Some cool customer s images:
Tough Customer at Alice’s Tall Texan
Lease gives me one of many faux dirty looks. Bar fight at Alice’s Tall Texan!
Neighbor’s Shop, Vlore, 1997
This wonderful woman (and neighbor) ran a shop 100 feet away from my apartment. I ended up buying about 30% of my groceries from their shop and sometimes even played cards behind the counter with her husband. Most of the products they sold were imported from Italy or Greece (cookies, etc), but they also carried some local products. I usually had two "disagreements" with her over time. First, whenever the power went off (which was often), I avoided buying her meat or perishable items. That annoyed her a bit. Second, she stopped carrying Coca Cola (an expensive import) in favor of local soda , presumably with a higher markup. By now, her shop is surely out of business, though the husband and wife who ran it learned a lot about how to run a small business and how to be friendly to customers. That is one of the ironies of postcommunism. Though the state shops had lousy customer service, the local vendors provided some of the best customer service I’d ever received. For this woman and her husband, we were almost like family. One hard aspect to running a shop like this in the mid1990’s was that first, many shop owners didn’t own the property they built their shops on, and 2)Albanian businesses had limited enterpreneurial imaginations, so there were three or four shops like this on every street that sold the exact same thing.
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