Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Clarification: I don't hate the people at the PLCB

I've said this before, but some comments on the recent post made me realize I should say it again:

This blog is not a personal vendetta against the employees of the PLCB.

With a few exceptions, I don't have any personal beefs with the people at the PLCB. I've had a couple of bad experiences that were directly about one person, and I've talked to some brewers and bar owners with similar stories, but most of the PLCB employees I've dealt with, at the State Stores and in Harrisburg, have been quite helpful. Well...no, that's not exactly right. Most of the State Store employees I've talked to in the store, and asked questions, didn't know squat about the products -- or were reticent about relating what they did know -- though they were perfectly competent and friendly at the counter.

Asking questions about anything other than "How much is this?" and "How do I make a special order?" and "Do you take American Express?" is generally hopeless, I'm afraid, at least in my experience. Which brings up...are State Store System employees actually forbidden to make any kind of recommendation about wines, and how far-reaching is that regulation? I haven't found anything about that in The Almighty Liquor Code. Anyone?

7 comments:

TC said...

I think they generally hire people that have little to no interest in wine and liquor as enjoyable drinks, instead of drinks to get drunk with. There is (or was, at least) a nice young man in Bryn Mawr's State Store who knew his business. I honestly haven't run across anyone else impressive in the dozen or so Philly area stores I've been to.

Rich said...

Yeah, I bet their is a dumb rule that says they can't make recommendations. Maybe it isn't a law but a rule in the PLCB employee handbook. Only the "chairman" can make recommendations...with the "chairman's selections". Blah.

Ed Carson said...

Sort of responding to TC's comment.
Question: Are the PLCB employees Civil Service or patronage? I know they are unionized.

Lew Bryson said...

They're regular state employees, Ed; openings are posted regularly and they hire extra part-timers during the holidays. And before anyone suggests it...yeah, I thought about it. But I just couldn't bring myself to do it!

Rich said...

Lew, stay close to your friends and even closer to your enemies. Let's infiltrate the PLCB and break them down from the inside out :)

geoffrobinson said...

Hypothetically speaking, what hypothetical wine would you recommend with a hypothetical chicken marsala?

I would hypothetically recommend this pinot noir from California?

cjrice said...

I was forced out as a plcb employee two years ago and it was because of my attempts to foster better customer service. I enjoyed my dealings with both retail and restaurant customers but my enthusiasm was not shared by fellow employees.
And my conflict with the store gm when she insisted on keeping the store temperature at 80 degrees during the winter. Cooked wines were not of interest to her or her higher-ups.
The 12th and chestnut store hopefully still has a broken heater, since she s there now.