Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thar' She Blows!

One of the things I like most about keeping a Blog is when something happens to me art or business related I have someplace to vent, I mean share… So today, I got my feelings hurt. The winds at the Spenard Farmer’s Market (and all around Anchorage -my friend Katie Sevigny lost their tent at the Downtown Anchorage Market) were HOWLING! The wind blew so hard at the Market that my tent (the photo is of our booth sans tent...) was at least pul
ling a 30 degree lean and that’s AFTER Daddy-O came to the rescue, with not only sand bags but two 5 gallon buckets of new deck stain as tent weights! We couldn’t keep the metal sculptures upright, even the syrups were blowing over. Other vendors’ tent tops were flying off of their frames, displays blowing over, post cards and bags flew through the parking lot like crazy bats. The poor plants for sale were being forced to harden off and baskets were swaying from their hangers blossoms sailing. As Gus, Kristen and Derek and I were doing what we could to lay all of the metal work down, disassemble the tent (without empaling any customers), lay all of the glass jars of syrup and jams down an older female customer had her eye on me watching this total vendor chaos…
Her and I had been chatting a few minutes on and off because I kept getting interrupted by falling art and blowing debris from other vendors. As she finished smoking her butt in front of Gus she shook her angry finger in my face all teary eyed and said “well Cindy, while you were FUTZING (yes, she said futzing) around with all your stuff, YOU JUST LOST A CUSTOMER!” She walked off towards her car as I stood embarrassed in front of Gus saying “Now come on Lori, (YES, I EVEN SORT-OF KNOW HER!) I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, I didn’t know you wanted to buy anything, I was just trying to…. “ too late, she sped off in her car. I stood there wide eyed and wind blown as Gus turned to me and said “you’d better tell Dad what happened –she was even SMOKING!” So, Lori if you’re reading my Blog, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to provide the best customer service today and I’m even sorrier if I hurt your feelings. I would never intentionally ignore a customer and MY feelings were really hurt at her accusation -especially in front of my son. As the day blew on and we salvaged all of the art, helped other vendors load up I wrote several Blog posts in my head. Rather than stewing about hurt feelings or worrying about my upset (stomach) customer there were way more positive things about the day like;

...meeting Michelle Wilber and Jay Stange of the Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage who turned me on to where I can find some cool bicycle parts for my upcoming 1% sculpture "Bicycle Bloom" -thanks Jay!

...selling Julia's Artisan HONEY which customers LOVE and always looks so cheery (this was taken before everything blew down)!

...meeting Blue Bell who will give you a high five for a Yummy-Chummy!

...AND Kristen came to town yesterday before she headed out today on the USCGC Healy for some Chemical Oceanography research work out of Dutch Harbor. She'll be out in the Bering Sea for over a month. With her in town it was a chance for me to get the kids' summer picture together. Excuse Gus, now that he's 12 the only smile seems to come with making fart noises...which cracks his brother Will up. Boys.


Orion Designs said...

I'm sorry that customer was so rude to you. She showed a complete lack of understanding as to what was going on around her.

And the wind? That's one of the reasons I have sworn off outdoor shows. Wait until you get drenched AND windblown all in the same day!

Ina in Alaska said...

How come Lori was not HELPING you, could she not see you were trying to keep stuff together? It was quite windy and blustery today. Oh well, hope she feels embarrassed. Whatever.

ang said...

aww vent away!! the elements can be cruel sometimes. dear old lori..:S

Cynthia said...

It's your blog - you're allowed to vent! And, I might add you were kind and restrained in your venting...I'm not sure I would have been as nice.

Sometimes, losing a customer is not the worst thing in the world. A couple of years ago, I had a very difficult online customer that kept coming back to me - it made me very tense when I would see an invoice from her in my inbox because I knew that drama would ensue. The last straw was a custom order that she never paid for or claimed.

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt - it helps my own neurosis, but sometimes you just never know how people are wired and which wire might be loose.

The honey does look yummy! And, yikes - the weather sounded like less than ideal for an outdoor event.

Christine B. said...

Looking forward to seeing your Steel Wool at the ABG show. (Did you hear Sutton's is for sale because of poor sales from the road construction? I'm so bummed...)

As for the customer, that would have bummed me out too. I hate to upset people but sounds like she must have had a bad day already to snap at you like that.

And about your 50 year old flowering trees, some people have all the luck! I have one big tree and it is one of the ubiquitous spruce you can find anywhere. Oh well, I planted a crabapple last weekend. So in fifty years it should look as glorious;)

Christine in Anchorage

Heather Thamm said...

Don't you hate it when someone's having a bad day and they take it out on you? I can't believe she wasn't helping you. I battled with the winds myself while trying to take outdoor group pictures at a wedding Saturday. Luckily the winds died down a little by the afternoon. One of these Saturday's I'll make it to the market.

Rubbah Soul said...

It was WINDY...windy ...windy...your art is so beautiful...keep up the good work..don't let the meanies get ya down!