Monday, May 11, 2009

All small business owners are not created equal

The other day my co-worker and I were standing behind the counter when a customer (let's call her Demon) walked up with her item. I recognized Demon from my current and past work places. She is a small business owner with a store right across the street. I cannot stand her.

At my last job, she came into the store after a meeting with the owner, who was in awe of her. "She is such a great business woman! A real inspiration!" the owner gushed. Demon claimed she wanted a line of moisturizer developed, especially for her store. We would make and bottle the lotion and sell it wholesale to her. The plan sounded great, until I actually got to talking with Demon about what sort of product she wanted and estimated costs; it became apparent that this idea of Demon's was more whim than plan. She was making ridiculous requests and, based on the amount of explaining I had to do, didn't appear to be the amazing business woman that the owner made her out to be. And of course she didn't want to actually PAY for anything, which makes it hard to get anything done.

In dealing with her more at my current work place, I now know that playing dumb and being bitchy are tactics Demon uses to get what she wants. Sometimes she will mention her store and try to make herself important and other times she will keep quiet and try to just be a customer. When she came in the other day, she was buying a pot rack to replace a pot rack that had broke. She made sure to mention that the original pot rack had come from our store and that "wood shouldn't break" and couldn't she get this new pot rack for free? I had to walk away and leave my co-worker to deal with her. Every part of her argument was stupid and horribly sneaky and I couldn't even look at her damn face.

By playing stupid and bitchy all the time, Demon just looks stupid and bitchy. And when I see how she is willing to take advantage of her fellow small business owners, I do not see her as a brilliant businesswoman. I see her as a bad neighbor and a store to avoid.

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