The Glendora Side Of The Story
On Saturday morning, the CEO or Manager or Owner or Founder of Glendora called me. I was not sure of his title because he kept on yelling the entire time as he was very upset. Upset that I had gone to Social Media to raise my concerns about the way bookstores in Nigeria treat authors, upset that I dared to mention Glendora in the post and upset that I was making such a bug fuss about what he called just a few books supplied.
And then he accused me of pulling down black businesses. And that’s where I really took exception. Why is it that every time someone criticizes a business or organization…it is regarded as an attempt to pull down the business? What happened to the phrase constructive criticism?
When Microsoft released Windows Vista, it sucked. Everybody knew it sucked and everybody said it sucked…the media, friends, competitors, dogs and even aliens. Microsoft’s reaction was to quickly
murder phase out Vista and release the new and much improved Windows 7. The release of Windows 7 set the ground work for what is arguably the most revolutionary Operating system yet, Windows 8 and ensured that Microsoft remained in the forefront of the computer business. They succeeded because they listened and accepted criticism, not only did they accept criticism they encouraged it because they knew it was necessary to attain success.
But Glendora like many businesses I have encountered in Nigeria are not open to criticism, in fact it is seen as disrespectful to criticize a store [read: How Respect Is Killing Nigeria], especially the established ones. I know this because during our conversation I listed all the issues that I have had with Glendora, but all I heard was $$#@#%@%#@!
I soon realized that he was not listening, so I hung up the phone and decided to write this article. After all if he won’t listen, he might read and I do hope he reads this…
What Really Happened With Glendora
When I presented my books to Glendora to put in their numerous stores, I was required to turn in an invoice. That invoice was basically a contract that contained the sales price of the book, the percentage share and most importantly two signatures…one from me and one from Glendora. On the invoices I signed with Glendora, our agreed price for How Stupidity Saved My Life was N1000 and the sharing percentage was 30%. Which meant that if a book was sold for N1000, Glendora would keep N300 and I would get N700…simple arithmetics…except that Glendora decided to ignore the rules of Mathematics and started selling the books (without my knowledge) for N2500. I found this out from a friend of a friend of a friend, who sent me picture/receipt to counter my disbelief. Below is an actual signed Glendora invoice and an actual receipt from a purchase made yesterday.
At that time (earlier this year), when I brought this up with their Manager he said he was unaware and that he would investigate it. With only about 15 or so books supplied to Glendora…I did not follow-up. My thinking was that when it would come time to settle the account, that I will bring up the N2500 issue. But alas settling the account was
difficult impossible…the Manager never responded to my calls and when he did it was the usual call me back later excuse.
Which brings me back to the original Saturday phone call. I told the CEO/Founder/Manager/Owner about this particular N2500 illegal price increase and I was told and I quote:
“Do you know how much we pay in rent, We can set whatever price we want and your books are not even selling.” ~Glendora Rep On The Phone
Let me break-down the silliness/stupidity in this statement.
DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH WE [GLENDORA] PAY IN RENT: My response is…Do you know how much we the authors pay to publish books? To print books? To edit books? Do you know how much authors pay to market books? To be in newspapers? To fly out for book readings? Do you know how much we sacrifice and the sleepless nights spent to write books? Do you know how much? Of course they don’t because they see the business from a single perspective…THEIRS!
WE [GLENDORA] CAN SET WHATEVER PRICE WE WANT: My response is…O no you cannot Glendora. You signed a contract and you honor the words on the contract. Last I checked you cannot sign a check for N1000 and then take it to a bank, expecting to withdraw N2500. Check (no pun intended) yourself.
YOUR BOOKS ARE NOT EVEN SELLING: My response is…If an MTN N1000 recharge card costs N1000 in Laterna and N1000 in Terraculture. Then why will somebody go and buy that same recharge card for N2500 at Glendora? This is an ancient economic principle of common-sense. Moreover if the books are not selling, why has Glendora re-ordered on 3 different occasions (I have invoice proof btw)…I guess only
God Glendora knows.
CONCLUSION: At the end of the day, I really do hope that people take these criticisms and use them to improve their businesses, rather than focus on whether it was an insult or not. Because great businesses like Microsoft thrive on good, solid and consistent criticism.
On a side note…I met with the folks at Silverbird yesterday afternoon and they listened to my suggestions on ways they could improve their system and promised to do something about it. It was a far cry from the ranting calls I received from Glendora and was a clear sign of a company that now understands the value of listening to their customers. I just pray more and more Nigerian business start listening and that our people continue speaking up.
Ofili is an award winning
anger management coach motivational speaker, author, success coach and cook entrepreneur who blogs about life, success and entrepreneurial excellence. Follow him on twitter , facebook or subscribe to his blog for more success TIPS!” To bring Ofili to your school or organization as a speaker simply go here.
He has written two books, How Laziness Saved My Life and the best-selling How Stupidity Saved My Life, to find out how they both saved his life visit ofilispeaks.com