Friday, August 22, 2014

What it's like...

Have you ever wondered what it's like to run a store like ours?

I mean, it's probably pretty easy to figure out the potential shortcomings - there's the long hours. You are, as one customer put it today, married to your business. But I have to think that the Lewis family probably feels that way about running a dairy farm, too.

You also aren't going to become a millionaire running the place. Sometimes, it can be a whole lot worse than that, too. Sometimes the electric bill will keep you up at night. But that can happen even without a store full of expensive coolers.

And there's the fact that you can never make everyone happy, all of the time. Sometimes I feel like I can't make some of you happy, any of the time. As I mentioned on Facebook, a recent email blast bought me a good bit of hate mail a few weeks back. And some of the remarks in there could make your hair curl. But I'm pretty tough - and you'd be, too.

But, like a lot in life, the value of running an operation like this hidden and immeasurable.

I have never known so many people - and had so many people interested in my well-being - ever, in my whole life. It really takes your breathe away.

We have never been in a position to serve others in the way that we do now. Yup, we sell you stuff. Sometimes it's stuff that we'd rather not sell you. I'd rather not sell gas, for example, but we are back in the gas business, because so many of you need it, and you would rather get it from us. Frankly, I'd rather not sell you cigarettes and tobacco, either.

But there is so much more in that interaction than selling you stuff.

I hear how you are feeling. I hear about your grandchildren going off to college. I know about what happened to your son's wife, and if your friend made it through surgery. I hear about birthdays and weddings and births and deaths. For just a few minutes you share you.

And it makes us better people. Better listeners. Better friends. I know that sounds corny and a little ridiculous. But it is the truth. I get to listen, without judgment, and hear about so many of your lives. It is an honor.

And that is mostly what it's like to run the store. 

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