Why the big rush to grow Globe? Really- what is so God-awful about living in a small town? I like the fact that we’re not Chandler or Gilbert, with their pollution, congestion and proliferation of cosmetic surgery clinics, and I absolutely love the simple act of driving 1.3 miles to work every day. Some mornings I only hear half a song on the radio.
Of course, there’s growth for the sake of things like housing and entertainment, say, and then there’s growth with the possibility of employment opportunities. We’ve learned an important lesson over the past year and a half about a scenario seeming like an opportunity for growth (JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!), only to discover (if one did a bit of research) that this ‘opportunity’ would’ve actually been a death knell, a swan song of the most tragic sort. If a thousand-bed private prison was actually built in our area, we wouldn’t just be kissing off tourism and future incoming businesses- a lot of us would’ve packed up and left. I know I would have.
And now, interestingly enough, the Arizona Republic’s Bob Ortega has just concluded a four-part expose on the private prison industry- the gore, the graft and the greed. Thank God the citizens of this community- not the City Council, and not the County Supervisors-had the sense of duty and clear thinking to stop it.
You know what the new joke is around town? The City Council is welcoming bids from nuclear waste management firms… because the medical waste management people went elsewhere.
Frankly, I’d love a few new stores around town, and while I bitch about chain stores and restaurants in general, there is the uniformity thing to consider- in atmosphere and in manner. How great it is to be thanked for my business- how nice when I am acknowledged as I enter a shop. Granted, most of our Globe shopkeepers, waitresses and clerks are terrific. I’ll tell you flat out there are one or two stores in town I wouldn’t set foot in if my hair was in flames and they sold fire extinguishers. But overall, I feel more comfortable on Broad Street than I ever did at a Valley strip mall.
I make it a point to be friendly- it’s who I am- and I genuinely enjoy meeting other people. This is why I work in retail myself- it’s sort of a prerequisite. It’s actually nice to be nice- and if I forget that for a minute, I remind myself that without our customers I wouldn’t have a job.
As far as more choices, my needs are different. I live alone. I’m middle-aged. I’ve done all the nightclubbing I ever wanted to do, and I did it a helluva lot better than the kids do today. I’m also not a big shopper. ‘Retail Therapy’ sounds like a bad reality show. Then again, I don’t have a wife and six kids who like to eat out and buy lots of stuff that’ll break in a few weeks. That’s why God put both McDonald’s and Wal-Mart in Globe. I can understand why folks drive to the Valley- it’s all about choices- but if in fact one looks at patriotism from a slightly different angle, isn’t shopping locally the All-American way to live?
Word is the Chamber of Commerce held a Customer Service seminar a week or so ago- kudos to them; it’s a great idea, and I hope they offer further sessions. When your customer is comfortable, secure and satisfied, chances are he’ll keep coming back. What we sometimes forget is that we’re all each other’s customers at some point, whether cash is exchanged or not. We work with and for each other. We help each other out, look out for each other, and take care of each other. This is why it’s important to know what’s happening in our community, to ask the tough questions and demand honest answers. Personally, I’ve learned a helluva lot by going to City Council meetings- I’ve seen who has the guts to say what’s right, and have heard those who whine, rationalize and dictate. It’s an education, believe me.
It takes a village to raise a village is what I’m saying, and we are all responsible for what happens to us in the end.