Over the last 30 years, I've seen corporatism rise in our society. Be part of a team, the want ads would say. And thus, the team became important — while more and more, the customer’s importance waned.
Of course, in the old days, the customer came first and the watchphrase of many a thriving business was, “the customer is always right.” That watchphrase was the oil that kept the interchange workable. It might not always have been accurate, but it was prudent because it created a trust. You knew if a company kept to that maxim, you would be treated fairly.
I've frequented Sport Chalet for more than 30 years now and it has been a fixture in La Cañada for much longer than that. And when Norbert Olberz ran the place, he practiced the above maxim. But after his departure, more and more corporatism began taking over, much to my chagrin. So much so that instead of it being my first choice for sporting goods, it became my choice of last resort.