in the workshop

Managing Expectations



When I was younger, I was a small child. Skinny, slower, shorter than the other boys. While I was hoping to grow to six feet tall, I maxed out at five-seven. I wanted broad shoulder and guns to blow out the armholes in my tee shirts. I wanted to be the smartest person in the room. Oh well.. luckily I learned to manage my expectations early in life. Of course, I still believe in myself and my abilities, that if I put my mind and energy into it, I can achieve many things. Just not everything I think I want exactly when I want it. Sometimes life has a way of altering our course.

This Covid world has existed for a little over eight months, from the initial public response and lockdown, to the present morass. The world has changed. We have changed. Our business has changed. While many people are crying out for things to return to normal, the future, however you envision it, is still a way off. The changes we've made for this year (18 months?) are structured to keep a steady course for running our business when things are good, like now, or in case things get rough. So far so good. The store as you may have known it is effectively gone. Our expanded production has enveloped some of the space while the rest is taken up with shipping. Online sales, both shipping and pickup, now account for 90% of our business. Good thing we are adapting because according to many forecast analysts, it is estimated that 95% of all purchases will be made online by 2040.

One of the reasons I prefer to shop online is due to a trend of bad customer service in stores and shops. I believe we do a great job of customer service at duross & langel. I believe Sarah and Allison do an exceptional job, as do our associates. But not every place I go seems to care about me as a customer, which is why I prefer to fill a cart online. I can manage my expectations about what I am receiving by limiting the disappointing experiences. Which is why we've always aimed to make your experience with D+L about relationships, ingredients, and creating a good feeling as you walk out the door. We want both your online and in-store experiences to be great.

As a business we have come far in these last eight months. We've learned a great deal about change. We know what we want from our future, and somehow it bears little resemblance to our past. This year has taught us to strive for a leaner, lighter enterprise. Keep expectations manageable. Don't panic. Don't over-react. Not a day goes by without someone expressing their disappointment that they cannot come inside and smell everything. We get it. Truly. It is disappointing that Covid 19 has created a situation where we cannot put things out for people to smell or touch. And change is difficult, especially when new things create a certain level of anxiety. Anxiety makes us all a little pissed off sometimes. Who would agree that 2020 has been an incredibly stressful year?

Personally, I get through the bad days living in my fantasy world. I would also like to be lying on a beach in Mexico right now. I have the vouchers and hotel points left over from last spring when everything got cancelled. I still have a job. Food. A home. I am so much luckier than a lot of people. Since I have immune compromised people within my circle, eighteen months of staying put, having things delivered and being mindful is a fairly easy undertaking. I also have a kick-ass beach plan for celebrating once a vaccine has been widely distributed. As for returning to normal? I don't know. I think that ship might have sailed. The world will have moved on and something better might take the place of the old normal. But that's life right? Embrace change and adapt or become obsolete. Whatever comes next, I dream about an amazing future filled with endless possibilities, and I am grateful for the past, the present, and for what good things might still lie ahead.

If you come by to shop at the window or pickup an online order, you can begin to view the new store we are building in the front area of the old store. It will grow and change over the next six or seven months so that when we open our doors again, you may enjoy a whole new shopping experience