“Oh, you are here.” Jackie said, pirouetting around Bob, who was clutching a hot mug, but safely away from his chest.

“Off the tether, but still in captivity.” Bob switched to sales years ago, but still exuded a bit of an on-air vibe. “K-cups are great. Perfect every time. No toxic morning DJ brew for me.”

“Murphy called for you.” Jackie circled back.

“literally or figuratively?”


“Oh, nothing. I’ll call her.”

“Who is she?”

“Bridget Ann Murphy. BAM BAM. We went to high school together. She has a pet grooming place.”


“Yeah, it’s connected to that pawn shop she owns with her husband.”

“Right…Paws and Pawn. Sounds like the name was second-hand too.”

“Well it is what it is.”

“She’s not one of your regular clients is she?”

“No, but I know what she wants. She wants ‘to move the needle.’ Run some ads to support another coupon.”

“A coupon?”

“Yeah. She thinks if people bring their dogs in for a discount, they’ll become regular customers.”

“Ah sure. Does it work?”

“Well, that’s her theory…every time she’s done it. She should have tons of customers. There’s so many people with dogs, I can’t imagine she needs the business. Maybe she has some other things going on.”

“Is this that transactional-relational thing?”

“I think so. Her business should be relational.”


“We’ve been taking Buffy to our groomer for 10 years. You ever bathed and brushed a Bichon? That’s my Saturday hobby. Our groomer isn’t the cheapest. But I never miss an appointment…every six weeks. It’s the week I get to skip my spa duties.”

“So, your groomer’s pretty good?”

“She is. And she’s busy. Don’t want to lose our spot. Buffy likes her.”

“So, it’s more than just a haircut?”

“Are you kidding? It’s Buffy. She runs the household. And she always gets a new neckerchief.”

“Yeah, Buffy is pretty cute.”

“That’s the thing. People love their dogs. When they find someone they like, they’re not going to switch to save a few bucks. Sure, some people might use coupons. But, if you want to drive that bus, just keep taking coupons and keep picking up different riders. It’s a tough road…but works for some things, I guess.”

“So, what are gonna tell Bam Bam?”

“I don’t know. First, she’ll tell me how much she L-U-V-Loooves social media. Then she’ll say she wants to give me a chance and ask about our specials.”

Jackie arched an eyebrow. “Ahh, like a coupon.”

“Touche’.” Bob smiled. “This time, I’ll ask more questions. We’ll have that relational talk about Paws.”

And transactional about Pawn?”

Bob’s eyes ciphered ah-hah. “Hey, your next K-Cup is on me!”

Jackie grinned. “I think that’s where we started.”