Wednesday, May 25, 2011
We were sitting in our favorite Mexican restaurant Monday, and before I knew it, my wife and I sensed something was different. And I knew exactly what had happened. First, it was busier than normal. And I was mildly bothered by that. Not because I feel that I should have a restaurant to myself. I adore the owner of Charros, and his small business sprouting out of his hard work and effort. But because the people there were not the normal folks, fellow tribe members, or locals that I have become accustomed to while sipping on my favorite frozen marg, I was a tad cantankerized.
There was a lot more hustle and bustle. kids playing hide and seek, babies tossing salsa on the shades. I saw an argument with a server who tried to explain that they did not have PBJ for the kids, in his best broken English. There were more servers on, there was a lot more chitter chatter of people who have never been in the place before, remarking on how this place compares to the other place, etc. I didn't recognize anyone. And most everyone was...OK, I am going to say it, overweight. I will go ahead and say this too...so were their kids.
I hate calling stuff out like this (or don't even have a second thought). I mean, who am I to generalize, stereotype, categorize, box up, bookshelf...? I do see things in this sort of way; the differences, the paradoxical "isms" that dance and sing around me all day. To me, verything has a label, so I can remember stuff. I have silos for all sorts of things. Me?-- I likely fall in to a box labeled: impatient, sarcastic and narrow. Though I would like to argue/negotiate a little "means well"...if I were to have my liberties.
Look, I don't like coupons, especially the new internet gig "Groupons". They bring out...Groupon Zombies. And since I have either owned or managed a business for over 30 years, whether it be my own or somebody Else's, I think it is indulgent for the consumer and the promotions company. The promotion takes place just so the Zombies can take advantage of and never come back. No they don't, they never come back, not unless you do the promotion again. It is a sub culture of people wanting something for nothing and they are now categorized by their own habits/values. They are not my customer. They let their kids toss salsa.
Groupon people stand out like neon, wheabling from the parking lot to the front door, grasping on to their printed pieces of paper, ink barely dried from a two for one print cartridge deal a The Mart. They have conversations with each other on the way from the car, the rules to follow when getting seated. They spend with surgical precision, exactly what the coupon will deliver, and often short the tip. facts, folks, just ask those who have experience.
Nope, I will not be doing groupon advertising ever again. In fact, I will not be doing discounts on anything ever again. Just to keep from having to board up the windows from those expecting nothing other than a free ride, at the expense of the proprietors dime.
Support your local businesses like your family. It is your village, we all are part of it.
Groupons are over.