Monday, October 5, 2009

The Claudius Syndrome

In the third Act of Hamlet, King Claudius tries to say, "I'm sorry." He has a lot to be sorry about. After all, he's murdered his brother, stolen his brother's wife, and taken the kingdom of Denmark. That's a lot of guilt. So he urges his "stubborn knees" to bend, and he tries to confess his sins, and be forgiven.

There's only one problem: Claudius is willing to say what he did was wrong, but he's not willing to give up any of the booty he's taken! He admits that his contrition is unforgivable since he is unwilling to give up the spoils of his ill-won battles.  He can't give up Gertrude or ruling the kingdom, and he can't confess to the people at large that he murdered his own brother. He's just not willing to pay the price for his mis-steps.

It would take a brand new definition of the word 'denial' to say that I'm not aware that there have been many many times I have not had the follow through that I should. At times, I can be what is best described as forgetful. This can be best exemplified in the way I have, or the way that I have NOT handled special orders.  I know for a fact that a lot of people out there are less than thrilled with my track record there.  Frankly, I'm not either.

Now, obviously, my sins are not as serious as those of Claudius. On the other hand, Claudius is an imaginary person who isn't real, while the mistakes I have made are real. So who is to say which set of crimes is more serious. In the end, Claudius and his cohorts on the stage are teachers, and the lesson they teach us is simple:

Saying your sorry isn't worth much if you're not ready to make amends for the actual mistake with more than just words.

It's difficult to make amends to those people for whom I've disappointed with my lack of follow through on the special orders.  The mistake is done, and in some of the cases, the offended have moved on or away.   What I CAN do, is to take steps to make sure that this doesn't happen again, and make sure that if I make a further mistake, it's met with more than just a 'sorry'.

I am committed to making sure that things like this don't happen again.  I MUST make my actions speak louder than my words.
Therefore, I'm instituting the following changes to the way that Special Orders are handled at the store.

If you place a special order at the store for a product that is not currently out of print, if I do not either contact you within two weeks as to the status of the order or have the product here in the store for pickup, you will be given a store gift certificate for three times the value of the special order.

Bend, stubborn knees. Because words without thought never to heaven go.


  1. Holy smokes! that seems a bit much.
    will you have some system in place to alert you of special orders when you're not around to avoid people claiming to have placed them without actually doing so? (I apologize for my mind going to the negative immediately, as I would hate to see it happen...)

    on the lighter side,
    I have to say, I can't think of any order I've ever placed in ny-three years I've been here that I haven't been updated on regularly.

  2. Truly the most honorable thing any store owner has ever been

  3. That is a brave new policy sir. I hope it works to keep you on your toes about your special orders and you don't have to give out those gift certificates.