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The welcome wagon

January 8, 2010

We never did get around to filling out the Twin Cities (the twins being Scottsbluff and Gering) Development Association’s newcomer’s form, but the “welcoming hostess” found us anyway, thanks to the spouse of one of the husband’s coworkers.

The doorbell doesn’t work in cold weather, so I didn’t know she had visited. She left a business card, which read “wanted newcomers sponsors,” and a note taped to our front door. She wrote that she had a basket of coupons for us, and that we should call her to “set up an appointment”.

I thought it was pretty odd to have to set up an appointment for a basket of coupons, so I stuck the note to the fridge and forgot about it. We did not do couponless for long, though. The hostess called us the next day (she “finally got the phone number”), and asked if she could set up an appointment to stop by at 11am the following day. OK. Sure.

Right on time, the hostess and her basket showed up at the door. I invited her in, and she walked across the room to our little dining table.

“This will be a nice place to sit.”

Okay. Guess this will take a little longer than I expected.

She introduced herself and her background, and asked about us. Then she proceeded to go through coupons for 30 or so local businesses. One by one. In detail. She is a very thorough person. Had I known the appointment would take this long, I might have offered her some tea.

We got a currency-print gift box, full of . . . cheese popcorn?

Some of the coupons were of no use to us because we’d been here long enough to have already committed to an insurance agent, a newspaper subscription, and internet and phone providers. Some of the offers were a little weird. (Free brownies for meeting with an investment advisor? A “money box” of cheese popcorn from a life insurance rep?) I didn’t feel comfortable with some of the offers. (Choosing health care providers because of coupons for free stuff?) But overall, I really appreciated the gesture. Many of the coupons were great, especially the ones for restaurants and retail stores. (There was one for my favorite restaurant, too — Emporium Coffeehouse & Cafe. Yeah!!) Having coupons gives me an incentive to get out, take the first, sometimes awkward step, and get to know some new-to-me businesses.

Thanks for the welcome, Scottsbluff businesses!

Copyright 2010 by Katie Bradshaw

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