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Travel Books and Language Center in Washington DC

Travel Books and Language Center in Washington DC

Old Oct 20th, 2000, 11:45 AM
prefer to remain anon for now...
Posts: n/a
Travel Books and Language Center in Washington DC


Just thought I would solicit some comments from some fellow travelers/travel book lovers in the DC area:

First of all, I would like to give a big plug to this store. It is simply wonderful - as the name implies, it completely caters to travel and languages. They have language classes, events (authors come to speak, occasionally a writer of a regional cookbook might come in and prepare foods from other lands, fellow travelers put on slide shows and tell their tales, etc etc)

That said, I have been a frequent customer there and have, on several occasions, been rather offended by a gentleman who works there (not the owner) who is frequently extremely dismissive, rude, and condescending. I was wondering if I am alone in this complaint. I am readying myself to alert the owner because she has such a wonderful store it would be a shame for her to lose business due to a rude, abrupt, condescending sales clerk. Of course I cannot name names, and quite frankly I do think it would be pretty obvious to anyone who goes there.

I am not attempting to cause her to lose sales - quite the contrary. I would encourage anyone who travels to visit her store – it is truly a gem. What I would like to know is if any fellow DCers have ever had a run-in (or an unpleasant experience) with any clerk at this particular store. I have a sneaking suspicion I am not the only person who has had a bad experience with this person, and, should others have similar tales, the owner might appreciate hearing about it. I hope so anyway…


ps. I might just hear "oh just take a chill pill" which is not entirely unsound advice either - but this person truly should not be in sales...
Old Oct 20th, 2000, 11:52 AM
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Anon-why are you such a doormat? "readying" yourself to alert the owner to a rude employee? Why didn't you report his behavior the first time it happened? He's rude because people like you let him get away with it.

I find your message strange, particularly in the Europe section.

Also, "chill pill"? Did you miss the last 20 years?
Old Oct 20th, 2000, 12:06 PM
thanks for the reply
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ok, ok, so I am old already. I'm not on to the newer slang.

I was trying to soft pedal this - actually, I did confront the "gentleman" already. yes, I did feel like a complete fool afterwards so maybe I deserve the doormat name. and I left a message with the owner, have yet to hear back. I usually give people the benefit of the doubt - everyone can have a bad day or even a few. But this is a pattern. I deserve better, thank you very much. If that includes never going back, that's what's gonna happen.

I am pissed enough to take this to a more public level if I have to - as in a washington post letter, etc. I have been a very good customer to this store, I travel A LOT, and I feel that ALL customers should be treated with respect, not merely the ones who travel a lot or have lots o' disposable income. I don't see that this person belongs behind a counter.

I put it in the Europe section due to the amount of traffic - some people here must live in the DC area.

if enough people have had probs with this idiot, the owner needs to know. this is a business for gosh sakes - you'd think this clerk would have a sense of the community he works within.
Old Oct 20th, 2000, 12:12 PM
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What store? Are you referring to Politics and Prose? Why not just write a letter?
Old Oct 20th, 2000, 12:24 PM
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Yes, if you could provide the name of the bookstore and where it is...downtown? Dupont Circle?
Old Oct 20th, 2000, 12:31 PM
Posts: n/a

It's Travel Books and Language Center

in Tenleytown.

I want to stress to all reading this - it's a great store. Please do go there. just don't be a dummy like me and put up with any guff.

the letter is in the works. (not to the Post - to the owner. upon reflection that would hurt the owner & serve no purpose.)
Old Oct 20th, 2000, 12:35 PM
Posts: n/a
Here are two ideas: First, when you start a thread here, use the same name throughout the thread. It gets confusing otherwise.

Second, call the owner on the phone and tell her all about it. If that doesn't fix the problem, write her a polite letter. If that doesn't fix it, start going to Politics and Prose instead.

Thanks for patronizing your local bookseller rather than the faceless internet.
Old Oct 20th, 2000, 01:53 PM
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Anon--I love TB&L, and for the life of me I can't think which salesclerk you're referring to. I shop there anywhere from once a month to once a week, depending on how badly my travel obsession is kicking in, and I think I've dealt with pretty much everyone who works there at one time or another. I'm familiar with two or three guys (I think the rest of the staff is female), and they've always been very helpful to me.

As far as talking to the owner goes, who would that be now? The longtime owner, Eve Jaffe, passed away unexpectedly and tragically young in July...I'm not sure to whom she left the store. Was it her sister?

Anyway, I'd say ask to speak to a manager or someone if you have a problem, but I can't claim to have had any similar experiences to yours. I do definitely agree with your praise for the store--TB&L is one of the most wonderful bookstores in the world. Except for the fact that they keep taking all my money.
Old Oct 24th, 2000, 03:28 PM
Posts: n/a
Thanks so much for posting. I live in the area and work in WDC and had never heard of the store! Will make a point of visiting but will be out the door if someone's rude.

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