Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Missed Communication and Some Annoyed Walkers

In the long and storied tradition of making mountains out of molehills, I have the following suggestion for the managers of Tanglewood Mall: If you aren't going to open your halls to those of us who walk them for exercise on weekends until noon, please let us know with a sign on the door.

This morning, the sign would have saved a number of people a two-hour wait. It would also have cut off at the pass the tendency to get angry when a communication is missed and an inconvenience issued.

Here's the setup: For some time , Tanglewood and Valley View Malls--Roanoke's big regional malls--have generously and graciously offered up their halls for those of us who want to walk them for exercise, even when the stores aren't open. On Sundays during very cold weather--today, for example--I have showed up at 10 a.m. ready to walk for an hour. This a.m., I arrived at 10:20 and found a sign on the door that announced the doors would not open until 10:45. The "45" was handwritten and the original "00" was scratched out. I went over to Kroger to buy some items and came back as the doors opened.

Once inside, I noted a plastic chain across the main access to the mall and a security guard told me--only when asked--that the section was being cleaned and would be open "in another hour," about an hour after stores open, actually. A whole group of walkers, maybe 12, looked at least a little annoyed and most left.

Fact is, that was bad PR for a mall that is trying hard to create a new face of welcome to people. At the very least, a sign on the front door telling us the halls wouldn't be open for walkers until noon was called for simply out of consideration. Many of those of us who walk those halls, spend money before or afterward (I often eat lunch there) and tend to come back to shop later. A welcome and some consideration would be nice.

(NYTimes photo.)

1 comment:

  1. And again and again we see stories about the death of malls, and their efforts to recapture traffic. Depends, I guess, on how the mall operators define desirable traffic.

    Boneheadedness has been for awhile a hallmark of mall management. Boneheadedness in the face of recession, snow, and bitter cold looks more and more like deathwish.