The Value of Tenacity


I dedicate this story to Working Boy, who loves his Value Tales. I hope he enjoys this reworking of the modern classic, The Value of Tenacity.

This is the story of Shopping Girl, who, thanks to her tenacity and enthusiasm, became one of the best shoppers of our time. The story that follows is based on events on one day of her life.

Once upon a time, not so very long ago (yesterday, in fact), a 35 year old girl leaned on a Caesarstone kitchen bench top and looked out at the cold wintry Sydney morning. Her name was Shopping Girl. “I’m glad we live in this house,” she said to herself, smiling. It was warm and cozy, with the heating on, and Shopping Girl liked it. But it was cold sitting on the floorboards, when she played with Baby N, and Shopping Girl realised she needed a rug.

Shopping Girl knew exactly the sort of rug she wanted, and she set about looking for it. What hard work it had been for Shopping Girl, trying to find the exact rug she wanted.

Finally Shopping Girl was ready to give up. Her fingers were sore from swiping and tapping, and Baby N needed a nappy change. But then she thought of Working Boy, and what he would say. “Shopping Girl”, he would say, “no one ever gets ahead who quits when the going gets tough”. Nodding at his words, Shopping Girl thought “I’ll just check the Pottery Barn website”.

And there it was. The perfect rug. On sale. Shopping Girl could not believe her eyes. She went to click “Add to cart”, but it would not work, and then she saw those fateful words “product no longer available”.

Shopping Girl hunted around a little
more, but no rug measured up to the Pottery Barn one. Shopping Girl was bereft. And forlorn.

Suddenly Shopping Girl heard a little voice. “Don’t give up Shopping Girl. You can get that rug if you work hard enough”.
“What?” said Shopping Girl, startled.
“I said that you can do it,” the voice went on. “All you need is tenacity”.
Shopping Girl raised her head to find out who was talking. Who do you think it was?
That’s right. It was the iPad on the floor next to her. Shopping Girl couldn’t believe her eyes or ears. Her iPad seemed to be talking to her.
“Tenacity means sticking with it, refusing to give up no matter what”, iPad explained, giving Shopping Girl a little time to recover from her surprise.

Of course, Shopping Girl knew that iPads don’t really talk (it’s not like they have Siri). She knew it was really her inner shopper she was listening to. It didn’t matter. She liked what she heard.

She picked up the phone and called the Pottery Barn store, inquiring as to whether they had the rug in store.
A charming fellow called David answered the phone. He checked the stock, and replied “All sold out, I’m afraid”. Did she take no for an answer? No she did not. “Yes,” said Shopping Girl, “I thought so. I just thought perhaps you might have one left on display or something”.
“Actually…” replied David, “we have a return right here!”
“Is there anything wrong with it?”. David answered that he would find out and call her back.

An hour later Shopping Girl’s phone rang and David happily reported that the rug was in perfect condition, it just had not suited the space of the previous purchasers.
“Could you give me the dimensions?”, asked Shopping Girl. And David did. And it was perfect.
“Where is the rug made?” asked shopping girl. “Working Boy won’t buy rugs from Iran”.
David, the model of excellent customer service, said he would find out and call her back.

But Shopping Girl could not wait for the call. Baby N was awake and soon the boys would need fetching from school. Shopping Girl needed a few things from Coles anyway so off to Bondi Junction she went. “That’s the spirit, Shopping Girl,” her iPad seemed to say.

Shopping Girl arrived in Pottery Barn to discover the rug was made in India. Clearly it was fate. Working Boy’s father was also from India.
Shopping Girl asked to see the rug. It was a little shaggier than she anticipated. She didn’t think Working Boy would like a shaggy rug. “You mustn’t think that way, Shopping Girl,” iPad scolded. “You can get this rug if you have tenacity.”

Shopping Girl spoke to Working Boy and explained all the benefits of a shaggy rug. She talked to him in terms he would not understand, like the need for different textures and styles from a design perspective. Shopping Girl persevered and talked harder and harder – and she got the rug. Working Boy agreed it was the right rug for the house. And if they didn’t like
it once it was in the house, they could always return it anyway.

We all have a lesson to learn from Shopping Girl; that with complete dedication to our shopping we can acquire great things.

You won’t all be shopping superstars like Shopping Girl. But if you do your best, and keep at it no matter how much you’d like give up, then one day, you too will discover the rewards of tenacity. Just like our friend, Shopping Girl.

XOXO Shopping Girl



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