Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Signs are ineffective if your customers can’t read

In addition to being bitchy and just plain weird, it’s becoming increasingly likely that many corn-buyers in the Confed area may also be illiterate.

The corn-on-the-cob wars rage on between my fruit stand and the “Cherries” shack across the parking lot.  We are totally winning with our $5/dozen corn, but when I run out of it, bad things happen.  When Confederites come looking for their cheap corn and I am sold out, they lose their fucking minds.  To try to limit interaction with these belligerent asshats, I’ve been experimenting with my signage.  If these people can somehow KNOW that I have no corn, they can stop coming by my stand.p_00294

Originally, I was instructed to just leave the sign as is, since our corn, according to Glen, would “be $5/dozen until the end of time.”  But when I do that, people walk up and  announce, “I will take 3 dozen corn”.  What people do with 36 cobs of corn, I have no idea.  Then I have to break the bad news and suffer through numerous scowls, glares, huffs, profanities, stalk-offs and a surprising number of “Take down your damn sign” comments, and other similarly helpful suggestions. And they’re right, I should just take the sign down, but it’s a huge pain in the ass to do, so I tried simply taking down the “5” from its magnet:


After doing so, I truly felt that the altered sign illustrated my point.  The black rectangle accurately represented the empty void in my cooler where cheap corn ought to be. 
This action made a bad situation worse.  Now, people are running up excitedly asking me, “Is your corn $1 per dozen?!?!?!”

a) In what world is that big rectangle the number one?  Even from a distance?
2) How could anyone running a business possibly sell corn for $1/dozen?
c) What is with Confederites and their corn?  It’s not even that good for you!

So clearly this had to change, the simple removing of a 5 was not the winning move that would grant me relief from these people.  Something must be possible to make this no-corn concept less abstract and more easily understood.  So I make this little sign:

Nice, right?  I liked where this was going, so I slap it up on the magnet:


There shall be no more confusion now, there could not possibly be.  I am so proud of myself for having this idea, that I buy and eat two Kit Kats.

Again, I was wrong.  Time after time this summer, I have underestimated both the sheer stupidity of humans and the love that Confederites have for their ridiculously cheap corn.  The rest of that day, I still had more than half a dozen people come that day with some kind of request for either the price of my corn or a bag of the corn itself.  Really?



Lojo said...



Confederation is a very special area of Saskatoon. It's no 20th Street, but give it time.

I really don't know how some people work customer service their whole lives and don't end up in prison for murder. If I worked customer service for a lengthy chunk of my life, I would *rather* go to prison just so I could live out the rest of my life surrounded by higher quality people.

Dylan Laine said...

LMAO! This was fucking brilliant! By far your best blog to date... I was laughing though out the entirety of it!!! hahahaha... Seriously I love stupid people! hahahaha

Kelly said...

Sounds like Dylan will be well loved, as there are numerous stoopid people for him to love :)
Loved this post, and yes, the general public - not so bright!