Posts Tagged ‘Sears’

When I was growing up, there were no malls on every corner, or any corner.  Mom did not have a driver’s license and never did get one and shopping consisted of a payday (every other Friday) foray into the nearest little town, Griffith, Indiana.  Where I would return my arm-load of books to the library and pick out the next two weeks reading, while mom and dad started their grocery shopping.

Occasionally we would pick something up in the Ben Franklin dime store.  Prices were higher for clothing there, but you could get a tube of lipstick or a hanky to give a relative for Christmas.  Our main shopping was from the Sears, Roebuck Catalog.

1958 Sears Catalog

photo via http://www.wishbookweb.com/1958_SearsChristmasBook/index.htm

This was the Christmas catalog of 1958, and I remember that santa ornament hanging on our tree.  We poured over those Christmas catalogs for hours.  When the Sears driver delivered our order, my brother and I would have to leave the room while she opened those pages and checked the goods.  I don’t think they could do that now, in this day of GPS tracking and speedy delivery, but back in the 50s, service ruled.

I belive there was a fall catalog also that signalled the arrival of the school year.  Mom would haul out the catalog and mark the pages I could use to chose my school clothes.  There was a price point obviously.  Mom always ordered two pair of shoes for me, in different sizes, just to make sure.

The Sears truck driver was almost a friend to invite to dinner.  He came in with the order and waited while things were tried on.  So, when it was time to order school clothing,  I looked for my favorite pair of shoes.  Sears carried them for years.  They were flats with elastic cords that went from the front to the back and I thought they made my feet look awesomely small.  Mom would order two pair, in different sizes, and the Sears truck driver would wait, while I tried on my shoes, so he could take back the pair that did not fit.

Now, I drive fifty miles, to Shoe Circus in Indy/Greenwood, to get shoes that feel half way comfortable and pay a $100 for the privilege.  Do high heels make your feet look amazing?  Yes!  Do they feel like the inquisition has arrived?  Yes!


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When I was young, my wardrobe was delivered by truck to our door.  Each August, my mom would order “school” clothing and our helpful Sears delivery man would arrive at our door.  He would wait for us to try on the two different sizes of shoes and pack up the one/s that did not fit to return to the store.  Now, THAT was Customer Service.


I have been a loyal customer of DirecTV since before they were DirecTV.  When Dad moved in with us, in Wyoming—in 1998 he purchased three boxes from the original Satellite Company.  I do not remember their name.  We did not have Satellite before then, but Dad lived for his TV.   So, we have been a loyal customer for eleven years. 


We now only own one box and rent two.  For a long time they were replacing your owned boxes, when they went out, but now you do not own them, you pay $5.00 a month to rent them.  I learned this after replacing one in December.  This is why dad bought them, he did not want to pay that rent. 


It was stupid of me to replace the receiver.  We have been talking about dropping DirecTV for a long time and I could have borrowed Gaffer’s receiver, as he is now looking for work in Duluth.    But, I had it replaced and hence had to sign another year and a half contract and they began charging us, which they did not inform me of on the phone, $10 for our two, now rented, boxes.  Guessed they missed that last replacement.


I also wanted to drop Starz.  They used to show movies right after they were at the theatre.  It was always our decision whether to go to the show by whether it was a “Need to see on a Big Screen” or not.  Now, Starz shows them slightly after they have aired on public television and before they are in the $5.00 bin at WalMart.  This is one reason we have seen The Rock and Gone in 60 Seconds about fifteen zillion times.  With three hundred plus channels available to us, and my husband unable to move much as the day wears on, we watch reruns a lot.  Well, he does.  I sit and type Blogs or on my book.


I did not drop Starz, however, because I was told we were “grandfathered” in and that if we drop Starz, our bill will actually increase.  Now, isn’t that special? 


But, this did not start out to be a blog knocking DirecTV.  This is a blog complaining about all the companies who treat their new customers and let their long time customers foot the bill. 


AT&T, my cell company, and I will say that they have done some great things for us when we had high charges that they wrote off, so I do like them.  They do treat their customers well, but they have their own foibles, such as the long time customer, paying more for a particular phone than a new customer.  That means that I, the long time customer, is subsidizing a gift to a new customer. 

 AT&T is also my land line company and I have to say they do not treat us like royalty.  One time, when I called about our party line phone (happens when it rains), I was told that “Yes” I had to pay my bill but “No” they did not have to repair my line any quicker than six days and if their man deemed it was in the house, as he did last time, when the phone company before him said it was definitely in the ground somewhere, I would have to pay $51 for the privilege of not getting it fixed.  Wish I could make money that way.

Oh, for the days when the Sears man came and treated you like royalty; for the loyal customer you were.

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Where would you go, if you won a trip to anywhere in the world.


My list is almost too long to mention. Alaska to see the Northern Lights, anywhere to watch the whales, Holland/Norway, the Basque Country, to see what really made my ancestors who they were, and Japan to find a long lost friend, Junko Kanazawa.  India to photograph the women in their vibrant sari’s and learn more about Buddhism.  Africa for the music, culture and animals and for fun: New Zealand.  Send me a ticket, and with two seconds to pack my sketch pad and camera, I’m there.


I grew up in Indiana, thirty miles outside of Chicago. My father’s reason for never going to Chicago was stated succinctly.  “I never lost anything in Chicago. So, I don’t have to go back to get it.” The Dunes National Park was a short drive east. Couldn’t go there, He heard from someone, who knew someone, who was mugged there once.  He also told me once that anything he wanted to see, he could see on his television.  Dad was not adventurous.


Dad worked at Combustion Engineering and the family went to town once every other week, on payday.  They got groceries in Griffith, Indiana, where I would go to the library and carry out a load of books that stretched my arms down like an orangutan. Clothing was delivered by the Sears man.  In the summer, we would eat beer batter Fish and Chips at a drive-in restaurant on payday. I think it was at Broad and Main, in Griffith.


I however, wanted to move, since I remember being able to think.  I would look out an office window of a skyscraper and envy every one of those cars zooming by on the expressway, then I would go back to my typing.  I’ve been to 49 of the 50 states, Canada and momentarily in Mexico.  So, the world is ahead of me yet..


Mom was there when we got home from school and cooked dinner, until the fateful day in history when TV Dinners blighted the earth.  She was having health problems, so it was quick fix, and, like Twinkies and White Castle, I thought they tasted better then, than they do now.


Dad’s big travel was his yearly two week vacation. The first I remember were the trips to cabins in Wisconsin. We spent two glorious weeks swimming, hiking and swatting mosquitoes. I loved it and the woods. Then, they bought a station wagon and camping equipment and my brother and I were in heaven.  I haven’t been camping in years and I really miss it.  I’m never so happy as when I am outdoors, anywhere.

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