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customer service

So we're travelling down the path of internet sales, convenience, shopping from home dressed only in our underwear (not personally, of course), and that kind of thing. I remember a co-worker at Monash Uni telling me, 5 years ago, that he couldn't understand the kind of job where you sit around in a shop waiting for somebody to come in and buy something.

So (and I actually expect some comments on this post), what shops do you go back to for the service, and/or because you have a good relationship with the shop/staff ?

Over the years, I've had this kind of relationship with a few CD shops - Peril Underground (nee Peril 305, nee CV's), for instance. I'd been going here since the late 1980's - one of the staff, Darrin Verhagen, occasionally presented on a show I listened to on 3PBS-FM called The Electronic Influence, and also released his own works. I could always go in there and get good advice. Even when Darrin stopped working there much (last time I heard, he was only in on Wednesdays), the other guy, Peter, would always suggest a few things for me to listen to when I walked in. I haven't been there in ages, though. The shop and I, we took our own paths. Peril Underground seemed like it was catering more to the Marilyn Manson kiddies (well, they had to try something, I guess), and I found myself listening to less and less of that goth/industrial stuff, though I'd still wander in to listen to (and/or buy) some Muslimgauze, for instance.

The next one, to a slightly lesser extent, is Second Spin in Balaclava, and I've bought 12% of my CD collection from these guys, far exceeding the amount of stuff I bought from Peril. Once in a while one particular guy-behind-the-counter will suggest something to me, throw me a freebie (say, a CD-single), or ask me what I thought about this-or-that album. Or perhaps he'll round-down a bit when I drop another pile of purchases on the counter.

It's not just CDs, though. I've neglected SMC Evolve for a while, now, 'cause I think I've reached critical mass with my t-shirt collection, but they've always been good to me. And there's a shop down in Elsternwick called Tin Pan Alley which I drop by every few months purely because I get such good service. Maybe I was just more receptive than usual. Maybe she was in a good mood. But ever since the first time I went in this place, the girl was always really helpful. She'd suggest things for me to try on (I never thought I'd enjoy playing "dress-up" until now), and so forth. Sure, sure, she's got something to gain from making me try on heaps of clothes, but I never bought everything she got me to try on, I always ended up spending about the same amount of money, and I always got stuff I actually liked - we both benefit.

* 19:45 * music