Time’s Up

It’s Christmas eve (at least it was when I started typing).  If you haven’t wrapped up your Christmas shopping by now, there’s no hope.  Most stores are closed, and of the ones that are still open … well, nobody wants that Imitation Designer Perfume / Cologne from the 24-hour truck stop, no matter how cheap the price.  Just cut your losses and move on.

Earlier today I completed my trek up to parts north to spend the holiday with family.  As I’m typing this in front of a roaring (gas-powered) fireplace, a dog of intriguing lineage has decided I’m her best friend.  She’s pretending to sleep right now, but every few minutes she inches closer and wedges herself in as close as she can.  I just finished off the last piece of homemade poppy seed roll while watching the season’s final three episodes of Dexter.  Life is good.

2009 has been an amazing roller coaster of a year.  For starters, floor9.com moved a little further from covering nightlife and a little more towards consumer interests.  I called out Privado for printing full, unmasked credit card numbers on their receipts (a practice which they have since corrected).  Circuit City went under and tried to take us all with them through unethical, anti-consumer behavior.  Metro Bank Harrisburg … don’t even get me started (although the story did earn me a link from The Consumerist).  The state decided not to pay 70,000+ state workers for weeks on end.

And then … I ran out of steam.  Don’t get me wrong — lots of other interesting and significant things happened in 2009.  I just didn’t have the momentum to cover them all.  I honestly think I’ve put forth more blog posts this year than I have at any point in the last seven years of floor9.com, and I’m only now starting to recharge.

And now it’s Christmas.  I’m exhausted from a day of shuffling presents around.  We polished off the last of the traditional Christmas Eve made-from-scratch pizza hours ago.   The though of spending the next 12 hours sleeping is awesome.

Merry Christmas* to all.  I doubt I’ll update again in 2009, but I do want to thank you all for being here.  The massive readership over the summer has been, if nothing else, therapeutic towards the shared causes so many of us took up.  And the gigantic spike I saw after the last post let me know a ton of you are still here.  Be safe, and see you in 2010!

* – To avoid offending the fragile sensitivities of Glenn Beck / Rush Limbaugh / et al listeners:  “Please partake in and/or observe an adequate non-secular event”.

Die In A Fire, Circuit City Harrisburg

Circuit City was founded in 1949 on little more than a dream.  A dream that one man, with little more than his financial wits and a firm handshake, could launch a successful retail operation based on over-inflated prices, uneducated employees, and a general philosophy that the customer is an inconvenience.  Despite sticking to that modus operandi for the past few decades, the chain — shockingly — just couldn’t compete.

Stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart came in with their high-falutin’ “customer service” and elitist “affordable prices”.  They made sure that even if THEIR employees weren’t always the best-educated or most customer-friendly, they at least had enough fear of being fired that they did their job with a minimal level of competency.

But Circuit City held on.  During the rapid-fire changes in corporate culture throughout the ’90s, Circuit City even went so far as to replace their clearly-dated mantra of “To Mislead, Irritate, And Rip Off Consumers At Every Prudent Option” with “Suck It, Customers”.  But it was to no avail.  Around the turn of the millennium, Internet-only retailers like Newegg and Tiger Direct were slaughtering Circuit City’s prices alive.  Despite Circuit City’s best efforts to stop the hemorrhaging (including their third and final corporate mantra, “Seriously:  Suck It, Customers.  We’re Not Fucking Around Any More”), they were forced into bankruptcy at the beginning of this year.

Continue reading Die In A Fire, Circuit City Harrisburg