Last week’s editorial ‘Does Tumbler Ridge Deserve Customer Service Guaranteed?’ ended with, “The objective here was not to point fingers or lay blame… (but to) have some open and honest discussion…” Although there did actually seem to be a fair amount of finger pointing, here is my two cents as far as the discussion goes.
My family and I have always been firm believers in shopping locally. In thirty years of marriage we have lived in 14 different communities, most of them small towns, and we have always tried to support local businesses including the grocery store. This commitment has continued here in Tumbler Ridge. Does that mean I haven’t bought groceries elsewhere on occasion? Of course not. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to shopping at Safeway in Dawson Creek once in awhile if I’m there anyway, but I would never make a special trip for groceries.
The real issue here is human nature. People love to complain and the saying, “the grass is always greener…” rings true. It’s not unique to TR, though. I’ve noticed it wherever I’ve lived. When we lived in Watson Lake, Yukon, people drove to Whitehorse. In Canora, Sask. they went to Yorkton. In fact, when we lived in Dawson Creek, people complained and drove to Grande Prairie, while many Grande Prairie residents prefer a monthly trip to Edmonton…
The truth of the matter is, paying more for groceries is part of the cost of living in a small town. It’s part of the trade off for the quiet streets, general lack of crime, knowing your neighbours, and not having to commute to work. I’m just happy to have a grocery store that is relatively well stocked. Imagine the inconvenience if the only alternative was driving an hour when all you really needed was a jug of milk.
As far as buying outdated merchandise goes, there is a very simple solution. Read the label. If I do come across something outdated (which has never actually happened to me here) I’m sure Darryl and the staff would be happy to know about it. The staff is generally quite helpful and Darryl has told me that he can usually order anything I might need that isn’t normally available. To me that’s pretty good customer service.
In the end, the complainers will probably continue to complain. I’ve heard the complaints, too, but often these are the same folks who also don’t like the school, the current mayor, the town administration, the other businesses in town, the community centre facilities, the gas prices, their jobs… you get the idea. Rather than a ‘glass half empty’ mentality, perhaps being grateful for what we do have would better serve the community.
Sincerely, Tracy Krauss