In this changing world common sense seems to have been replaced with a lack of consideration for others, the only question is where was I when they sent out the memo? First of all I wouldn’t be so bold as to take food or drink into a store but if for some reason, a brain fart occurred and I enter an establishment with a coffee, and if I was asked to set it down, I wouldn’t get my back up or feel anything but stupid for the mistake I was making. I’d obey meekly, and then have a look around, probably make a guilt purchase to show the store owner I’m not a complete, inconsiderate jerk. I care what others think of me and go out of my way to not break rules or step on toes. I guess I’m old school cause this is no longer the flavour of the day.
Twice last week groups of people walked out of the shop because of things I said to them. First of all, I get to work and a big ass vehicle, one of those 10 seater, fuel guzzling SUV’s was parked behind the shop and not well, it was taking up two of our parking spaces. We have little room behind there for our cars as my land only goes to the end of my back bumper and side to side, only three cars fit comfortably. The other tenant in the building was parked there and then Shane and I fill in the rest of the space. I squeezed in but I knew my son’s car would never make it and that vehicle would end up being parked in. That's happened before and let me tell you, the expletives coming out of one woman's mouth, who ripped into my husband because he was parked behind her, I wouldn't care to repeat in mixed company!
I entered the shop, saw three woman in the back room looking at patterns and asked politely if it was their vehicle. They said yes and I told them it was private packing behind the building and told them nicely that vehicles can park anywhere along the street in Mahone Bay for free, first come first serve sort of affair. They said "we’ll leave" and were gone. I did tell them that for now Shane would temporarily park behind them but they left anyway, almost tripping over themselves getting out the door. That’s three hookers that will never come back. I guess I should have the attitude it’s their loss instead of letting it upset me but then maybe I’m assuming…maybe they thought my shop sucked and were planning to leave anyway.
Then three people of my vintage came in with coffees. You could tell that they were hot and full by the way they held them. I politely said, while in the shop could you please set your drinks on the counter. One of them said, “I didn’t see a sign". The other said, “There is no sign”. The third said, “There should be a sign” and they all promptly left. Now I’m not up on all the rules and curtacies of this world but isn’t it standard not to take food or drink into a shop of any kind. If you don’t know this, someone should question what planet you’re from. I have had a sign in the past but it went AWOL, and no one ever saw it anyway because I continually had to say no food and drink. Since I’ve been open, I’ve told hundreds of people to set their drinks on the counter and probably 85% of them have stormed out the door. So you're now thinking, why don't I just keep my mouth shut, but you see it's only a matter of time before there is an incident, a trip and spill on someones consignment rug and that's something I don't want to, or should have to, deal with.
I especially like the kids with ice cream, popsicles and all manner of melting treats, who trot in after mom and dad. God forbid you say anything about someone’s precious little darling with sticky fingers, they storm out like I’m contagious. I’m in business to sell things, I do need customers so sometimes I bite my tongue afraid to open my mouth! I’ve watched gooey fingers fondle my hooks and quite frankly, it’s stuff nightmares are made off. One time, an unruly child, after being told repeatedly not to touch anything, did a running dive into a basket of wool with a big sucker in his hand, which he dropped on impact. I guess I’m supposed to charge extra for the sticky bits on the wool. The fact that the basket was an expensive antique that cracked on one side from the landing didn’t seem to bother anyone but me.
And yes, you can help yourself to a coffee in the shop but that doesn’t mean I want you wondering around with it, bending over to look at things. Set it on the table while you look at the patterns, or sit down and peruse the blog binders and design book or stand and chat at the counter, common sense would dictate you don’t go walking around?
This reminds me of a story. I was once in a quilt store gabbing with the owner. The quilts were all hand made, no machine ever touched the fabric. They were very expensive and the sales people were vigilant about handing out white cotton gloves to all who came through the door. Finger oils stain and nobody's hands are surgery ready. One couple came in and they were offered the gloves which they promptly turned down and in a snotty voice, the woman said they would NOT be touching the quilts. Vicki told me to watch…..she went directly to an all-white, $2500.00 piece of fabric art and ran her hand along the stitching. Obviously, I’m not the only one dealing with strange people, but what gives?
Vicki told me this happens all the time. Some became indignant and turn on their heel and leave, insulted as if the glove had slapped them across the face. I think this kind of attitude should be one of the strange phenomenons that's covered on the TV show “Weird or What?” Splain it to me William Shatner, cause I don’t get it.
If I spit out, “ Look people, put your damn drinks down or get the hell out” why I would totally understand the stampede out the door. Or if I was sarcastic and said, don’t worry about spilling coffee on this one of a kind, custom designed $1000.00 plus masterpiece, we don’t mind....I could understand how that might offend.
Maybe I embarrass them? They know better and once it’s been established that they’ve been called on the carpet, they feel ashamed and want to leave? Or maybe they think their shit doesn’t stink, (a local colloquialism) and how dare that lowly shop keep telling them where to stick their coffee? But gee, just for a minute, think of how the person in the shop feels about your rudeness when they are only trying to protect their merchandise. If anyone tripped and soiled a consignment rug, that $1.75 coffee would be the most expensive drink you’ve ever had.....but who am I kidding, I'd be left holding that bag as you skip out the door, refusing to pay for your damage, probably blaming me for having rugs in the store in the first place.