This blog reached the age of 15 at the start of this month.

The post was slightly preempted by a congratulatory message from Twitter user App4Soft who may have bookmarked a previous anniversary post and waited for the anniversary to roll around. I was surprised. Thank you App4Soft!

It is hard to write any sort of celebratory message these days. While my inbox is flooded with invitations to resiliency seminars, my personal thinking is more in line with the message I get from Michelle Obama‘s story. And that was three months ago. Rather than “toughen up”, I believe we need larger doses of compassion and humility.

These days, I don’t order anything online unless the vendor can tell me how it will arrive. Universally they don’t know (whether a small business or large enterprise) – they deal with multiple shippers and hand off the package, or trust a third party (which may be software) with the shipping. So I don’t buy online. What I’m particularly trying to avoid is having a package delivered to a nearby postal outlet co-located with a medical walk-in clinic.

All the local specialty stationers are now closed for retail. A month ago, one of them kept a locked door, allowing two shoppers at a time – but with no browsing allowed. A table blocked display access, and they asked one to not touch anything that might remain in reach. Not much fun. Another required appointments. And another shop proactively closed.

I am wondering if they should all just close their retail presences, try and hunker down for the next year, then try and reopen? They all seem to be slowly embracing online selling in different ways, but I’m concerned that will just lead them to competing with the entire world. There is no easy answer. Of course, I have no idea if any of these businesses are in a ten year lease.

There are also neighbourhood stationers who sell mainly school supplies and greeting cards – I know of one that is approaching a century in business, and I wish them the best in these tough times.

Stay safe.

6 Replies to “15”

  1. In response to your last sentence: You too. These are very hard times. I keep reminding myself of what a bookstore employee wrote on a picture postcard that he put in with a book order: “Better days are ahead.”

  2. Michael, thank you. I do feel there are better days ahead, and I hope they get here as soon as possible.

    And I’m not buying a 2021 calendar until I need one. :-)

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