Thursday, December 4, 2008
Biggest Shopping Weekend of the Year
As the analysts tally their numbers and the big box stores sharpen their pencils, the holiday weekend was kicked off in our neighborhood with a sputter. Luckily I don't have to wonder if this last weekend was the biggest shopping weekend of the year for us. I know without a doubt that there will be better weekends to come. For one thing, we were closed. What? Closed? Didn't I just say this was the biggest shopping weekend of the year? If you weren't one of the many disappointed shoppers that visited us this weekend then let me catch you up. Our building is old. How old, nobody seems to really know that we've talked to. I will concede that old buildings have flaws and can occasionally let you down. That was clear on Friday, when we opened our doors to the flickering lights of an electrical problem. I had to use an extension cord to hook up our computer so that we could make a sale. When customers ask if you paid the light bill, nobody is laughing. Our landlord was incommunicado and the only shining light was our hero the helpful Teco electrician that offered me a flashlight while we diagnosed a nightmare of mixed up wiring. We made it through that in time to salvage the afternoon and have a pretty decent day. We have very patient customers! Then Saturday we arrived at our aging storefront to find a puddle of sorts on the floor... a very smelly puddle. After digging into the wall nearby in search of a source, I came to the realization that the water was coming up from the floor. We had not found a well, but noticed a sloppily patched piece of flooring with pinholes spewing water. My landlord of course did not want to pay weekend rates for a plumber, so I hastily volunteered to pound my way through the floor with a sledgehammer and locate the leak. What I found was some sort of old "soaker" tank according to the plumber that I met on Monday - two days later. I would like to imagine that if Target had a leak, they would have a plumber there about two seconds later, but the little guy is stuck there with a sledgehammer in his hand. Amazingly, no furniture was damaged, as we caught it early and moved everything out of the way. So eventually they fixed it, and now the leak has moved. It is now leaking in the store next door. The plumber will have to come back and dig again! We are still open, but I think we have solved the mystery of why no other businesses could make this spot work. How many mornings do you come in to a smelly puddle on the floor and a landlord that says it is your problem to deal with? Again, thanks for all your patience!