Star search

Michael Greene, November 20, 2000

Most of you out there in our never-never land never get to realize that you are stars in the show that you're running. Stars? You ask. C'mon, Michael, I'm just a little gal or guy running around all day putting out fires and hoping that tomorrow will be a more passive day.

But a star?

Yes, a star! But not just a star-star like you see on a movie screen or on the dopey box. Most of those characters have been made into "stars" by teams of PR personnel whose mission it is to get someone's picture into a newspaper or magazine at the checkout counter in the supermarket. Doing what? Doing things that 90 percent of the time have no rhyme nor reason nor truth, but make great grist for 3-inch headlines.

Headlines? Yes, the same ones that announce Mrs. Smith, 88-year-old grandmother, just gave birth to quadruplets...two with blonde hair and two with green. So far, the father hasn't been found, but it is rumored that he is a test tube on the planet Venus.

Anyway, that's not you. You're a real star in your company's performance every day and many a night...especially if you're a mama or a papa on the retail or wholesale stage, trying your darndest to make someone out there happy.

Recently, I took my Bubbelah to a picture show-at the "special" senior citizen rate, of course-and we ended up in one of those 12-screen multiplexes, all going at the same time amid a mixture of popcorn, Coke and Pepsi. And, if you've noticed, recently, there is no way can you tell what the darn movie is all about given just their titles. Luckily, Tom Hanks was in one of them, and so we strolled in. And as we sat there watching the previews, (which were loud enough to blast us out of our seats) it occurred to me that I knew nothing about the show we were planted in and were there only because Tom-I call him Tom-was a real star that always gave you your money's worth. You can bet on it.

And, that's how it is with your show. After years and years of putting on your act, viewers are always popping in (with a little prodding) to see what you are up to, and showing. Yes! Just like Tom Hanks or Robert Redford or Paul Newman!

They come to look at your act, listen to what you have to say-and sometimes, sooner or later, buy the shtick. They know they'll always get their money's worth. So, you see, over the years you've become a star, too, except without the "benefit" of checkout rag sheets.

Later, when my Bubbelah and I drove away, I realized that not only was Tom Hanks a great star, but his supporting cast helped make sure he stayed that way. They were stars in their own rights, who knew the roles they played and what to do with them.

And so it is with your store "flick." Your presentation is the staging of merchandise "story" themes that you lay out with your supporting "cast" on the sales floor, in the warehouse and in the office. You're a trophy winner every day: So stand up, take a bow, thank your spouse and walk out with the sales ticket.

Thanks, again, for listening.

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