Sorry, but yesterday's post started me reminiscing.
While I was working at the hobby shop, the owner brought in a whole bunch of toys for Christmas. One of them was a plastic ride-on plane that lit up and made all sorts of horrible noises. It was the sort of thing that first-time parents would love.
And, indeed a couple came in and asked if they could put one on layaway.
Week by week, they paid it off until, just days before Christmas, they called to say they would be in to pick it up for their little guy.
I went into the back room, only to find that the owner and the manager had loaded all of the toys onto a truck to send out to other stores in the network, leaving me with the crappy, damaged floor model.
Fortunately, they were having their dinner in the restaurant next door.
I strode in and up to the table, interrupting their conversation.
"You have to take that plane off the truck."
"Why?" asked the manager.
"Because they've been paying for six weeks. They're getting a brand-new plane, still in the box!"
I think I scared him, because he reluctantly agreed to get the plane for me.
As I turned to leave, the owner said, as though he could barely understand it, "You really care about your customers, don't you?"
I left his employ soon after that.
When I heard, about a year later, that he had declared bankruptcy and all his stores were closing, I wasn't too surprised.