Sometimes I wonder…

28 02 2009

… why some people are in business.

During the week, the state’s newspaper had an article on one of Western Australia’s hidden treasures — a shop in Mt Barker full of collectables, including several hundred/thousand (?) vinyl records from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. As my husband is a music ‘detective’, we decided to drive to Mt Barker yesterday (Friday) so he could see what was available.

After a 2-hour drive on winding, narrow roads (Muirs so-called Highway!), we got to Mt Barker around noon. We found the old bank building in the main street very quickly (Mt Barker is NOT a big place!), but the sign on the door said “Closed”. On a Friday. In the middle of the day.

Now to put that into perspective… This weekend is a long weekend in Western Australia, and The Great Southern Festival is on this weekend (based in Albany, about 50 kms away — tourists HAVE to go through Mt Barker to get to Albany if they’re driving down from Perth). The owner of the shop had a feature article on his shop in the state’s only newspaper earlier in the week…

So why on earth would he close on a Friday at the start of a busy long weekend for the town, one of the last fine weekends before winter, and the same week he was featured in the paper??? We weren’t the only ones who turned up and shook our heads when we saw the store was closed — at least 3 other couples did the same in the few minutes we were there checking the opening hours.

His opening hours according to a sign on the door are Monday to Thursday (10:00 to 4:30) and Saturday (10:00 to 2:00). He closes Fridays, Sundays and public holidays. So Friday closing is normal — but on one of the busiest weekends of the year for his area, and straight after a glowing article in the paper???? If it was me, I’d be cashing in and making sure I was open the entire weekend — including Friday.

And it baffles me as to why he’d have those days of opening anyway. I know I’d want a 2-day break so I could go away if I wanted to, not two single days off separated by an opening day. Most similar shops would be closed on Monday and Tuesday (perhaps Sunday) in lieu of the traditional weekend.

And no, in case you were wondering, we couldn’t call beforehand to check the opening hours as the article did not give the name of the shop or its phone number. We now have that, but will we be back? Unlikely. We travelled close to 5 hours on the round trip only to find the place closed.

We did have a lovely wood-fired pizza at the Mt Barker Hotel for lunch, though — the only highlight of a disappointing day. And we discovered a REALLY narrow ‘shortcut’ road home with almost no traffic — a road I’d hate to travel on at night, but which was OK on a fine, dry, late summer’s day.



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