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May. 42013

May 4, 2013

► Anne-Marie received the following email from Karl H of Dunstable, MA: “I just wanted to acknowledge receiving the email on the Seasonal Rewards program. Look forward to another pool season. Thank you for your continued service. I enjoy the experience of being a very satisfied Seasonal Specialty Store customer – 10 years now.”

► Everything is new in advertising this week: “Because Our Mothers’ Said So”. New weekly specials, above ground, hot tubs, pool tables, grills, patio, and bars.

► There were 39 One-of-These Awards in April: 11 for customer service. Semi-finalists were Ann A., Rose, and Jim. Finalists were Mia, Anne-Marie, Joe, and Tod. Owner’s Choice was Anne-Marie, and Drawing winner was Roz. Congratulations to all.

► Pool School Wednesday, 5/8 is Introduction to Pool Chemistry.

► Make the best use of our evenings, until people get used to us being open until 9PM. Don’t hang around. Stock, clean, and learn.

► The Open House Tour Leaders will be learning the tour between now and the nineteenth. I want every person who was not working here in 2012 to take a practice tour with one of the guides. I will put a tour study guide in your mailbox. I am not looking for you to lead a tour, I just don’t want to take you away from your work to take one on the nineteenth.

► I am giving black and white copies of the Pool School notes to all of the new team members as they are printed. Please use those if you attend a class – not the colored ones that I make for the customers. You can (and should) keep your copies.

► PLEASE STOP telling people to go to the pick-up door and we will put things in the car for them. They become very angry when we don’t, which is some of the time. We put them in the car when: 1. They park in the loading area at the pick-up door, which we do not wish to encourage, because it is dangerous when it’s busy. 2. They ask us to do so. 3. It’s slow and we feel like it. 4. They look old or weak. 5. They are getting so much that it takes a 2-wheeler. When it’s busy, it’s all we can do to keep up with handing things out the door. While we are carrying a bag of DE 150 feet away, we are not helping four other people. So, what we tell people is that they can get it at the Customer Pick-Up door. Leave it up to our ever-helpful team at the Pick-Up door to decide what they have time to do, or tell the customer to ask us to put it in the car.

► Remember, “History” on a Special Gift Certificate is for the cashier to ask if it was a raffle or an auction. If it was an auction, how much did they pay? Why? Because we are trying to judge whether to give that charity cash or a donation next time.

► What’s the difference between our Generic Jumbo tabs and Target? Our Generic ones are Chinese, not individually wrapped, and use a glue to hold the tablets together. That allows them to be made faster. That glue clogs up chlorinator fittings and may slightly clog the filter. Target chlorine is American, the Jumbo tabs are individually wrapped to keep them from breaking, and don’t use glue – they are compressed at a higher pressure and are slower to manufacture.

► From Stephanie: To lab technicians: – Please remember to cut apart reagents while filling the trays. If you don’t it is very hard to take them out and stay to the correct timing. – If you run the printer out of paper, refill it. If refilling it runs the box of printer paper out, then refill that.

► An email from Dave T: “Hi Anne-Marie, Thanks for sending a copy of my 2012 gift certificate. I got it no problem. Now that I looked more closely, I see that I DID receive it back on January 16! Sorry to be such a pain!”

► In the last two weeks, four warranty items were rung up without names. All chlorine deposits and refunds were correct. Great job.

► From Seth: Remember that the correct response to “thank you” is “you’re welcome”, not “no problem”.

► From Anne-Marie: 1. I have ordered 4 new stands for the credit card pin-pads, which should be in shortly as well as a new cash drawer for Register 4. 2. I would like to commend all the new employees for doing so well on the registers. I realize there is a lot to learn, and an inordinate amount of rules. The audit reports for the last 2 weeks came back with minimal problems, and I was very surprised to see the chlorine deposit audit completely error free. This rarely happens, especially with so many new people! Congratulations!!

► New Marquis items: custom step/bench for the Spirit and Resort, now on order and on the Environments sign. One 545 is now in ice instead of slate. Two more stock tubs: 660 and Broadway. New price list reflects all the changes. New items due in about a month from now.

► Check out the website! The grill section now has complete descriptions of every grill. We keep making it easier to shop from home.

► Internet Humor: Hospital regulations require a wheel chair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet, who insisted he didn’t need my help to leave the hospital. After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator. On the way down I asked him if his wife was meeting him. “I don’t know,” he said, “She’s still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.”

