I can't even begin to tell you the difference that two additional staff members makes on a busy pre-Thanksgiving weekend. We hired two young and energetic sales associates last month and—my God—did it make a difference yesterday. Last year at this time we were getting pummeled, barely holding our heads above water, in need of reinforcements. This year, despite a larger mob and an even more hectic sales day, we never once felt overrun or overburdened. We were in complete control, even when the line began bending around the store, past the old and rare section, and down the Rhone aisle towards the tasting bar. We gave great customer service to each and every shopper because never once did we have to look over our shoulder to see if the front counter was secure. We simply knew that someone would be there to take care of it. Again, I can't put into words what a wonderful feeling that is.
This time of year brings all types of people into K&L. From the annual visitors who only buy one bottle of booze all year, to the guys who have no intention of buying anything (they just want to come in, tell you about their collection, and brag to you about where they're been), to the folks who fill up two shopping carts in a mad holiday dash, to the people who bring in their Thanksgiving menu written on the back of an envelope, and want help pairing each part of the meal. When you're understaffed it's difficult to see the beauty in that great cornucopia of desires. When there are ten people waiting in line and some guy in a kilt pushes you into a corner and says, "Now let me tell you about the third time I visited Islay," you can't help but start squirming. When the registers are heavily manned, however, I'm up for anything. In fact, I'm loving the small talk. Sure—I'll help you find that bottle, ma'am. Of course—I can definitely help you pick out a Scotch. Wow—I had no idea that your grandkids were getting so big! Yes—it certainly does look like rain.
Bring it on. Two extra bodies can turn a nerveracking time of the year, into one of the most enjoyable. So enjoyable, that I'm going into work again right now—on Sunday! Normally my day off, but not today. I'm going right back into the thick of it. And with our fully-staffed sales floor, I couldn't be more excited about it. I'm super pumped.