Some of you know me from the VA Bassists club, and various other threads, and a couple of you might actually remember me relating a negative experience at a local music store when I first joined the site a few months ago. I would often go to the bass dept of the local music store for the opinions of the man that worked there, and at times I felt the head of the bass department treated me with disdain, ignoring my stated needs and budget to steer me into the more expensive equipment, justifying this by effectively calling my gear junk. I felt his "opinions" were driven by what he stocked and wanted to sell, and not his genuine personal opinions, as well. For the record, I am not affiliated in any way with the store in question, Alpha Music in Virginia Beach. I was a regular shopper there who had finally had enough of the manager of the bass department, and decided to vent here. I felt then (and still do feel) that I was treated unfairly at the time by the person in question, and there just happened to be a thread going here that I felt my story would fit into. I have since gone on to start the Virginia Bassists Club here, and have organized (with help) a local GTG for this weekend. Lo and behold, I got an email from Dave (the bass dept manager) asking if I would mind him spreading the word to the people he teaches, the members of the Alpha Music Bass Players Club. This, of course, gives me pause, as I don't like this guy, but I haven't said anything to him about it... Turns out a member here at TalkBass is on good terms with the owner of Alpha Music, and spoke with him about my post. This is how my feelings became known to Dave, and nearly cost him his job. I would imagine some fast-talking and a reputation as a rather easy-to-get along with guy, and a vast reserve of knowledge and experience were what kept him employed. I came to know this because, trying to be a better person than I usually am, I emailed him back and explained, as respectfully as possible, why I felt the way I did. I apologized to him in that email and again in a later one as we discussed that situation, and have found him to be (in fact) a very respectful person, with a great deal of concern for fairness and treating everyone equally. While I'm not excusing his behaviour to me that day, his openness and willingness for discourse have truly impressed me, so much that I almost regret making that post. I say "almost" because it has taught me the power of TalkBass, and how not being careful what you say about people here can really affect them. As I told Dave, had I known that more would come of it than venting steam, I wouldn't have posted it. I knew even then that it wasn't a big enough deal to call the store and complain, but it never occurred to me that someone here would know people in the right place. I also say "almost" because the situation would not be resolved had I not said anything, and I'm glad that I now have this mutual respect from and for the man. He says he tries hard not to have that attitude with customers as a general rule, and I understand that it's hard at times, and further, I believe him. More to the point, I want to apologize to anyone who may have been put off by my post from visiting (and/or spending your money) at Alpha Music. Aside from personal differences I've had with the staff from time to time (which are probably just as much my fault as anyone's), their prices are very reasonable, they have a great tech department, and everyone there knows what they're talking about, unlike many of the people in the chain stores. So consider this an apology and an attempt to make amends to a person I've recently found to be a genuinely nice guy, who can rise above pettiness to find common ground. And don't forget to check out Alpha, if you're in the neighborhood.