Bar Rescue Snub and More

After a well-deserved break last week because of Thanksgiving, the traditional Thursday rundown is back tonight. As usual the topics are random and somewhat boring so let’s get it over with.

Bar Rescue Shutdown: In past tweets I have expressed my desire to contact people that have appeared on my favorite show, “Bar Rescue.” I discussed my hope that I would be able to interview them on how scripted the program actually is and then follow it up with a blog post. Well, I have since used Facebook to creepily contact one Colorado bartender who I watched on a re-run this past Sunday. Unfortunately, my nice Facebook message and friend request wasn’t enough to get this particular person to spill the beans. She is not able to discuss the show. I might or might not contact others to see if they will give me my coveted inside information but I don’t think they will budge either. If only they were as open to discussing “Bar Rescue” as my friend Bryden was about discussing “The Bachelorrete.”

Sara Keller from "Bar Rescue" shut me down for an interview.

Sara Keller from “Bar Rescue” shut me down for an interview.

Holiday Messages: I fear that my new South Carolina friends might think I am really weird. On Thanksgiving I sent out my traditional holiday phone message. For those of you not in my contact list, I embarrass myself during the major holidays and send out an over the top, cheesy photo message (click here for full details). While old friends and family expect and love my holiday exploits, my friends down South might think I am totally off my rocker. I want to use this portion of my blog post to tell my valued east coast associates to not think I am insane, this is just something I do during special dates on the calendar to make the holidays a little brighter.

FCS Playoffs: The round of 16 in the FCS Playoffs is this Saturday. I will be on the sidelines as Coastal Carolina hosts Richmond at 1 p.m. in Brooks Stadium. If the Chants defend their home field, it is likely (barring an upset) that the team will travel back to Fargo the following week for a quarterfinal matchup against North Dakota State. Out west the Montana Grizzlies will head to Cheney once again to play Eastern Washington. I am hoping that the Griz avenge the loss in November and eliminate the Eagles. It would be really cool to have both the Chants and the Griz in the “Elite 8” of the FCS Playoffs.

That Weather Though: I feel obligated to gloat about the incredible weather here in Myrtle Beach. So far this month it feels like I am living in a Joe Nichols song as it has been “Sunny and 75.” I have never seen the sun nor temperatures above 40 degrees in December before so it has been a very welcome change for me. Especially after going back home over Thanksgiving and experiencing the cold again I am so impressed and thankful for the climate here in South Carolina.

I took this photo yesterday. It has been absolutely gorgeous out this month.

I took this photo yesterday. It has been absolutely gorgeous out this month.

Tweeted at by Major Company: Last night I wrote about my experience at the checkout register at Books-A-Million. I slightly criticized the major bookstore for a solicitation onslaught. This morning the Books-A-Million Twitter account responded to my tweet I sent out last night promoting my blog post. In a couple tweets, the company’s account thanked me for writing the post and noted that they would take my critique into consideration. I found this correspondence impressive for three reasons.

1. I never tagged them in my initial tweet.
2. They replied to me in two thoughtful and personal tweets.
3. They took the time to actually read my blog post.

By Books-A-Million reaching out to me in this way, my customer service viewpoint on the company has improved greatly. Well done, BAM.

It was really nice and professional of Books-A-Million to send me these tweets following my bad experience at the cash register.

It was really nice and professional of Books-A-Million to send me these tweets following my bad experience at the cash register.


Talk about a quick and to-the-point blog post! Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful Thursday night and a great ending to your work week. Don’t Blink.

Pitched at the Register

In our country, when you buy something at a store it is more than likely that either pre-purchase or post-purchase you will be asked to invest in an additional offer. These extra “opportunities” come in many different forms. I don’t have a problem with being hit up for one, but when the single offer turns into a string of solicitations I get a tad annoyed. This just happened about 90 minutes ago.

Tonight I paid my first ever visit to a Books-A-Million store. This is not because I don’t read. Instead it is solely because in the places I have ever lived we only had Barnes & Noble, Hastings, and Borders. Any way, I went inside the store and found exactly what I was looking for, the book titled “Unbroken.” With the movie coming out on Christmas and with my parents raving about it, I decided I wanted to read the book so I could have a true appreciation for it when I watch it with them in the theater on December 25. That part was easy, it was the checking out part that proved tougher than I imagined.

I went to Books-A-Million for the first time in my life tonight. This was the Myrtle Beach location that I went to.

I went to Books-A-Million for the first time in my life tonight. This was the Myrtle Beach location that I went to.

I went up to the cash register and a semi-awkward older lady helped me. She scanned my book but before I could swipe my card she was going to hit me with every possible sales pitch/scheme in the book. In order, this is the charade she put me through.

1. Customer Loyalty Program: Every single store on this planet has a loyalty club, I get it. I don’t necessarily hate them and many times I will join them…if membership is free of course. This lady took three minutes to tell me all about the BAM Club. She went into detail about the 10% discount, the secret sales, the special e-mails, the birthday benefits, the exclusive newsletter, and a whole bunch of other garbage I didn’t care about. I literally cut her off as nicely as possible and said I would join. She then added on the yearly $25 membership to my total. I promptly rescinded my intention to become part of the club.

Me with the book I purchased, "Unbroken."

Me with the book I purchased, “Unbroken.”

2. Buy a Toy: Disappointed with me for backing out of the loyalty club she tested to see if I had a heart by asking me to purchase a toy to automatically donate to charity. She pointed in back of her to the choices I had to choose from. Now at many stores, you can donate for as little as $1 or $2. These toys were all $5 and up. Look, I know I am coming across as a total Scrooge/cheapskate here but I declined the chance to be a Good Samaritan. I apologize, but every single business this holiday season will be asking for donations such as these. I will donate to some, but not all 1,000.

3. Magazines: She wasn’t done. She then put a brochure in front of me that had several magazine titles and told me that I was eligible to get free subscription trials for three different magazines. She then looked at me and said “What magazines would you like?” Whoa, whoa, whoa….hold up. One thing I know from the door-to-door scam artists that would come by our neighborhood when I was a kid is that you don’t sign up for magazine promotions. Besides, I have three different magazines delivered to my mailbox already, I don’t need anymore. I told the woman I would pass on that.

4. Survey on the Receipt: After the magazine pitch I finally was able to pay. I slid my card through the machine as quickly as possible but I was not out of the woods yet. The lady hit me with another trend in the retail industry…the follow up website survey! She made a scribbly circle around a bunch of words and a jumbled code and told me to complete it, using my refusal of the previous three offers as grounds for me to do it no matter what. As she handed me my book and receipt all I could think to myself was “No, I won’t fill out a survey about my experience…but I will definitely blog about it.”

The receipt I received with the scribbled circle.

The receipt I received with the scribbled circle.

Don’t Blink.