Keep Your Frenemies Close, Part II

And so the swarm of blue badges descended upon us like a plague of locusts…..

Before I begin, let me say that it feels good to finally speak candidly about this experience.  I chose my battles and words carefully for more than 2 years because these people were my customers.  I neither wanted to offend the nice ones nor alienate the jerks who spent their money in my establishment.  Now that there are no dire consequences, I have the opportunity to tell it like it is, or was.

A handful of times, I heard variations on the snide comment (with a glib smirk) “So, do you think it was a good idea, putting a bookstore in Amazon’s neighborhood?”  Excuse me?  EXCUSE ME?!  Make no mistake, asshole, Amazon came to MY neighborhood.  I was here long before Amazon was even a twinkle in Paul Allen’s eye.

As I was saying, the neighborhood went from sort of sleepy to a feeding frenzy almost overnight.  Out of nowhere, there were droves of 20-somethings snapping their fingers at every member of the service industry, sometimes even saying out loud, “You’re all competing for my money, so this better be good. And don’t expect a tip.  What do you mean I can’t use my debit card for less than one dollar?!”  I smiled and acted like I didn’t know what was going on, nonchalantly asking “So, do you work in the neighborhood?”  Before long, I would cringe in anticipation of the response: with head cocked at a slight angle, “Amazon” with a flourish/near-grunt on the n.  It’s eerie how 90% if them say it exactly the same way, as if there’s some rigorous hazing ritual that burns it into their minds…….

I don’t know what Bezos puts in the Kool-Aid, but it must taste REALLY GOOD.  His cult of egomaniacal freaks may succeed in taking over the world.


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