April 27, 2013

► A Seasonal Specialty Stores Report Card was received from Charles B in Brookline, NH. His general shopping experience was rated Excellent. “We didn’t really understand all our options, our salesperson (Seth) walked us through the pros and cons of all options.” Did any of our team members do an unusually good job? “Please see above, Seth was patient, deliberate, informed, and really pleasant.” Sales help was rated Good. “Your team knows their product, very well. And this is well communicated.” Operations was rated Good. “Prompt, organized. Also walked through all parts. Communication and product performance were rated Good. “First year with the pool but the quality seems great.” He gave us an excellent rating for Pool School, Free Water Testing, Take-It-Easy Program, and In-Store Advice. What can we do to improve? “Open earlier on the weekend?” What do we do really well? “You listen to the customer. That really counts, and got me the product I wanted.”

► Unusual advertising this week. Sunday, 4/28 is “Hurry Hurry”: the last few days of the April Sale, which ends April 30. On May 1, we will put a transitional ad on the web: Patio and Pool Sale, while we get all prices changed and transition to next week. All department sales end May 4. After we finish the April 1 change, and hopefully before May 5, we will start a group of Pool Supply Sale items – mostly all in the Discount department.

► Marge K came in the other day to say goodbye. She has been a customer since 1991. Her husband Tom died last year after a long and expensive battle with cancer. Marge is moving to a smaller place closer to her children in Massachusetts. An interesting note is how our store is a place that is now hard for her to visit, because it holds so many memories of her, Tom, and us talking and visiting. So she asked me to say goodbye to you all. Thank you for the friendship, the service, and the memories.

► We will be mailing an invitation to the Open House to the parents of our team members under 21.

► We have a Saffire grill demonstration on Tuesday, April 30 and Pool School on Maintenance on Wednesday, May 1.

► I just got a call from an above ground customer, Mike L, whose pool was installed today. He wanted to tell me that it was the best quality pool he had ever seen, and that the installers were unbelievably professional and they did a wonderful job. I guessed correctly: Oceanic pool and Pools by Us. Mike thinks that we have a great store.

► From Mia:
Do not use old colorimeters please! Enter in manually for ALEX and Waterlink. Any questions, ask me.

► FYI to the younger set. When you combine two words or phrases that are meant to be perceived as the same thing, you use a slash, like this: “Pool/Spa Supplies”. The other one, which is only used for software, is the back slash, because it is a backwards slash. Like this: .

► We are adding a Swimline Liner Availability Chart to the wall and books. That will tell you for each color, what depths, beads, and gauges are available.

► Internet Humor:
The kid from Maine: A young guy from Maine moves to Florida and goes to a big “everything under one roof” department store looking for a job. The Manager says, “Do you have any sales experience?” The kid says “Yeah, I was a vacuum salesman back in Vermont.” Well, the boss was unsure, but he liked the kid and figured he’d give him a shot, so he gave him the job. “You start tomorrow. I’ll come down after we closed and see how you did.” His first day on the job was rough, but he got through it.

After the store was locked up, the boss came down to the sales floor. “How many customers bough something from you today?” The kid frowns and looks at the floor and mutters, “One”. The boss says, “Just one?!!? Our sales people average sales to 20 to 30 customers a day. That will have to change, and soon, if you’d like to continue your employment here. We have very strict standards for our sales force here in Florida. One sale a day might have been acceptable in Maine, but you’re not on the farm anymore son.” The kid took his beating, but continued to look at his shoes, so the boss felt kinda bad for chewing him out on his first day. He asked (semi-sarcastically), “So, how much was your one sale for?” The kid looks up at his boss and says “$101,237.65”. The boss, astonished, says $101,237.65?!? What the heck did you sell?”

The kid says, “Well, first, I sold him some new fish hooks. Then I sold him a new fishing rod to go with his new hooks. Then I asked him where he was going fishing and he said down the coast, so I told him he was going to need a boat, so we went down to the boat department and I sold him a twin engine Chris Craft. Then he said he didn’t think his Honda Civic would pull it, so I took him down to the automotive department and sold him that 4×4 Expedition.” The boss said “A guy came in here to buy a fish hook and you sold him a boat and a TRUCK!?” The kid said “No, the guy came in here to buy tampons for his wife, and I said, “Dude, you weekend’s shot, you should go fishing…”


Feb. 182019
►     This week’s report card comes from the Smerekaniczs from New Boston.  They said that their shopping experience was excellent, mostly because Stephanie was so amazing.  They also said that the best thing we could do for our business would...
Feb. 112019
►     The Whites from Londonderry send us some very positive feedback!  “We love shopping at Seasonal Specialty Stores – there is such a great selection!  Everyone was awesome.  Nobody did a bad job – everyone was great.  You have a...
Feb. 22019
►     James & Jackie from Westford, MA have this to say about us:  Always professional and efficient.  Sean helped us buy a Saber grill.  Everyone was timely and polite and nobody did an unusually bad job.  We really appreciate the...