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Friday, July 25, 2008

Ode to the Loss of A Showroom (yes, another novel)

**sidebar** stay tuned for updates on the Paulucci Wedding. I've been putting it off while waiting for Andy to come home and show me how to get my pictures off the camera and onto the computer.***

So, as many of you know, about two weeks ago The Boss decided we needed to close down the 29th Street Showroom. What a big uncaring meanie he is. (just kidding dad, no one is saying that, but humor always makes things better, right?) No seriously, it was time. As hard as it was (I'm sure) to make that decision, it was a good one.
For those of you that are not family members and have not heard the schpeel (sp?) - this is not an indication of the health of Standard Companies. SC is not shutting down showrooms for the sake of shutting them down, it wasn't "time to close a branch, now which one?" It was the simple fact that TNS as it was affectionately called was not pulling it's weight. And never really had.
There can be plenty of speculating on why the location failed but above and beyond it all, I think it was simply that- location. Sure, we were on 29th Street (one over from the main drag of 28th for those of you non G-Rappers), but we were at the end of this funny little extension that was really rarely used. Until I worked there I never used it! So unless you needed to see Mr. Andrews Jewelers, needed a flag, wanted to use the back entrance to Sams Club, or looked us up in the directory, it's not a place one stumbles on accidentally. And honestly, it was that random walk-in traffic that spurred the leasing of the showroom in the first place. Add to that the fact that we weren't "forcing" any traffic, as our builders were already comfy in their normal showrooms (and it would be business we had already anyways), things just weren't working out. Thankfully we didn't own that building so we didn't have to sell it! (small favors, but favors nonetheless).
So onwards, TNS has been dismantled, it's "residents" and displays relocated to new locations, it's inner walls torn down and thrown away. For those of us who "lived" there though, it still seems a bit like the phantom limb you still feel. While we immediately moved to our new places of business, parts and pieces did not begin showing up until several days later. One by one "recovered" appliances, cabinets, display boards, and accessories began to filter in to each showroom like misplaced keepsakes. Emails would arrive each day letting us know who was unreachable as they'd be spending the day at TNS doing inventory or demolition. It felt to me (and Sarah, I checked) as though someone had died and their belongings were being auctioned off in some sort of grotesque estate sale as it all had to be done quickly and handled carefully.
Neither of us liked the thought of someone going through the showroom, opening doors and removing things. It was like they would find all our dirty little secrets though we couldn't remember hiding anything. Maybe we thought they would see how often we did (or didn't) dust, or someones ugly dishware we'd hidden in a drawer rather than use in a display. I know there had to have been outdated literature we just never threw away, or maybe it was a bad paint job covered by a ficus tree. Who knows? It just felt weird, and invasive, and really impersonal. There was also the sense of unfinished business in the manner of displays we'd never gotten to show off, or in some cases, even finish!
Call me sappy and sentimental...I am...But when you think about your day-to-day life and you work full time, you really do spend the majority of your waking hours at your place of business. I have spent more of my useful daytime hours in the last 2 1/2 years since graduating college in that showroom than any other place. And then one day, poof! It's gone. And with it goes Sarah- whom I have really enjoyed getting to know- a woman (girl? lady?) that I became more and more convinced I had way too much in common with ;) And who finally made working in an economy that pretty much sucks totally bearable. I even started to miss the girl by the time Tuesday came around! (the first day of the week we worked together) And with as much time as we spent together in our little "pen" (our desk area) we knew just about everything going on in eachother's lives- at every moment.
So there it is, my cathartic blog on losing a showroom. Again, call me overly melancholy, but I'm sure someone else must know what I'm talking about?.... Buehler?


Tim and Nancy said...

I know exactly how you feel. Thanks for putting it in writing.

The uncaring meanie Boss :(

Bradi said...

I miss it too...it's too far to drive to Ada to show off my kids when I'm on "that end" of town.
Boo hoo....i hate it!!!