Sunday, January 27, 2008

Just because you love something doesn't mean you should do it for a living

There's the stereo-type of the grumpy comic shop owner, that guy who thought

I really like comics, I want to be around comics all the time, I'll start my own shop and I can read comics all the time. It'll be great, except for those fucking customers.

They know what they are talking about but have lacking social skills and sales abilities.

Well, I got a homebrew kit for xmas (which means next xmas I'm going to get socks and jocks) and needed some supplies. Previously I went to a homebrew shop out in the hills, requiring abit of a drive. With a shortage of time I thought I'd try a local shop (the only shop my side of the city). I walked in and waited, purusing the shelfs, while the owner served some other guy. Then i had these exchanges;

"Have you got any of the Cooper's plastic long neck bottles?"
"I think I've sold out, haven't had a chance to unload my car, they're shit anyway, glass is much better"
"Yeah, I've heard that glass is better, but I'm just starting out so I'm just going the cheaper option"

Instead of "I haven't got any in now, have you considered glass, its easier to clean and makes the beer taste better"

Then I asked about about any ways of invigorating a stalled batch. He asked what i had used and told him Coopers Pale Ale with the supplied Brewer's sugar. At this point he sneered and then proceeded to tell me how Coopers have done a disservice to Homebrewing and that they are shit.
I peered to my right and noticed 5 shelves stacked with Cooper's Malt Extracts.
He then got overly technical, talking about what i should have done (Not used Coopers), his own pale ale varieties, the day he's had, history of yeast. In his 15 minutes of talking he mentioned picking up the fermenter and swirling it, which was the sum total of what i needed.

He's overt tone was just "you are wrong and stupid" which is most probably true but the maxim "the customer is always right" doesn't piss off the people putting money in your pocket.

Its not "you are wrong and stupid" its "You are right and smart BUT you could be righter and smarter"


I then asked him the cost of a bottle drainer and asked to buy some carbonation drops.

"How am I supposed to pay rent?"

Now, in the couple of homebrew books I've read it was made clear that it was ok to ask the homebrew shop guy questions, even so i still did feel guilty that i took up they guy's time
(but i usually feel guilty/anxious about something). However if it wasn't for the ranting i would have been there for 2 minutes not twenty.

"i'll be back for those bottles and drainer, and i like the look of the red irish ale" Which translates to, I'll probably never come back because you're kind of rude and don't want to encourage you.

Which is a shame since he did have some nice stuff and was conveniently located.


LFW said...

ha ha ha, man that is hilarious and sad at the same time. I like the bit where the dude is bad mouthing coopers and he has shelves of it right there, clearly he doesn't want to sell that stock he's bought.

The same sorta thing happenned to me when I was trying to buy a corona from this dude at a bar, he kept going on and on about how shit corona was and how it was essentially cat piss while right behind him in the glass panel fridge he had rows and rows of coronas. I just had to keep saying "okay great, can I have my corona now please? here's some money, do want some money?"

some peeps

but there is a lesson for everyone in your story, M-slan

Owen Heitmann said...

In my experience plastic bottles are easier to clean (and way easier to cap). Some people claim they affect the flavour but I've never noticed it; I am not a connoisseur. You might lose pressure in a plastic bottle if you store it for too long, but you shouldn't really store beer for too long anyway. And I don't think plastic is actually the cheaper option; to use glass all you need to do is save your own empties (or go to a recycling depo, I've bought empties for 10 or 20 cents on an occasion when I was short).

You can also call shopkeepers jerks to their face if they act like that; they need you more than you need them.

Mark Selan said...

LFW - buddy, dude, friend, paesan, the odd corana is ok on a hot summer's day when you want a thirst qwencher but its not a serious beer.

Owen - I'm planning on making a stout which needs a good couple of months in a bottle; the longer the better so I'll save some glass for those. But yeah i'm not a beer boffin either so plastic will fantastic.

And you know i can only call people jerks behind their backs.