One of the major problems plaguing the Western World today, along with unemployment, national debt, and lawyers, is the total lack of ethics of your average window covering store. Yes, that's right, those dens of vipers known as drapery stores. I don't know how many times I've gone into my friendly local drapery store and succumbed to those nasty hard-sell tactics. I've come home with draperies(*) I didn't want, for windows I don't even have, and in colours that sound like they are named by someone who should have been working for a women's clothing catalogue instead. I mean, what is "eggplant" anyways, and why don't they just call it "green?" I'm sure a lot more guys would buy merchandise if they knew the colour was "green" instead of "eggplant" or "puce" or "poly-cotton blend"... But that's a subject for another submission.(**) When I bought my car, I got all sorts of free things out of the dealership -- they were easy. When I went into the drapery store, they flatly refused to throw in some free floormats, no matter how long I haggled. That's why I was so happy to see the ad from "The Drapery Source" this morning tucked in with my other junk mail. They sent me a full-page, multi-colour ad that included, right there at the bottom, their Code of Ethics. They included this because, I believe, they were worried about the absolutely horrible reputation that drapery stores have. (Ask anyone about that reputation -- I'm sure you will get the same answer: "Huh?") I would like to reproduce for you here, in plain ASCII format, their Code of Ethics, and as my favourite Miami Herald columnist would say, "I'm not making this up": CODE OF ETHICS We Pledge: To serve the public with honesty To advertise truthfully To advise customers responsibly To stand behind the merchandise we sell Window Coverings Association of America My question is: do they come out when a customer enters the store? Or do we have to root around the store until we find a "window covering" that has a pair of shoes sticking out from underneath? More importantly, is it really ethical to hide from the customers like that? What's more, do they continue to stand behind the mechandise after they've sold it? ("Shh! Look there! There's someone behind your curtains, Edwin." "No that's just my drapery salesperson, ensuring the quality of my draperies from behind. More chicken?") Now before you run off to purchase your own man-behind-the-scenes, you should do a little research. At a drapery store, they not only have curtains and draperies, but they have blinds. And Venetian blinds (the ones that provide the right "accent" to the furniture). And mini-blinds, which by God really are different that Venetian blinds. No-one would give me a straight answer as to how they were different. They would just look sheepishly at their feet as they kicked around a few dust bunnies, and tell me that "they just are." And micro-mini-blinds, which are different again (no, really). I suspect the difference lies in the fact they not actually viewable with the naked eye. And Roman shades. And pull-down shades, and pleated shades, and rayban shades, even cheap sunglasses. The reason I say you need to do reasearch is that last time I went into a store, the man tried to sell me some "swags." I kid you not. He insisted that I should get some. I told him that my swags were just fine thankyouverymuch, and that if he would like to step outside, I would show him exactly how well my swags were. Anyways, I sorta like sun. I think I'm not going to hang my draperies on purpose. So there. At least I won't have anyone hiding in my apartment, and pop out at inopportune moments to sell me some swags. Edwin H (*) Note from Tom Robbins: "Drapes" is a verb. "Draperies" is a noun. (**) Note to women: yes, I know "eggplant" isn't "green." (It's "yellow.") I do have the Patagonia catalogue, and I have a personal and patient tutor in "girl speak."
(From the "Rest" of RHF)