Friday, July 30, 2010

You think you know a place

Last Saturday our church, The Harbor, held a rummage sale to raise money for our pre-school program. It went really well. We had a crazy amount of stuff given to us to sell, and we were busy with shoppers all day. One good reason for the crowd is that we are in a great location. We're right off of the freeway, and everyone going to either Cracker Barrel or Hobby Lobby go right through our parking lot.

To make sure people knew we were doing a sale, we put some signs up--not billboards or anything, just those little signs that stake into the ground. We put several up, including one that went right where you turned off of the road into the parking lot between us and Cracker Barrel.


Around noon, some people came in to shop the sale and told us that they had seen a Cracker Barrel employee walk out to our sign, pull it up, and take it back into the Cracker Barrel with them. What?! Cracker Barrel stole our sign?? So our pastor, Chad, went over. He asked for the manager, introduced himself, and politely asked for our sign back. The manager was likely embarrassed that he had been caught. He gave Chad the sign, but justified taking it by saying "I'm trying to sell stuff too." I don't even want to take the time to talk about how ridiculous it is that he would think our rummage sale goods would be competing with Cracker Barrel. Whatever.

After Chad returned and relayed the story, most of us got pretty worked up about it. The main things we couldn't get over were: If he didn't want the sign there, why didn't he just tell us so? Does he even have a right to ask us to remove the sign? Who steals a rummage sale sign? Put up by a church?

Next we moved on to what action we should take next. We came up with several options: painting the words "Cracker Barrel steals from churches" on our windows, making a giant rummage sale sign, putting it in the back of a truck, and parking it right in front of Cracker Barrel, moving the bake sale that Abby and her friends were conducting outside to more directly compete with Cracker Barrel's cobbler sales. Chad reminded us, though, that churches shouldn't really partake in revenge, and we reluctantly agreed that he was probably right.

I debated whether or not to blog about it but I finally decided that the public has a right to know about what happened. We have no way of knowing whether the manager was acting out of independent outrage or following orders from the top of the Cracker Barrel chain (incidentally, do you know where the headquarters for the Cracker Barrel corporation are located? Tennessee? Alabama? Nope. New York City. Yeah, super authentic.) Regardless, I think I would want to know about this before I ordered my next stack of pancakes or slab of hamburger steak.

So there you go. The story of the church that was victimized by Cracker Barrel. Now that I've shared, I feel much better. Perhaps I'll even send a note to the manager, telling him there are no hard feelings and that I sincerely hope we didn't permanently destroy the market for country goods in Northwest Arkansas.


Julianna said...

That's the second cracker barrel nightmare story I've heard this week. :( Hope the sale went well for you anyway. -J

Sarah said...

I am so proud of you.

Outnumbered said...

Amanda told me about the story... so I just had to come look. Too funny!