Friday, April 26, 2013

If I Was Left Alone, I Would Have Spent Double (at least!)

This past weekend, I headed to the Shore to collect Sea Glass (more on that and what I got/didn't get in a future post).  Before I left, I looked up bead stores between my house and the Shore.  I found 2 along the route I was going to take, but quickly found out that one closed a few months prior.  I was bummed but one is better than none! 

My departure was delayed for various mothering reasons, so by the time I got to the bead shop, I had 90 minutes to shop.  My routine is :  take one slow lap though and browse, get the tray, take second lap through to pick up all I want to buy.  When I walked in, I briefly scanned the size of the room and the layout to plan where I was going to start.  It was small area.  Lots of stuff packed in it, but I knew I could do it in 90 minutes. 

I have debated whether I should call the store out by name.  I decided against it.  The store itself has a lot to offer, and 3 of the 4 owners/workers were either nice or left me alone.  They shouldn't be smeared for this other person's behavior. 

When I walked in, there was a lovely woman behind the counter that went through the usual pleasantries.  Another woman was dealing only with crystals and mostly ignored me.  A third woman peeked out of another room to tell me that I was welcome to come in that room and shop~it was all for sale.  (this room looked like a cross between a class room and a dump-and-sort-eventually room.  it had some good stuff in it!).  Literally, out of no where, #4 appeared.  She insisted I take a tray no matter how many times I said I wasn't ready for a tray yet.  I eventually gave in to shut her up about the damn tray.  As soon as the tray battle was over she insisted I touch certain beads...that were $150 each.  They were gorgeous lampwork beads, but I was not in the market for them.  Each time I stepped away, she said "Oh, you didn't touch this one" and plopped it in my hand.  After 20 minutes (now I only have 70 minutes before the store closes so I am nervous about seeing it all) of looking at beads that are clearly out of my league, I sternly said "I appreciate you showing me these.  I am moving on now."  Each time I bothered to look up from the beads, she was standing 1-2 feet from me, staring, with no regard for personal space.  I held up a piece of pyrite to my chest, trying to get a visual of what I might do with it in a necklace.  She said "That is an odd thing to do with a bead, hold it up to your chest."  I put it on my tray and walked away.  When I was looking through charlottes, she was standing so close, I could not spin the display to see the other colors.  I picked a green charlotte, and she said "Hmmmm.  Interesting."  She left me alone when I headed toward the Czech glass, but only long enough for me to get through 1/2 of them.  It was the tightest spot of the store.  I was cornered.  She called one of the workers over and demanded "Take off that gorgeous birthday gift I made you so I can show this woman what I made."  The woman took it off, handed it over and walked away."  It was a bracelet made with the brick shaped beads with the two holes.  (I recently bought some and am making a brick wall with vines with it)  It was a lot less flexible than mine, so I asked "Was this done on a loom?"  "Of course,  But not just any loom.  Rick's Loom.  You need to buy one and take my class.  You Must!"  I said I would not be doing that. "You must!"  Time for me to walk away again.  Only 2 minutes later, she came up to me and said "You have never seen matte agate before, I am sure.  Touch it."  I said I had and it was lovely.  "Touch It!"  WTF?!?  I literally touched it with the tip of my finger for a fraction of a second and walked away.  Left on my own, I would have stroked it for a does have a lovely feel.  And I probably would have bought some!  I left the Czech and went through some amber and turquoise and other gems.  She was loudly closing all closets and locking side doors.  I got the feeling we were reaching closing time so I hurried over to the seed beads and delicas.  I had not seen that section yet.  I wasn't there more than a second or two when a strand of un-pretty, very expensive, odd shape, orange and yellow matte Czech beads literally were thrown onto my tray.  I picked them up and looked up.  There she was.  She said "I think you really need these beauties."  I said, "I do not"  and I slapped them into her hand and turned my back to her.  After that, I never saw her again until I heard her yell to everyone that she was having sushi delivered for dinner and aren't they all jealous.  One of the other women came up to me and said, "I hate to bother you, but we are closing now.  Please make your last selections."  I didn't even get through the whole store, and it wasn't a big store!  I briefly thought about putting my tray down and walking out.  I was so disgusted by #4's behavior.  But the other women acted appropriately and I really wanted the beads I picked out.  So I made my way to the cash register.  One of the women said "I do hope you will come back again sometime." There was so much I wanted to say at that point, but I just managed to give a weak smile.  I spent a lot, but truthfully, I usually spend double of what I spent on Saturday.  I wish I had that opportunity, as it would have been good for them and me.  But #4 stood in the way of that.

I got in the car and drove a couple miles down the road and pulled over in a grocery store parking lot.  I sat there for several minutes, trying to process the events of the last 2 hours. It was hard to shake.  I had a very unpleasant 90 minutes with a clueless, overbearing woman, but at least I didn't have to work with her day in and day out.  I was pulled out of my deep thoughts by the ringing of my cell phone.  "Where are you?"  That was a good question.  Lost in thought.  15 minutes away.  Back in the bead store.  Headed for the Shore.  In the middle of an imaginary knock-down-drag-out with a nasty bead woman.  In a parking lot.  So I settled on "In my car.  I will be there soon".

Ok, it is off my chest.  I am moving on...and I already made some cool jewelry with my purchases :-) 


Honey from the Bee said...

Ugh! You'd think one of the others (since clearly #4 was unaware of anybody but herself) would've noticed your discomfort and said something to #4. I probably would've walked out, because I hate having someone on my shoulder when I'm shopping. No time to think!

