"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman


The View From the Other Side of the Counter

Woke this morning feeling 1000's of times better. Hurray!

I beaded last night, but not on my lariat fringe. I worked on my zigzag peyote bracelet instead. You'll find the pattern for it here, scroll down a bit:

Silver Mist Gardens

It's an exercise in beading with different size beads, which makes it raise up in a very satisfying 3-D effect like Cellini spiral. I'm doing it in limey greens and eggplant purple. It will be a bangle-I hope. Heh heh. Keeping the tension good and tight has been the challenge for me. If you don't keep it tight, the pattern doesn't work right.

I visited JanuaryOne's blog and found an interesting thing going on. She's been on vacation in San Francisco and had visited some yarn shops. One of them had not been the best experience for her, so she stated that in a fair and honest way. The comments have been very interesting, which has led to the subject I'm gonna write about today.

We've all experienced it. You go into a store and the folks who work there aren't real friendly or helpful, and you leave feeling like they'd have been happier if you hadn't come in and interrupted them. You vow to never return.

If that's the first time you've been in the shop, please don't judge it harshly.

Being a former yarn shop owner, I know what it's like. There are customers who have unrealistic expectations when they visit a yarn shop. They expect the proprietor and employees to be all fuzzy warm, friendly, overly helpful, and like a warm hug all the time-no matter how badly you may treat them, when in fact the customer is entering a business owned and operated, tragically, by humans.

When I had my shop, I tried my very best to be as friendly and helpful as I could at all times, but life got in the way. It's hard to smile and be friendly when the night before you just had a teenage girl go off the road at 80mph and wrap her car around the pine tree in your front yard and smash her brain to smithereens (I was the one who looked in the car first-not pleasant), or you just got back from your annual physical after having been told there's a lump in your breast, or your house was burglarized the day before. Or your neurologist has just told you that if you don't have surgery on your back, you're going to be in a wheel chair within a few months. These things happened to me.

Or how about you just found out that brand new expensive silk sweater you put up on display a couple days ago has successfully been stolen by a shoplifter, or you just had a customer who verbally abused your employees for NO justifiable reason, or you've just spent 2 hours gritting your teeth with the customer who is so obnoxious you want to run and hide when you see her at the door. Or you've been chewed out by a customer about a really bad yarn-even though you don't sell that yarn and the customer bought it somewhere else. Or you just had to clean up a mess from a customer who took tons of skeins off the shelves and left them laying all over the store on the floor. These things happened to me.

Or maybe you're just feeling lousy. Your back hurts, you have a nasty headache, you have a cold, you're fighting off the flu, you just had a fight with sweet hubby (rare, but it happens). I'm human. I have bad days.

Most customers are wonderful. That's one of the reasons I loved having a yarn shop. But, the fact is, there are far more scary customers out there than scary yarn shop proprietors. Far more people who have unrealistic expectations, or have an attitude that the shop owner is trying to rip them off. There are stories I could tell you that would make your hair stand on end.

I'm not saying there are no lousy yarn shops out there. There are, I've visited a few of them and was totally justified in never going back. I'm just saying, don't judge on the first visit.

It takes a special kind of person to own and run a yarn shop successfully. Not only do you have to know business, and knitting, but you have to love people, and you have to have diplomatic skills far above anything used to calm angry countries.

So, if you visit a yarn shop, and you haven't had the experience you expected, or wanted, remember, there are two sides to the checkout counter. Give the shop staff the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they just had a really bad experience before you got there. Give them a second chance.

Have a great day.

1 comment:

  1. I completely understand the bad day. I have them all the time. That's why I stated in my post that maybe it was me? Who knows? I made an effort to be friendly because I was in a new ys (to me) in a fairly new city (to me) and I felt like I was rebuffed. I'm pretty sure I was clear though that the reception I perceived didn't take away from the quality or content of the store. It just could've been a nicer experience for me.

    Unfortunately, in this case, I can't go back that easily since the yarn store is 3000 miles away. It would be great to give them a second chance, and maybe it would be different, but it wouldn't take away from my experience the first time out.

    Thank you for your comments by the way. It is always good to get the other side of the story.