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It was one of those weeks

Jason Ferguson
Published: Thursday, July 19th, 2012

We have a saying here in the newspaper business—we don’t really have to know how to run a newspaper, because everyone else will tell us how to do it. Never was that more evident than last week.
I often daydream about going into other businesses and returning the favor—walking into the local pizza store, and telling them they aren’t making that pizza right; walking into the local real estate sales place and berate them for not taking the right angle in selling that $300,000 house out in the sticks; walking into the local auto body repair shop and telling them how dents should really be taken out of a fender. I don’t do any of these things however, for good reason—I don’t know more about these jobs than the professionals doing them, nor do I know how much work they put into doing them for their customers.
Last week was one of those weeks where no matter what we did, we seemingly couldn’t please anybody. I think I speak for all of our staff when I say we long ago came to terms with the fact that being in the newspaper business ranks near the top of thankless jobs. For every “hey, good job” we hear, we hear 100 complaints. That’s the nature of the beast. Many times, criticism is warranted. But last week, we were overrun by unhappy customers with complaints, many of which in the grand scheme of things I couldn’t understand. But, the customer is usually (not always) right, as they say, so we discuss each complaint and determine what, if anything, we could do to remedy the situation.
With that in mind, here are a few of the complaints we received last week, along with a few complaints we receive frequently. Cut this out and post it on your refrigerator. That way, you will already know the (tongue planted firmly in cheek) answer to some of these questions, saving everyone a frustrating phone call.
Why do we have to pay for (an ad, a subscription, etc., etc.) we are non-profit!
It’s fantastic you are non-profit. Unfortunately, the Custer County Chronicle tries not to be non-profit. I went to Black Hills Federal Credit Union and asked them if I could pay for my car loan with good feelings and well wishes, and they said no. So, until they change their mind on that, we have to continue to pay our employees, the money for which comes from advertising. We try to donate and help out as much has we can, but, like any business, we cannot give everything away.
Why do I have to pay for this in advance? Can’t I charge it?

We have a saying here in the newspaper business—we don’t really have to know how to run a newspaper, because everyone else will tell us how to do it. Never was that more evident than last week.

I often daydream about going into other businesses and returning the favor—walking into the local pizza store, and telling them they aren’t making that pizza right; walking into the local real estate sales place and berate them for not taking the right angle in selling that $300,000 house out in the sticks; walking into the local auto body repair shop and telling them how dents should really be taken out of a fender. I don’t do any of these things however, for good reason—I don’t know more about these jobs than the professionals doing them, nor do I know how much work they put into doing them for their customers.

Last week was one of those weeks where no matter what we did, we seemingly couldn’t please anybody. I think I speak for all of our staff when I say we long ago came to terms with the fact that being in the newspaper business ranks near the top of thankless jobs. For every “hey, good job” we hear, we hear 100 complaints. That’s the nature of the beast. Many times, criticism is warranted. But last week, we were overrun by unhappy customers with complaints, many of which in the grand scheme of things I couldn’t understand. But, the customer is usually (not always) right, as they say, so we discuss each complaint and determine what, if anything, we could do to remedy the situation.

With that in mind, here are a few of the complaints we received last week, along with a few complaints we receive frequently. Cut this out and post it on your refrigerator. That way, you will already know the (tongue planted firmly in cheek) answer to some of these questions, saving everyone a frustrating phone call.

Why do we have to pay for (an ad, a subscription, etc., etc.) we are non-profit!

It’s fantastic you are non-profit. Unfortunately, the Custer County Chronicle tries not to be non-profit. I went to Black Hills Federal Credit Union and asked them if I could pay for my car loan with good feelings and well wishes, and they said no. So, until they change their mind on that, we have to continue to pay our employees, the money for which comes from advertising. We try to donate and help out as much has we can, but, like any business, we cannot give everything away.

Why do I have to pay for this in advance? Can’t I charge it?

Available only in the printed version of the Custer County Chronicle. To subscribe, call 605-673-2217.



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