A Positive Spirit for Sales (Top 10 Finalist)

At the end of a long day, when I haven’t had time to break for lunch much less the bathroom, when I had to patiently explain to first–time kayakers that I couldn’t both hold the boat and help them back onto the dock, when a Yakima Q-tower stretch kit fit goes horribly wrong, it is customers like these that keep me coming in the next morning.
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At the end of a long day, when I haven’t had time to break for lunch much less the bathroom, when I had to patiently explain to first–time kayakers that I couldn’t both hold the boat and help them back onto the dock, when a Yakima Q-tower stretch kit fit goes horribly wrong, it is customers like these that keep me coming in the next morning.

Monday, April 17, 2006 9:33 PM
Dear Rutabaga employees,
I make it a habit when I shop to try and buy everything so I do not have to return anytime soon. Well when Cindy and I purchased the We-no-nah Spirit II this last Saturday we were so impressed with the staff. I was a little uneasy when this young sales lady asked if I needed any help. We were looking for someone maybe just a little older to help us. Needless to say we were very impressed with Bryn's knowledge on canoe's and gear. We would recommend her to our friends along with the rest of the helpful staff at Rutabaga. As Village President of Sauk City I am often asked for referrals. As I started to say we try to buy everything so we do not have to return anytime soon. With Rutabaga we look forward to returning if not to buy something at least to visit with the friendly staff. Again, thank you for your thoughtfulness and help.
Jim and Cindy Anderson
P.S. - Rascal likes his pet pfd

What this email does not say is why Jim & Cindy Anderson came to buy a canoe in the first place. Jim’s son, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Anderson, 21, had always dreamed of fishing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Nick was a 2003 Sauk City High School graduate. He joined the Marines in January 2005, and his unit, a weapons platoon in the 3rd Marines based in Hawaii, arrived in January for a six-month deployment in Afghanistan. When I fist met this couple with large obvious military tattoos, I was surprised to learn they were interested in an ultra-light canoe to trip out of. Their limited paddling experience made me question their ideal use for this boat.

Jim Anderson's only son, Nicholas, died of head injuries early Monday March 13, 2006 when the Humvee he was riding in overturned while patrolling near Jalalabad. This boat’s intended use was to honor Nick and fulfill a dream that he could no longer achieve. Initially, I had them paddle We-no-nah’s Adirondack but their comfort on the water lead them quickly to a longer and wider hull design, the Spirit II. After paddling the more stable boat and learning its christened name they had definitively made their choice. They felt that the Spirit II was Nick’s second chance at an opportunity to experience the BWCA. And although Jim and Cindy may have to learn a few skills before the big trip, their commemorative tattoos that match with members of Nick’s Marine Unit and Nick’s Spirit (II) will help fuel and guide them.
by Bryn Meyer

Through July 1, retail sales staff answered the contest call to submit a story of survival and perseverance in the face of challenging customers. The story titles with summaries that made the first round of qualifications are listed below, and each is now in the hands of our judges to decide on the top 10. You can read each story in its entirety by going to the contest landing page -- click here.

Ten lucky story writers will each win over $1,000 in product prizes based on the contest judges' votes. Here is where you come in! Of those 10, one will be named the grand prizewinner, cashing in on a trip for two to Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2007. Three others will be named official "honorable mentions," and in addition to the valuable prizes, each will receive a gift certificate that can be redeemed toward attendance at an Outdoor Industry Association-sponsored event, such as Outdoor University, Mountain Sports Festival or the OIA Rendezvous. The grand prize winner will be announced at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2006. We will determine the grand prize winner and the three runner up winners based on popular vote (sorry judges) -- those among the top ten receiving the most votes win, it's that simple. This is for store pride, for knowing you have a winner amongst you, so vote as often as you like. Tell your friends. Tell your friends friends. Tell your dog -- but only if he can work a computer keyboard.

Deadline for voting is August 1, 2006.Click here to register your vote now!

Did you miss out on this year's contest? Bummer, but no worries. If you haven't already done so, outdoor retail staff can get ready for next year by activating a subscription now at www.snewsnet.com/freeretail/snewsarticle-contest.html. Then, watch your SNEWS® for announcements calling for our next contest entries and get ready to be a winner.

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