Wednesday, September 10, 2008

And then there were two...

Well, it's been a long time. And I guess no one really reads that much anyway...but alas Reverend Raul has returned. Nothing exciting really, but here is an update on where I've been.

Most of you know by now I'm in the college textbook business. I can say this on the blog because no one really knows who I am. To people that do know me, I tell them I'm a drug dealer because that is somehow a more respectable occupation than running your own college bookstore. Well, now we're one step closer to becoming an evil empire because I've been opening a second store in my blogger hiatus. We started a little later than I would have liked, but it's somehow working. There is another college right near us that has enough students to warrant a second bookstore so we've always said once we figure out the first one, we'll open a second one. The opportunity came and we're currently managing to make it work. However, I'm on day 27 of constant book rush so I'm just about ready for a little time off. College kids do tend to get on my nerves after so long, but for the most part at the new store they're a little more appreciative.

Anyway, the challenges of opening a new business were a little more than I'd expected. Finding a manager proved to be more of a problem than I'd thought. One of the girls that worked for me had a mom that was at a job where she seemed to be unhappy. She was one of our vendors so in passing one day I said "One day I'm gonna open a second store and I'm gonna come buy you away from this place if I can afford you." She leaned across the counter and said "It won't take much, but when you're ready to talk I'm ready to go." Well, apparently she was ready to go because a couple months later she left and found another job. So Plan A was gone and it was time to search for Plan B. It never materialized but I was moving forward on the second store regardless. We interviewed several people but most of them weren't interested from the get go, or decided after a few days of thinking that they would rather open their own bookstore than work for someone else. One of them had the testicular fortitude to ask me how to go about doing that. Just about at crunch time, my best and most trusted employee said "You know, I could run this for you. I've got two classes left at this school that I can take at night so I could manage for you." I thought the idea was perfect. That way it gives me a year at this store to see if it would work, and if it flopped, nobody got fired. She just went back to working for me. The only drawback is that she's friends with most of the people that work there. But, she's managing. And doing a damn fine job.

So, then there were two and here we are. One day I'll be able to say that we're two stores strong, and I promise I have plenty of stories to share from the opening and the new administration, and I'm sure there will be plenty of ho-drama to come, but currently I'm in two places at once, so I'll start blogging more once I get stopped.

4 Comments:

Welcome back to the blogosphere and congrats on the 2nd store.

I do have to admit that I thought we were going to hear some amazing story about how you made the mens olympic fencing team and went to the Olympics, but I guess not!

Welcome back again!
posted by Blogger Chris D. at 2:41 PM  
Naa...I'm not that good at fencing. I only win a few bouts a month and most of those are because I fence my sister. However, I could make up a story if you'd like to read it.
posted by Blogger Raul Duke at 9:52 AM  
I can say I have seen the new store and it rocks. But that is no excuse for being a slacker on the blog!! Anyway, it was nice to see you back here in action.
posted by Blogger Easy E at 3:32 PM  
Congratulations!
posted by Blogger Sugar and Ice at 8:31 PM  

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