recommend it to others. (Much the opposite). In addition, I do things like blogging about it and mentioning the incident to all my friends. Which is likely to be the larger loss? The lost of one additional seat for an hour or the lost of all future business from a customer that would have otherwise continued returning to the restaurant?

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