A quick update, my shows have been going very well. I have been buying and selling a tremendous amount of cards. Though, I have to admit that yesterday's Gonzaga show (May 19, 2013) was disappointing. Attendance was down from last month and so were my sales. Though, I can live with the end result on the sales aspect. My big problem yesterday, which has been brewing for months, is that the dealers set up behind me are crowding all my space. It has gotten so bad that I can't walk behind my tables. I think at the very least I should be alotted room to walk behind my tables. I've got four tables to cover at this show and when I'm busy, covering all this ground is hard enough but now I've got to fight through the extra card tables, boxes and debri that these neighboring dealers put in my way. I had a little meltdown yesterday.
When I arrived at the hall, the four dealers setting up behind me took up just about all the space behind my tables -- I couldn't even get behind my tables to set up! The worst offender was a family of three that had one table. They set up their card table so I had about half a foot of space behind my table. I could not walk through the space. I asked them to remove the card table. The boy, I'd say about 18 years old, said he would move the card table but as I struggled to set up around them, he did not move the table. Then the mom stood up against my table, blocking my access. I tried to inform them that they were inhibiting my ability to set up. They looked at me like deer in the headlights and did nothing. Maybe they did not understand my Chicago accent. So I asked the father to remove the offending table, while the mother continued to block my center table. The father said he would move the table. I continued to struggle to set up and the father did not remove the offending card table. Then I had to deal with Jeff P., who had a card table behind his table, about a foot away from where I like to stack up my bins and use them for extra table space. Then a third pair of dealers put a card table behind their table and were standing behind it blocking a third table of mine!
I lost it. Started spewing. I eventually complained to Mike and Keith, the promoters. They moved that numbskull family to another table on the other side of the room. I feel sorry for the dealers around them. In the middle of the show, it looked like they were having a picnic behind their table. They took up all the space, hindering the dealers around them. I dealt with Jeff and the other guys. They weren't too bad.Though if the show was busy, like it normally is, I would of had a big problem. Ultimately, my biggest problem were the two guys who took over the family's table. They bought a box of binders early on and spread everything out on the floor behind their table, blocking my middle tables. It just really sucked managing my tables yesterday. From load in until the end of the show, I battled eight other dealers just to be able to walk behind my tables.
For years, Gonzaga has been my favorite show. Now, it's at the bottom of the list. It's such a struggle, from battling incroaching dealers to battling the auction crowd, who block my tables from paying customers, I'm really frustrated with this show.
Though, I have to admit that battling neighboring dealers is nothing new, It's commonplace at every show. I am actually more surprised when neighboring dealers are courteous than when they exhibit poor behavior. It comes with the territory. In general, courtesy is a four-letter word to card dealers. They would rather try to encroach on their neighbor's space then spend a few bucks to purchase an extra table. So those dealers, like myself, who purchase extra tables, always have to battle the lunkheads.
I've been contemplating taking a little sabatical from shows. Summer is usually a good time for me at the shows but the fall is always lousy. So please come see me this summer because I may go on a little hiatus this fall. I need to reboot!!!