Going into last weekend, I had a few things to really look forward to. My dad was coming in to visit and more exciting (no offense, Dad) was the sign sale at Honest Ed’s. How cool and amazing would it be to own a small bit of Toronto history? I’ve been to Ed’s a few times before but it was those signs that really always drew me back. It doesn’t matter what the sign said or advertised, it was the simplicity and delicacy of them. My plan was simple. I’d wake up, throw my hair in a bun, slap on some glasses and out the door I would go. I’d grab my usual Starbucks Hazelnut latte and be on my way to meet Chris and Paul. To my surprise, and maybe I was naïve to think that this was a designer / letterer thing only, but there were what seemed to be thousands of people already lined around the building and down a block or two. Paul, who was with us, gave the best reaction: it’s comparable to wanting to buy tickets to your favourite, obnoxious band that you think no one has heard of and only you appreciate. As silly as this may sound, it was kinda how I felt about the situation. I mean, wow! Who would have thought that something like this would draw people from all over Toronto and then some. The weather wasn’t the greatest and I totally misjudged how long I would be out waiting in line. I ended up having to run across the street to buy extra socks! I ended up wearing two pairs to keep my feet warm on the cold, wet concrete.
When you first arrived, the line seemed to be moving at a gradual pace. You were making progress! From what you saw, as soon as you entered into the building, you were home free and you’d be in a heaven of hand-painted beauty. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The line snaked through the housewares department and up to the stairs leading to the second floor. It was at this point that I lost my two sign-seeking comrades – sadly, Chris and Paul had other commitments for the afternoon. In hindsight, I probably should have left at this point. However, after reading another blog on the situation, I came across the term sunk cost fallacy. Essentially, it means when a person (or company) is more likely to continue with a project if they have already invested a lot of time, money, or effort into it, even when continuing isn’t the best thing to do. This totally happened to me. I was that person. The last half of the hours spent there were on the second floor. It made leaving even harder. I could see the sign area, how could I leave? My heart broke when you realized that there was only one cashier running the place. What?! I couldn’t understand it. Instead of reassessing the situation with the amount of people that turned up, why not add on more cashiers to help along the process of checking out?
Don’t get me wrong. I am happy that I ended up with three very beautiful pieces but the whole process of getting them still makes me sick to my stomach. I’m hoping that in time I won’t look at them and remember what I did to get them. Knowing that the store is closing in 2016, I think I might keep my distance at the next sign sale.