From the REPublic: did you really just push me out the door?

December 2, 2011 · 10 comments

Ouch. This seems more than a little uncalled for, wouldn’t you say, oh Dear Winebuyer? Oh, but Wine Rep… your first ever supplier workwith during the holidays? Man, your manager must have just thought, “oh this guy doesn’t know any better… we’ll just stick this inconsiderate supplier with him for the day.”

Lessons learned: 1. No one’s ever at their best during OND… even the best of Winebuyers are stretched to their limits. 2. Just say no to workwiths after November 1st. No one wins.

Dear Winebuyer

My sincerest apologies for having the bad manners to step into your store with my first ever supplier to briefly have him thank your staff for doing such a great job selling his wine. I realize that having sold through something like 25 cases of his small-production, Rhone-style blend in about a month during the holidays shouldn’t have warranted a “thank you” from the guy who actually made the wine with his sweat and tears (and who happened to be in town).

I guess you were offended that the wine wasn’t good enough to sell at least 50 cases. I apologize on behalf of my winemaker; he should know better than to make wines in quantities so small that there are rarely 50 cases available for me to sell to you.

I really should have anticipated that walking into your store at 2:30 pm midweek was not a good idea. After all, there were no customers there. But still. I mean taking literally 45 seconds to say “hi” to the guys who sell all of the wine that you buy from me is just selfish on my part. Like I’m showing off my “connections” or something.

And I really am sorry for our communication problem. I guess when you started screaming at me to get out of your store, you couldn’t hear me say that I wasn’t in to make a sales call, I just wanted to have my winemaker say “hi” to one or two of your guys. Perhaps I should have tried to repeat this in the 10 seconds it took for me to say it. Oh, right, I did, and did again, and then asked you to please stop screaming at me (in front of your mortified sales staff, my supplier and the one or two unfortunate customers who walked in during our time together).

I do, however, appreciate that you grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the store. I was tired, after all, from walking around the city with too much wine in my bag. You were probably just being considerate. Or perhaps you were on your way out the door, too. Regardless, your act of violent generosity wasn’t lost on me.

The best part of all of this is that you taught me how inconsiderate behavior just shouldn’t be tolerated. I do miss our interaction. Or not.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

KWilk December 3, 2011 at 5:42 am

Holy shit! This is the most insane story you’ve posted yet, and that is saying a lot. Hard to believe such a rude piece of shit can somehow manage a staff.

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wineaux rep December 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Wow! Stunning display of perfectly awful behavior. I wonder if this rep would have gotten the same treatment if Wine Buyer found out that the winemaker was in town and Wine Rep did not bring him by to say, “Hi and Thank you for selling my wine.”

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Samantha Dugan December 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Uncool in any business but especially in one selling a beverage that kind of embodies civility!

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Todd Wernstrom December 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Having nothing really to fear but fear itself, I’d like to clarify one or two points (it was my post): I wasn’t sent out by my manager, because, well, I am my manager! It’s my tiny little import/wholesale company. My supplier, my very first, happened to be in town for the holidays. We made a few appointments with places that were interested (all on premise, I might add), and in the course of seeing them, we literally just popped into the store where the incident happened (my first, and at that time, biggest account). We were actually getting ready to leave when the owner went nuts on me — at least he had the “dignity” to not yell at my supplier. I learned later that this kind of behavior is par for his course, which is why is staff turnover is horrible and some reps simply will not take his money. With the exception one guy still there, the staff has turned over three times since this happened, which is another reason I don’t even bother walking in any longer.

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Diane Cline December 5, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Unbelievable, yet so believable! Having been in the biz for 25 years nothing surprises me anymore. This sort of buyer attitude is unexcusable for any reason. Come on market let’s go back to the old days when it was a supplier market and the buyers were begging us for wines that were in scarcity to help remind them of what proper manners are like!

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Todd Wernstrom December 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm

There were really such days???

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Diane Cline December 5, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Indeed there were Todd!

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Todd Wernstrom December 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Dammit! Story of my life: right thing. Wrong time!

Wine Avocado December 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Yeah, them mood swings. Extra-curricular enhancements, lack of quality sleep and an ego too big to fit thru the door.

Little twerp. Think I know that guy.

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Todd Wernstrom December 8, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Go ahead and guess!

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