Last weekend, the Girlboss held the annual State of the Store party where as much of the staff as possible gathers for some food and fellowship and fun. And, true to the theme, Girlboss does say a few sentences about the state of the store and comes up with kind comments about all the staff present and sometimes snarky (but in fun) comments about those who couldn’t make it. Through the years, the staff has been known to come up with some presentations of their own for the occasion. (Most memorably the OSHA inspection report a few years back.) (Note the proper use of the period in the parentheses.) (Twice.) (Three times.) (Maybe not, those last two aren’t complete sentences, are they?)
This year Staff tried to replicate the American democratic process (not that BWB even pretends to be a democracy) by presenting an official response to the State of the Store Address. We were all very clever. Amidst all the suggestions for lounges and healthcare and job creation, there was one suggestion that has really stuck with me, because it is the closest to being legitimate.
To increase revenue, Blue Willow should charge for book recommendations. Based on the Visible Changes model, where you pay for the experience of the stylist, you would pay based on the experience of the bookseller. Girlboss suggestions would obviously cost the most, suggestions by our highschoolers would cost the least.
It would be really funny, if it wasn’t such a valid thought. That really is what you are paying for when you come into Blue Willow. Some personal attention and a lot of personal opinions. Maybe we could come up with a discounting/surcharge rubric depending on the current staffing situation. When Goaskalice and Girlboss are both working, you pay a 3% surcharge. The teen and children’s sections are discounted 5% if neither Cathy nor Girlboss are present, except on Saturdays when we bring in a couple of ringers with other jobs during the week. 20% discount if I recommend a picture book published in the last 20 years. But my game recommendations will cost you 4%. Bookclub purchases will only be discounted 12% if they were recommended by BWB senior staffers. Customers would of course be encouraged to rate the recommendations that they received in order to rank the staff within the discounting rubric.
Thanks heavens “you get what you pay for” isn’t always taken to such extremes. But it’s a thought worth keeping in mind when you choose where to shop as well as where to get your hair cut.