To the Editor:
I read, with interest, the letter written by Sheila Barling regarding her experience with an uncaring, patronizing and, yes, rude business owner. Coincidentally, her story was published on the day three visiting friends, myself and two others were subjected to deliberate “unkindness” by another Creston business owner. Maybe some Creston businesses have enough customers already and just don’t want any more?
Our story: A fellow and his wife from Kimberley, on their way to Kootenay Lake, noticed his cousin from Castlegar standing on the sidewalk in town. He rolled down his window, yelled at her, “Wait there. I will turn around and come back.” This cousin was with three lady friends, including myself. The four of us were having a reunion in our hometown, having graduated from Prince Charles Secondary School many moons ago. Because we were standing in front of a local business, the cousin came back and parked his SUV in the parking lot at the front of the business. He and his wife had also lived in Creston when growing up, so all six of us stood at the edge of the parking lot having a great chat, trying to catch-up — “Where are you living now? What are you doing?” and so on.
After approximately 10 minutes of animated conversation, the owner of the business came out and gestured to the owner of the SUV to come over to him. Was there a problem? We weren’t blocking access to the business and we certainly were not being rowdy! After a brief conversation between the two men, the SUV owner came back and informed us that the business owner had told him to move his vehicle, that his parking lot was for customers only. We were stunned! There was only one car in the parking lot and there were no customers coming and going during the short time we had been there. Naturally, in the face of such an “order” we said our goodbyes and moved on.
This letter is to inform the business owner that because of his one moment of unfriendliness and unnecessary banishment of tourists from his parking lot, he will quite likely lose more than one potential customer in future.
As mentioned, the owner of the SUV lives in Kimberley, his cousin lives in Castlegar, one visiting reunion gal lives in Toronto and the other lives in New York. All have had occasion to visit Creston in the past and will no doubt return with other family members meeting them here in future. The gal from New York had over a dozen family members arriving in Creston on the weekend, looking for accommodation.
For someone who runs an accommodation business, your non-accommodating attitude will definitely be remembered and I daresay no recommendations will be forthcoming.