What is Alpena really saying to locals, tourists?

I keep hearing the ad for Alpena, a warm & friendly port, and can’t help but wonder what Alpena they’re really referring to. Is it the one where the school board just elected to reduce staff & teacher salaries by 10%, and we question why we can’t recruit and keep excellent physicians’ and other professionals? What happened to our teachers is an absolute travesty. How could this not affect their morale or attitude, thus, filtering down to our children?

Whether it’s the bookstore, shoe store or the Marketplace, you’re lucky to get a hello or have someone approach you to see if they could help. I’ve heard the owner be rude & arrogant to her own employees, as well as customers, and returning phone calls is non-existent. I recently had an unnerving nightmare as a first time client at a local nail salon. I had scheduled the appointment, but the owners’ chaos and disorganization was obvious. He had several people scheduled at the same time, forcing me to wait over 30 minutes and was rushed through, but when I mentioned the disorganization and chaos (he didn’t have an appointment book, computer system, nor any business cards!), he told me to get out and never return! The saddest thing was that two other families waiting there, from out of town, told me of a much better place to go, and it was quality customer service and great attitudes! Really, what does this say about Alpena, when tourists tell me where to go for decent and respectful customer treatment? Unfortunately many Alpena merchants possess the belief that they’re doing you a favor. No wonder so many of us buy what we need online and gave up on buying locally, just look at our very limited choices, owners’ attitudes!

Lynn Powell-Kieliszewski

Alpena