In the meantime I have a funny little story that happened Saturday at the shop. Personally I was in the market for a few laughs so I’d like to bid a sincere thank-you for one customer’s silly little comments.
A great deal of the time I’m alone in the shop on Saturdays but Shane was in and Mary, who intended to come and hook with me, was also on deck. I had a rough week and thought it would be great to mellow out with a bit of hooking with my bestie mate, a relaxing day to chat and see a bit of progress on my letter S. I never got to pull a loop and poor Mary was solicited into duty as well.
Good plans and well placed intentions don’t fit retail because you never know what might happen on any given day. Saturday the flood gates opened and it was constant traffic, nonstop from opening to closing. It was a wools sales day, everyone seemed to need help with colour planning and I love this, helping to shape customer's projects is one of my favourite things.
First come, first served is a general rule, it works for the bank and the post office, why not a rug shop? I do my best to work the crowds and help everyone in a timely fashion. My old short order cook training kicks in and I can cover the floor pretty quickly, sometimes dealing with two or more people at a time. I can get a read on each customer as to who would or wouldn’t mind a few distractions or quick answers to questions. It’s all about juggling and I can handle quite a few pins at a time.
Some people are more needy and if they don’t feel catered too will leave in a huff. It’s upsetting when this happens but what can you do when the shop is wall to wall people! I surely don’t want anyone slamming out the door, feeling justified in telling the rug hooking world that Christine Little is rude but that happens, I hear it through the grapevine. I’m impartial, I don’t judge you by the amount of diamonds on your hand, or fancy clothes on your back. The needs of all my customers are equally important, there just has to be an order to it all and first come first served is fair.
There were two older women to the left of me as I assisted one customer in mapping out the colours of her new project. I was absorbed in the task and discussing the choices while Mary, who was sitting close by overheard the conversation between two gals as they discussed whether or not our shop would tear a ½ yard piece of dyed wool into a quarter. The one woman said, "Well they should, the other shop does it!" I missed that little tidbit but when she interrupted me in the middle of my conversation to ask if we downsized wool, I said yes we do and that Shane, our dye master, would help her. She said she was ready, so I asked Shane to take care of her and he dropped what he was doing and came over. As he approached she sent him away abruptly saying she wasn’t ready, so he said to let him know when he could help her.
The woman continued to shop for wool and found another piece that would be suitable and then told Shane she wanted that piece torn in half as well. He obliged per the usual, tore the wool in half and relabeled it.
She announced she was finished and proceeded to the cashier counter where she started telling Shane how much she loved another shop elsewhere in Nova Scotia. How it was much better there. How that shop was inspirational, with stress on the word. She said every time she goes in there she loves it and comes out so inspired. Everyone there is so nice. She asked Shane if he had ever been there to which he replied “no”. So she told him, that he should go and get some inspiration, basically saying he needed it. That conversation droned on until she left our doorstep. I hadn’t heard any of it as I was busy elsewhere but I had to laugh at the absurdity of it all when Shane relayed it.
I wonder why she even bothered to come in, other than to tell us we fell short. One negative comment doesn’t spoil what we’ve built. So many tell us that they are inspired in the shop I know the negative comments came from a mean spirited place. I hadn’t realized the dame came from Buckingham Palace and wasn’t used to waiting, but then again, it wouldn’t have changed a thing….first come first served is for commoners as well as the royals.
It was a good chuckle had by all. Madam, thank you so much for a bit of comic relief after the sadness of the past week. And always there is balance. This morning a rug hooker and her husband were in the shop all the way from New York. Her husband thought our shop was the nicest one they’ve been in on their trip, and his wife, Sarah McNamara of Hand Rooked Rugs, thepaisleystudio.com agreed. We always appreciate a kind word, we work hard, do the best we can and love our little shop. When I go home at night, just before I turn off the lights I look down the length of the studio and smile to myself. It’s beautiful and I’m proud as punch.
The day was followed by a night out with the girls. Mary, Charlene and I headed to the Grand Banker for a bit of letting down of the hair. We had a fabulous meal followed by a delicious cake at Charlene’s. We all parted wondering why there weren’t more of these evenings with the girls, why will months separate them before someone says, let’s do it again? Day to day responsibilities sure have a way of absorbing all our attention, leaving fun second seated. We must make a pact to meet more often, smell the roses more.
Anyway, I was finally out of my sad funk and hooked on Sunday on my letter S. I’ve finally made the decision to go with the green sand now the rest should go easy and quick.