Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bummed at Having to Pay Full Price

I have to confess, I was a little let down by my good friends at that ski shop, through no fault of their own, mind you. This stemmed from my own shortcomings, and my quest to save money. The funny thing is, I could have skewed things in my favor if I’d played it right, but things happen for a reason, do they not? Plus, the end result was entirely positive, so I shouldn’t complain.

First, a little background. We have been skiing a lot and N has become quite proficient at doing the moguls. So much so that I’ve become a hindrance to his progress, and though he never complains, he has indicated that he’d go a lot faster if he didn’t have to keep waiting for me. It’s good to know you’re appreciated.

Either way, the runs he takes are fairly challenging, especially for the likes of me, and he skis them without poles. I seriously struggle down these runs, even with poles, but they help out a lot. I tried explaining this to him, but he likes going pole-less. Part of the problem is his poles are too small.

We were going skiing that day, so en route to the hill, we set out to replace the poles. In the past, the guys at Henderson’s, where we get all of our equipment, have usually let us do a swap to upgrade. This does not work for all equipment, but we traded in A’s poles and got a bigger set, no charge. This time around, I was hoping for the same.

The funny thing is, when we got there, I saw the owner, JH, who is just one of the nicest and coolest guys you’ll meet. After chatting, I could have said something to him about our need to replace our poles, and being the owner and all, he probably would have taken care of us. But he was on his way out to somewhere, and I didn’t want to bother him.

Inside, I asked the guy if we could do a swap, and if not, buy a cheap pair of rental poles. I sensed he was giving me a bit of the run around. He said they don’t swap poles, and that they didn’t carry the brand I was holding. Also, they didn’t rent that size, so he couldn’t sell me a used pair. The end result? I was going to have to pay full price on a pair of poles that N might not even want to use. Bummer.

My first thought was to tell this guy that (a) we’d exchanged poles in the past, and (b) I knew the owner. The only problem is, you end up sounding like a jerk when you say these sort of things (do you know who I am?) and the guy was just doing his job. BTW, this was the same guy who undercharged me in the past and I could have taken him but was honest and pointed out his mistake. I figured that was worth some goodwill.

He showed us some new poles, and N was excited about it, so I ended up getting them for him, begrudgingly, of course. They weren’t too expensive, but it was the principle of the matter. I shouldn’t complain because N loved the poles, though on the drive to S6, A asked the sensible question of why we were buying N new poles if he never used them. Why didn’t I think of that.

The happy ending to all this was N not only loved the new poles, and you can't put a price on these things. He used them all day and said emphatically that he now loves skiing with poles. Truth be told, I think it made a huge difference in his mogul skiing, and now he’s ready to become a shredder on the ski hill. It’s also nice because N tends to get the used hand-me-down stuff, so it’s well worth it getting him new stuff when he really loves it.

So I guess I just need to lighten up, but that’s an understatement if there ever was one. I still think the guy was giving me a bit of the run around, but what are you going to do? We still love Henderson’s and will continue to make that our main equipment destination.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Steven Goodwin for the pic.

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