Lots of times customers go out for dinner and come back to pick up the finished pattern. We bend over backwards to help when we can...that's why we're in business, to serve the rug hooking community, any other attitude is counter productive and if you feel hard done by, put out or used, you shouldn't be in the business. One rug hooking shop owner used to call her customers vultures and I told her maybe it was time to close and she did. Once the fun is gone don't go through the motions begrudgingly, it serves no one. If you want to be on top, retail is all about going the extra mile. I also hear stories from customers about traveling a fair distance and showing up at shops to find them closed and the disappointment that ensues so we try to accommodate whenever we can and short of a broken leg, we’ll come in on a day off as long as it is set up with reasonable notice.
Such was Saturday. A few weeks back I received a call from a woman from Quebec who planned to breeze through Mahone Bay for one day and wanted to learn how to hook. She wouldn’t be able to make the Sunday beginner's class but could pop in on Saturday so I suggested she sit in on the hook-in from 12:00 -2:00 and I would give her direction. That was too early so we decided on 4:00 in the afternoon.
Saturday was really busy with a lot of tourists trying to get out of the rain. The shop was abuzz all the day long. No one showed up to hook but I had lots of company coming and going as hooker friends dropped in to chat. Quite a few hooker wannabes received a demo and I answered questions about the craft. I made up several patterns on the fly while people waited so there was little time for being idol or lunching.
The day was over in a blink and my stomach was squawking from hunger so by the time 5:00 rolled around I was exhausted and pretty shaky on my feet with low blood sugar. I was so looking forward to eating an early dinner and getting horizontal on the sofa with the pups. My feet were killing me. I’m getting up there and standing all day isn’t as comfy as it used to be. It feels like the skin of my heels has thinned so I’m standing on bone.
Don’t tsk tsk me for going without food! I really try to grab lunch but you can’t kick people out of the store to get takeout from one of the restaurants! I usually try to throw some snacky things together but I was running late that morning and didn’t have time. If a normal person needed grub to hold them over in a pinch they could slip next door at the convenience store and grab a bag of chips or snack on an apple but I can’t do any of that. An apple without protein in my stomach would spike my sugar and potato chips are suicide, turning to sugar in your mouth, and it’s the bad sugar, sending your levels as high as a kite. So lunch has to be balanced with veggies and some kind of protein.
Four o'clock came and went and the woman didn’t show, and quite frankly I had forgotten about it with a brain that had turned to mush. I get stupid when my sugar is low, or maybe that’s an excuse, but I don’t seem to spark as sharply. So I shut down the shop, did all the day’s end stuff and was about to turn out the lights and go home when I heard a woman pounding on the door. She had arrived an hour and a half late and wanted her beginning class. I tried to be nice but I was in a bad state and low blood sugar can put an edge on your mood and I felt like a cranky bitch but later when I apologized and said I hoped I didn’t sound too nasty, I was told that I had been nice. I think she was fibbing….
Well I couldn’t turn them away. The one sister had traveled here just to see me and take a class, they just got detained somehow or somewhere, I didn't ask nor did I reprimand. It was lucky that it took so long to shut down the shop because if I was able to roll out of there at 5:00 I would have been gone and they would have been left in the rain pounding on the door and probably none too pleased with me. The one sister, Arsena, didn’t speak any English but she did speak dog and I had my four hounds there so she was in poodle heaven and held Honey the entire time.
Annette spoke very good English so communication wasn’t a problem. I told her the state I was in with the diabetes, said I would still help with the hooking but needed something to eat and went foraging for food. I found a handful of nuts and a hard boiled egg that was a day old but at that point I would have eaten it if it was turning green. So I downed that and rinsed my mouth with Decaf coffee and was ready to roll.
So I gave her the quick version of my class and it turned out well in that her hooking was perfect right from the first loops. I couldn’t tell the difference between by demo samples and hers. So we were off to the races. We spent about an hour chatting about hooking while she practiced and then she looked around the store, asked some more questions and bought a few things.
Annette Edmond, a new hooking convert is from St Andre-Avellin, Quebec and her sister was from Port Cartier, near Sept-isles. Don’t know where these places are so I hope they are spelled correctly. They are on their way to visit the Magdalen Islands and had been to Fort Louisburg the day before. Mahone Bay was a pit stop to learn how to hook and they were staying in the Mahone Bay Bed & Breakfast, the most photographed house in town and yellow, the deciding factor as Arsena likes to stay in yellow houses when they travel.
Very interesting women and I enjoyed the time spent with them. But it did me in for the rest of the night because I got home at 7:00, stuffed my faced and fell flat on the sofa and didn’t come to until midnight. Then I stayed up way too late because I was no longer tired so slept all day Sunday when I had planned to work. I guess I needed the rest but I would have rather been productive and had something to show for my day instead of drool on a pillow. The pups slept right along with me as they were exhausted too.
So I got up and went to work on Canada Day. It looked like Mahone Bay was a ghost town on the way to the shop. Not many stores were open and there were few people mulling about so I was pleasantly surprised at the steady stream of customers all day long. The weather was nasty with bursts of rain that sounded like the roof might wash away but then the sun would shine for a few minutes just to prove that it was still there, somewhere behind all those grey clouds. It was hot and sticky outside but inside was cool and crisp with the dehumidifier.
I went home at 5:00 and then instead of wasting away in front of the TV I went back to the shop and after dark, was treated to a fireworks show from the next door neighbour's back deck. It went on for over 1/2 hour with all kinds of sparkles and coloured diamonds dancing across the sky. All in all, I think it was a great Canada Day!