Mar 27 2014

What the heck, people?

I’ve long been puzzled by some of the vinyl people put on their cars, but sometimes I really have no idea what was going through someone’s head when they had something designed, or worse, found something already created that seemed to be just what they needed:

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Jan 4 2012

Uh…

I took this pic of a car in Kansas City. I’m not big on vinyl window decals anyway, but this is just…wrong:

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Mar 13 2011

The General

My friend B shot this pic somewhere in the KC area:

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Mar 24 2009

Flowers and cars

For 11 years now I have been going to the same flower shop: My Sister’s Garden in Higginsville, Missouri. I first went there simply because of the close proximity to my house and my job, but I ended up staying because the customer service on my first visit was so awesome. 

I suppose the prices are good, but I don’t really know: I don’t go to any other florist. Ever. I like the shop that much. 

Ultimately, shops like this caused me to recant my view on “be loyal, buy local,” which I previously supported. But I realized that if you are trying to get people to shop somewhere based solely on the fact that they are part of your town, what you are really saying is this:

“Our town’s shops can’t compete on price, customer service, or product selection. So if we can’t compete on quality, we will guilt people into shopping here by the insinuation that locality = loyalty, therefore shopping somewhere amounts to treason against your town.”

In other words, quality doesn’t matter.

I have the same philosophy regarding American-made cars. When I was growing up my dad was in a union, so we had American cars. And I spent a lot of time walking, lying under cars, changing out engines and transaxles, and bitterly cursing the kind of person that makes such a shoddy automobile (I don’t want to say any names, but it rhymes with Shmevrolet).   

Years later, an in-law bought me a 12 year old Mazda GLC. I felt morally corrupt for driving it–at first. In a short time, it was the second best car I ever owned, and when I finally sold it at 232,000 miles it was only because I had another car to drive and the body was rusting out.

Five years ago this Memorial Day I bought my second Mazda–it was also 12 years old when I acquired it. As I posted yesterday, I just hit 323,000 miles. I have never had to do a thing to the powertrain. The only reason my GLC was the second best car I ever owned was that my Protégé 323 has been the best.

I don’t think I’m terribly unique in this opinion; I really believe most people would like to buy local and even buy American, and many will pay extra to do so. But they won’t pay extra for shoddy work or bad customer service, and I won’t either. 

There are other shops in Higginsville besides My Sister’s Garden that I frequent because I like them–not because I feel it is a duty to support them. Sure, if I can’t get what I need in town I will go out of town, and if something is just exorbitantly priced I’m going somewhere else. But if you see me in your shop more than once, it is probably because I like your store or I hate your competitor*, or both.

*say, hypothetically, because of a single terrible act of customer service

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