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This long weekend is the last long weekend of the year that many families have together before school starts. This usually means those camping inclined families flock to the forest in search of one last summer memory before 10 months of school sets in again.

Normally we would shun such weekends, campgrounds full of screaming kids and partying teenagers.. we’re getting too old for that crap. We enjoy building a nice fire, having a beer and total silence so that we may enjoy tranquility rare found in the city.

Well, usually but we figured this year it would probably be our last outing before the annual company Christmas Party, so off we went. On Saturday, we headed out to a family member’s nearby farm and cut down 5 old dead trees and bucked it up for firewood. Since we out and about anyways we had decided to drop in on the in-laws that live 20 minutes away in Olds.

After the usual pleasantries were exchanged upon arrival, my mother-in-law had mentioned that her computer was not working. A quick check, and we discovered that her power supply was no more, and that it needed replacing. No big deal, right? Olds is a smaller town, but 7,000 people, 3 computer shops, and “The Source” outlet. Back in 10 minutes, we’ll run out and grab a power supply.

5 minutes into our trip, the 3 main computer shops were discovered to be closed. On A Saturday. I had such a mental murmur that I actually check and verified, but alas, it was indeed Saturday. Usually one of the biggest retail store days for business, and here we are.. closed. Now what really gets me angry is that I can see in the window of the first store they have the very item we need, on display, $59.95. $10-$20 higher than here in Calgary, but I’m sure had they been open I would have heard the usual “Freight Charges” and “Inventory carrying costs” crap they would use to justify the higher price. Not that it would have mattered, really. Had they been open, we would have paid and been on our way, happy to have the computer back up and running.

Slightly discouraged, we head down to the “Source” to see what they have available. Two salesperson’s are working, both busy with customers. We are waiting patiently, perusing through the skimpy display shelves to occupy the time.

One salesperson had left the people he was dealing with and came over. This is near as I can, almost verbatim the exchange we had”

“Hi there sir, what I can help you with today?”

“Hello, I need to purchase an ATX power supply for my Mother-In-Law’s Computer”

“You need a what?”

“A power supply, ATX. Nothing fancy, whatever you got.”

“A supply of what?!?”

“A power supply. The box that goes inside a computer.”

“You mean like a UPS?”

“No. Do you know what a computer looks like?”

“Yes.” (Obviously a little irritated now at me)

“You know the main tower to the computer?”

“Yes.” (A little sigh, now he’s just plain angry”

“Inside that tower is a box called a power supply, I need a replacement one.”

(Leaving me now, almost mumbling..) “Christ, I can’t deal with two things at once.. This isn’t working, stupi.. son of …..”

So now I’m at the front counter, confused and slightly irritated myself. Has this guy really never heard the term “Power Supply” and if this is indeed true, how the heck does he have a job at an electronics store, especially one that carries computer products? Its like hiring an Ethiopian migrant worker to operate the drive through window, even though he speaks no English.

By this time, the other salesperson was free, and the conversation was a thousand times more pleasant.

“Hi there folks, sorry for the wait, what can I help you with”

“I need an ATX computer supply”

“I’m sorry we don’t actually carry any computer parts here, you’ll have to visit one of the other shops here in town.”

“Okay, no problem, do you know if any are open here on a Saturday?”

“No, I’m sorry, they all close on the weekends.”

“Okay, thanks for your time, goodbye.”

So there you have it folks. Looking for an investment opportunity? Olds is about 40ish minutes away from Red Deer, and about the same from Calgary. There is a lot of money in the community from retirees and people employed by oil companies to maintain the surrounding oil patch. A good location for the farmers and townspeople that do not want to travel all the way into the big city.

A little bit of extra service, and a minimal advertising campaign and you sir, would have a business that would do well.

I would like to offer one piece of advice.. Open on Saturdays. Its just so foolish in modern times to be closed on a Saturday.

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