I think you should contact the owners though and let them know what happened and how it affected your purchases. Otherwise they'll eventually go under, too.

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

I do 99% of my shopping on line for this very reason. There is a local bead store near me, and every time I go in, I literally feel the hot breath of the women who work there on my neck - I cannot stand it! I only go there about once a year - it takes me that long to get up the nerve! I am that way in EVERY store - If I have a question, I will ask - otherwise LEAVE ME ALONE!

Glad you purchased what was on your tray at least - I know for a fact I would have dumped it all on the checkout and walked out with zero purchases! My mother blames my lack of patience on my age...she is probably right, as I learned from the Master! :)

Gloria said...

I hope she was having an off day. Probably permanent personality "quirks"- to be kind, by the sound of it.

A few days ago I was looking at cameras in Target and the woman didn't get the message either. She stood so close and kept questioning and chattering on. I've been pestered by her before. #1 she doesn't listen. #2 she never knows the correct answer. #3 I won't buy because she is a pest and stands much too close. No sooner did she leave than another employee swooped in, but at least he walked away when I answered him. I ended up buying online from a different store.

I hope you had a fabulous time searching for beach glass. Show ♥

AntiquityTravelers said...

Holy Smokes! I think I would have said something to her! But then, likely I would have had to leave without the pretty beads in my tray :O WOW that is a case study in what not to do!! I wonder if the crazy lady #4 is the owner, and that is why no one did anything?

And holding up a bead to think about how it might look? what is strange about that? This woman has no vision!! And your brick bracelet is so cool! and so much better 'off loom' !! it would be too stiff on a loom.

There is one local store (not to be named) that I go to often. They used to have a big bowl of "singles" or left over beads. My girls love to take the wooden scoop and buy a bag. They poke around in the bowl looking for unusual ones. One time the woman at the desk yelled at Annie saying "you're not allowed to pick the beads!" I thought, first of all do you have any idea how much I've spent in this store over the years? and secondly ... these are unwanted single beads, and thirdly ... she's a child! That day I did put down my entire tray and walk out. But I have been back, and that has never happened again.

Unknown said...

I am the kind of person who can't stand staff hovering close by and chatting incessantly. I probably would have walked out but it is a hard thing to do when you make a special trip to buy. You make the story very interesting and I laughed in spite of your experience requiring loads of patience. #4 clearly has no clue! Can't wait to see the beach glass.

windrock studio said...

Well, we all agree that this is something we don't put up with and it always amazes me how it just takes one clueless jackass to ruin a great experience. I think Janet is right on about making that call. I'm so glad you got some pretty things out of your ordeal ... and kept your cool!

The Crazy Creative Corner said...

Wow. I can feel the heat crawling up my neck and into my face as I deal with this woman in my mind. I would, in all likelyhood, not have been anywhere near as kind as you. I think I would have just stared at her, unblinking, as she kept trying to get me to touch things. And, about the time she dropped that ugly string in my tray, I think I would have handed it to her and told her "You just lost this store a huge sale." and walked out. I prefer to have them ask "Do you need anything?" and leave me alone if I say no. Don't ignore a customer who walks in, but don't pester them to the death of a sale, either! (breathbreathbreath!)

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

OMG, my first thought was the same as Cynthia's (she must have been the owner/manager, or someone would have intervened). Followed by horror (how could someone THAT insensitive and boorish be ALLOWED to run a bead store?)

I am in the middle of nowhere, thereby deprived of bead-shopping in person. There is NO WAY, should I be fortunate enough to find a local bead store, I could ever be as patient and fore-bearing as you, Christine! I kept waiting for the punchline (you were writing from jail after shoving that bead tray down her throat LOL)

Amy F said...

Wow, i was annoyed just reading about her - you must have a lot more patience than I did. I'd email the owners and tell them she was a little overbearing. what a pity - nothing worse than a nice new-to-you bead store experience being wrecked. boo.

tahdeah said...

wow you are so much better then me i would have told #4 about herself and then left the store. It's so sad when people are like that, you lose so many customers that way.

KJ said...

I am so sorry you had such a frustrating experience. It was quite over the top.

My mother is so much nicer than me, but some of it must have rubbed off. #4 was annoying and incapable of reading social clues. I would have very bluntly told her that I needed space and quiet so that I can process what I am seeing and envision what I can make, and further, when I need assistance I am not shy, I will ask.

From her need to show you specific beads and her work but mostly from her demand that you "touch this" I suspect that she suffers from some mental health disorder, not disabling but most certainly limiting. Her co-workers need to figure out a way to pull her back tactfully.

Sweet Freedom said...

So sorry - you were more graceful than I would have been!

If Augusta is ever on your way ANYwhere, you can come wander around my bead store all you want!

Miss Val's Creations said...

Oh no! This is one reason I do not like shopping in stores. #4s really get under my skin! This woman sounds really rude and pushy...the opposite of good customer service!

It is so sad how bead stores go out of business so quickly. It is the same in my region. They usually don't last a year! I guess there is too much competition with the internet.

I look forward to seeing your beach glass. :) I am sure that search calmed your nerves.

Unknown said...

Obviously, #4 has never had a true bead buzz in her life. She'd know the rules - leave the customer alone.

Sounds like you handled the situation well. While reading, I kept thinking of the other workers in the store. How horrible to have to deal with that every day.


CraftyHope said...

Wow!I've encountered those type of people before but never in a bead store. I'm not sure I could have handled it for long. You were a real trooper. I'm glad that you were able to get some cool beads at least. I hate that it was such a trial though.