Friday, July 14, 2006

First in-shop blog

Be still my beating heart - we have broadband. After another collection of BT hoops to jump through, a completely marvellous woman called Janine at a call centre in Sheffield sorted everything out and yesterday afternoon we went live. Janine has single-handedly resuccitated the BT brand in my eyes and deserves a medal. (She'll probably be rewarded by BT outsourcing her function overseas of course, but let's hope not). So this blog is the first to come to you from inside the shop. I read recently that fast Internet connectivity is increasingly being described as "online oxygen" for the generation who have grown up with "always-on" connectivity. Speaking as someone who used his first computer at 11 (a ZX81), and who has essentially worked for Internet-based businesses for 10 years, being without it for large parts of the day has been a bit disconcerting, and, well, distressing at times (which is a bit sad when you come to think about it). Thanks to Nuno, Josh and Susmit from my old company Helveta who visited yesterday, and beavered away getting the PC connection whilst I served customers. It is our two-week anniversary tomorrow. The coffee is well and truly up and running now, and with the lovely weather demand for our courtyard garden is growing. So much so in fact that we have someone starting tomorrow (James) who will be assisting us Saturdays. On Sunday we are having an impromptu party in the garden, to say thanks to our family and friends who have helped make the bookshop a reality over the past few weeks. As we get some of our big jobs out of the way, a whole slew of smaller jobs hove into view. And visitors to the shop have given us many ideas for events and activities to do in the shop, so hopefully the first of our toddler readings wil start next week. This morning, one 7 year old with his Mum looked at me thoughtfully, and said "you know what's brilliant about this shop. It's got really good books, but not many people know about it, so it's nice and peaceful and you can drink coffee outside". I looked at this precocious entrepreneur-in-the-making who had just rumbled our top secret bookshop strategy, congratulated him on his brilliant summary, and then recommended he move on from Captain Underpants to reading of our more advanced business strategy books... Anyway, I'm still getting over the heady experience of being able to use my email, and perform real-time checks of wholesalers, so I will post this now...

1 comment:

  1. It only takes one. I had a similar problem with the burglar alarm here sorted out eventually by some brilliant girl in Leeds after weeks of hassle and men saying they would call back/it couldn`t be done/need a new system/need an upgrade to the system/will put you onto another man in another department. One lone woman said 'Oh I see what`s happened. Give me ten minutes.' I did, assuming it would be the usual. And in 7 all was restored and functioning perfectly. If she could do it, like Janine... trouble is they won`t keep their jobs because they`re too efficient, as you say.
    Glad people can now smell the coffee. But you don`t want the shop TOO quiet mind.

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