Things change, but appreciation for customers only grows!

Cooler weather has arrived, and that’s a good thing. Nobody’s had to break out a jacket yet but it has been nice enough for the last week or so that you can work outside and not die from it. It’s supposed to be even better by this weekend, when my beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs will host Texas A&M. The last time the Aggies came to Starkville, two years ago, I went to that game thinking it might be a pretty good match-up, but I thought wrong. They bent us over and spanked us like they were Adrian Peterson. Hopefully we can avoid a repeat of that miserable experience this weekend but I wouldn’t wager a whole lot on it.

The other good thing about fall-ish weather is that the phone has started ringing again. I hope yours has too. Like most of my friends and neighbors in the nursery business, we have had a better year this year than in the past, but it could always be better. My late brother always used to say he wanted us to get down to the point of having only two plants left to sell – with three people fighting over them in the parking lot. We’re not there yet but there is always hope.

Whenever I write these musings I always wonder how often they’re actually read. After all, everybody I know who has even a remote association with the nursery business usually has a long to-do list. But judging from the feedback I’ve gotten regarding my feelings toward AT&T, there are apparently a whole lot of people in the world who feel just like I do. I’ve become convince that if AT&T was a single person rather than a multi-national corporate conglomerate, he would be well advised to apply for a concealed carry permit. Or maybe even ask to be taken into protective custody. I makes a person wonder how any company, even one that still borders on being a monopoly, can manage to stay in business. 

Without waxing too philosophical, I think it speaks to an aversion to change that almost all of us share. I know I am guilty in this area, probably worse than you are. I have an old friend who has been a banker here in town for years and he told me once that his bank had done an informal survey on people’s reluctance to change banks. He came to the conclusion that if they placed a gunman outside the front door and shot every tenth customer they would lose no more than 15% of their business: The 10% that was shot and another 5% that wouldn’t risk it going forward. He was joking to make a point, of course, but most of us would really rather not go through the hassle of such things as changing banks or phone service providers, or underwear if you’re from certain parts of Perry County.

Whether I like change or not, a lot of it has been foisted upon me in the last five or six years and I imagine it has happened to you too. The great recession has forced us to reconsider how and why we do just about everything. As much as it pains me to admit it, I’ll bet we’ll all be better off when the economy recovers than we were in the first place. A friend of mine, who had recently been through a rough patch in his life, told me his momma used to tell him the Lord would never put more on you than you had the capacity to bear. He said that might be true, but that he kind of wished the Lord didn’t think quite so much of him. I know the feeling but if you don’t walk through the valley from time to time you lose your appreciation for the mountain tops.

So, whether you are a customer of ours because you like getting quality stock at a good price or because you just don’t feel much like looking for another supplier, thank you very much for your business. We have large customers, small customers and in-between customers, but all are GOOD customers and I consider every sale a personal blessing. And unlike my banker friend, I have no intentions whatsoever of testing your resolve to make purchases here. All you have to do is call or e-mail. As all the old TV infomercials used to end: Call now, operators are standing by!

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