When it Comes to Customer Service, Gilroy Gets It

Even though I live in Morgan Hill, except for food (groceries,
food service), I spend most of my money in Gilroy. It’s not that
Gilroy has a greater selection or has items less expensive.
Even though I live in Morgan Hill, except for food (groceries, food service), I spend most of my money in Gilroy. It’s not that Gilroy has a greater selection or has items less expensive. Well, it does, but by now, you all know I hate to drive, and I always try to stay close to home if I can, especially if it is to do something unpleasant, like spending hard-earned money. I make do with the smaller number of choices so I can spend the least amount of time in pain. When I walk into a store, I am ready to plunk down some money for an item and take it home.

So, why don’t I spend money in Morgan Hill? Most businesses I go to don’t seem to want to sell their items. Contrary to the impression I may give in this column, I’m not obnoxious, and, in fact, I’m a pretty easy customer. I’m cordial, I wait my turn, I very rarely ask for anything from the back. My transactions are very simple and straightforward. However, try as I might – and the frustrating thing is, I keep trying – I can’t seem to purchase any non-food items other than books, items from South Valley Bikes, and movies/videos.

I have many, many instances that I can detail, with which my friends commiserate and share their own stories, on which I won’t waste space here. However, an analysis of the stories demonstrates a common problem among Morgan Hill retail businesses, which I think is evidenced by the great amount of empty retail space here. Given my experience and those who’ve shared their stories, it’s not that Morgan Hill residents don’t buy, it’s that the businesses are not prepared to sell, either through not being open when people shop, or not putting enough priority on the main goal of any salesperson – making sure someone who has come into his store walks out having purchased something from it.

It’s too bad. Because of this, plenty of sales tax dollars are not flowing into Morgan Hill coffers. I’ve done a small recap of my own spending through the year. If spending trends continue, my family will have spent about $15,000 in Gilroy for clothing for the whole family, landscaping and home improvement (and we have a whole lot more to do), business supplies, and some furniture (my husband and I are slowly converting our “dorm room décor” with which we’ve lived for more than 20 years).

Based on this spending pattern, we will have paid about $1,400 in sales tax. Now, that small amount doesn’t close the city’s budget gap. However, if as many others are experiencing the same thing as I believe do, what happens when we multiply that by 100? 200? 500?

The choice to spend money in Gilroy, despite having to drive 10 miles, is really convenience. I only have to go once, and I usually have people eager to have me buy from their stores. It’s not due to a small number of businesses in Morgan Hill. It’s due to the businesses there now, save for a few exceptions, simply taking up space they will probably have to vacate sooner or later after they discover it’s too expensive to stay open because they couldn’t – or rather, wouldn’t – sell anything they carry.

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Ok, so maybe it seems like I’m being a bit of a crank today. But I need to hit on one more subject: the proper display of the American flag.

As I’ve written before, I have a visceral response to a disrespected flag. So strong is my reaction, I would rather see flag burned in honest dissent (as much as the image bothers me) than see it hanging frayed, faded, the stripes shredded and knotted, no longer a fitting emblem for display.

If you have or know someone who has placed a flag in front of a home, placed a flag on a vehicle, placed a flag over an overpass, or are responsible for flying a flag in a public place, like at the soccer complex, or a church, or government building, please do not let it get into a horrible state of neglect. Worn flags have done their duty, and deserve to be retired appropriately, which can be done simply by giving it to local veterans’ or Boy Scout organization.

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