(In)Convenience Stores

Only convenience stores sould be convenientI adore the fact that I can get a Red Bull at 3 AM.

I hate it when I place myself in a position where I’m taken advantage of.

It pisses me off to no end when I happen to run into the Mayor of 7-11.

You know him (or her). They treat you like a convenience store. Always open, register ready, stocked and rarin’ to go. And on-demand.

It sucks, doesn’t it?

We’re all in the “service industry.” In service to our colleagues, clients, families, loved ones and friends. In order for relationships to be successful, however, there has to be equitable contribution. I give, you give. We bend, nobody breaks.

But there are days where we’re all just about ready to snap because the Mayor of 7-11 keeps coming back for more Red Bull.

We appreciate their business. Their attention. Affection. Intimacy. Them. There’s a lot to appreciate. Hell, we even miss The Mayor when they’re not around.

Pretty soon, though, we can’t meet their needs. Since we don’t know when they’re coming by, we can’t establish stock levels to meet their needs. When they come by every freakin’ three hours, our shelves are bare since The Mayor’s demand exceeds our supply. And while we miss The Mayor when they go off the map, we really don’t know what to say when they show up again. More often than not, we make like chatter, put the money in the register and watch them walk back out the door.

We can’t meet our own needs, either.

They’re filled-up, yet we’re left wondering: when are they coming back again? (and should I buy more Red Bull?)

Three thoughts to round-out this short Wednesday ramble…are your running your own Inconvenience Store? Or worse: are you the Mayor of 7-11?

  • Communication is not a matter of convenience. At times, it’s quite inconvenient, awkward, painful and a gut-punching waiting to be put on the schedule. Whoever is in your life, business or personal, deserves your communication efforts. And you deserve theirs.
  • Businesses need patrons. People need other people. Now – put the phrase to take advantage of in front of the word patrons and other people. Whaddaya think?
  • You’re not in the Slushie business (and neither is anyone else). In business, your life isn’t “open” to your clients 24/7 – so don’t give the impression you are. In your personal life,  don’t assume that your friends/lovers/family are there at your whim. Relationships in every incarnation take effort from both sides and we have to earn the right to keep people and presences in our lives. Don’t allow someone to be the Mayor of 7-11…and that happens by not operating your very own Inconvenience Store. Relationships are a gift, not a given.

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