Friday, July 22

What Borders Did Wrong

I won't pretend to understand the intricacies behind economic theory.  I won't pretend to have experience where I don't, which is in advertising, corporate sales, Wall Street, boardrooms where people who wear socks worth more than my car make decisions that affect that stock markets in several countries.  None of that has anything to do with my life. 
I don't read the Wall Street Journal (because it's boring and kinda pretentious).
I don't hit the internet and check the financial reports every day and I've never once been flown anywhere for business.
I do not get home from work and think "gee, let me log some upaid hours working on a presentation...."
No, I.....
I have a few web sites I check for my news to stay on top of things.
When I read the local paper, the first section I check is the comics.
When I surf the net, I waste time playing games and watching videos on youtube.
When I get home from work, I want to read, watch television...relax.

I'm not saying this makes me anything...except for who I am, which is, despite all my uniqueness....a person who is a lot like everyone else out there.

What on earth are you talking about, Becky? you ask.
Does any of this rambling have a point?

Why yes, reader, it does.

I may have no experience in the big bad corporate world, but I'm a human being who watches tv, buys books, is tired and cranky on the way to work.  I kow what I like and I know what I don't like.
And I love Borders.
But the big-wigs (as usual) effed it all up and now thousands of people will be out of work.
(Surely THIS will help the economy?)
So here it is, my list of...

How Borders Screwed Up & What They Should've Done:

1.) I love me some escapist TV now and then, espcecially after a shit-tastic day at work.  I don't recall, in the last many years, having ever seen a televised ad for Borders.  Not even during Christmas.  No..."Come into Borders, buy a book, the gift they can fall into again and again..."  Really?

2.) Opening at 9 o'clock in the morning?  10 on Sundays?  Then 11 on Sundays?  Are you fucking kidding me? up the rest of the store at those times.  Put a gate up, keep the front doors locked.  But open the cafe doors and make the cafe available at like, 6am.  Because a lot of people like those breakfast sandwiches with a lovely iced coconut latte and have to start work at say, 6:30.  Or we start work at nine when your doors were just opening, forcing us to forage for coffee and breakfast at home.  Bad Borders!  Bad! 

3.) Taking away the coconut syrup.  Grr.  This particular affront will not be forgiven lightly.

4.) Back to the cafe...really...;you should've expanded the coffee section, put in a few more chairs, a couple small tables.  Why?  Because I can't tell you how many people I know are too economically depressed (literallly and emotionally) to buy a damn book, but a gourmet coffee and the chance to sit around enjoying the bookish atmosphere was a pleasure we could still enjoy.  And I know a lot of people who went there and spent way more on coffee than they did on books.  I'm just saying.

5.)  Okay, really...something needed to be done about the prices of shit.  $25 for a dvd?  Who pays that?  I get that you wanted to sell multi-media and stuff, but there was too much cost.  People just can't afford to drop $6 on a single pen. 

6.) I was pretty irritated when the ordering policy changed.  It used to be that you could order a book, look at it, think it over, read a page or two and decide if it was your cup of tea.  Then you went all "You can't order a book unless it's paid for first."  Look, I understand you have to make money.  I understand there are jerk-offs who find it amusing to play ordering/shipping games and your store gets stuck with the costs.  But there has to be a way of balancing it out.  Let people who order things put down a deposit but not have to pay in full?  Make them pay the shipping and then deduct the cost of the shipping of cost of the book when the sale is complete?  We shouldn't have to live in an all-or-nothing world.

7.) The recent inability to get things was a problem for me.  More and more in the past few years, I was looking for certain books at my local Borders store or at and guess what?  Can't get it.  Out of stock, out of print, unavailable, unattainable.  (This, even with books only a couple years old.)  But amazon has it.  Sorry.  That's the rocks.  I'm just saying.  Books are like drugs to some of us.  You may be my regular and most favorite dealer, but if you can't get what I want when I want it, I'm going to someone who can...and guess what - they have it cheaper.

8.) Too many gadgets.  Borders, I love you.  I love the variety of things you had to offer.  But seriously?  If I want organic body lotion, I will go to a co-op or a natural foods store.  If I want kooky pointless wind-up monster toys smaller than a matchbox car for $4 a pop, I'll go to Toys R' Us.  If I want a good book, I'll go to Borders...oh wait...not going to be able to do THAT anymore.

9.) Borders Rewards...nice...except for all the confusion and math.  Applicaple titles during certain times, and only if you build up this much credit in a given time period and it must be used by midnight of the last day in the lunar cycle or you'll turn into a pumpkin and your rewards go poof.  Seriously?  I am all about rewards.  But make it simple.  I'm a basically smart person and even I was like "Eh....?"

10.) Taking away the "Hear This Now" ability.  You think I want to go to FYE for all my music and movie needs that cannot otherwise be fulfilled at Target?  No.  I realize itunes was a huge player in all this.  But if I love an artist, I am willing to spend my hard-earned money on an actual cd.  But...yeah...sometimes you know you like one song, but you're not sure if the whole album is worth it.  So you want to check out a couple other songs, see if you want to invest or just wait.  Just saying....

So there it is.  My list of what they did wrong and what should've happened.  Not from a brilliant financial wizard, but just from somebody who knows what will and won't work when you're trying to sell me your product or get me to come to your store.  I know what I love, I know what I wish the world had, I know what pisses me off...that's all.  So bigwigs, maybe it should be a lesson...listen to the little guy.  Because in the long run, we're the ones keeping your company running, and we know how we'd like it run.

Borders - Books Music Cafe (1971 - 2011)

Friday, July 1

Is This Book Too Weird?

So I loaned my dad the book "John Dies at the End," by David Wong.
My dad...the man who used to tease that gremlins would turn me inside out and that's what happened during a dad said this book was "too weird" after about thirty pages and returned it.
There are only two things I've ever seen him get really twiggy about.
This is the second.
The first?
Interestingly enough, the Pumpkinhead movies.