יום רביעי, 29 באפריל 2009

Memoirs of a yarn shop owner in Israel - Part 1

It's places like this that one can let out a bit of frustration. You never know who will read it, and don't really care. It just has to be let out.
When we were young, we were all taught about truth, and justice. Good things happen to good people. You get what you deserve. What goes around comes around. You start to believe in good things, and then life really dishes it out. What is the purpose? To learn of course. We are told, the more difficulties we go through in life, the stonger we become. Let justice do it's job. There is a reason for everything that happens.
I'm still trying to figure that one out.
At the beginning of last winter 2007, a women walked into my shop. I recognized here immediately. I heard she got in trouble and lost everything. Bankrupt.
I reminded her who I was. Of course she couldn't remember. It was far back. We got to talking and I told her that knitting was the best therapy for anything that hurts. I told her it really drives your mind away from problems. Knitters thank us on a daily basis for what knitting does for them. Much research has been done. The conversation soon changed to a small calculator in her hand, wanting to know how many hours it would take to knit a crtain sweater she chose, calculated by the average wage per hour, how much the yarn and the cheapest needles were. She clearly told me it was a bad investment. I was extremly pleasant, trying to convince her that people don't knit as an investment. It is purely for enjoyment. My first mistake.
A year later, October 2008, she again walked into the shop. After 3 visits and much convincing on my part, she finally chose a pattern, yarn and needles. We offered to help in any way. I was sure this would give the women many hours of relaxing therapy, just what she needed. My second mistake. Why couldn't I have left well enough alone.
The pattern had to be translated. She specifically requested to make sure the hip area be wide enough. She doesn't want it to cling. She wants wide wide wide. My mother, the knit doctor, checked gauge and measurements maybe ten times. The pattern will be wide enough, she assured her. It was a cable jacket. The women didn't have a clue. She actually needed to be taught from scratch. Another big mistake on our part.
My mother sat with her between once to twice a week, at the shop, at least an hour each visit, for six months. The women didn't pay a penny. Major major good hearted mistake.
During this never ending process, she got a ticket while parking illegaly on one of her visits. Of course she said this adds on to the price of an already extremely expensive sweater (cost of yarn was approximately $50!)
At last, when all the parts were done, she didn't know how to sew them together. She asked my mother to do it, and she did, at a regular charge.
When I saw the finished result, I was disappointed. It was actually very well done, and I was fearfull that this women would be back to knit again. I didn't want my mother to go through the whole ordeal again. It was tiresome, and felt awful to be used like that. And then she came.
She tries it on. Had it on for 60 seconds and said the sleeves were too wide. She left.
I get a phone call the next day, she says she wants us to solve the problem It's our responsibility. If we can't solve it, she'll bring it by for us to take apart and reknit the sleeves for her. I explained to her that it looks wonderful, but if she's not happy with it, we can undo it for her and give her instructions to knit the sleeves again, we don't knit for people. She was furious.
Two more calls with useless explainations later, the postman comes in with 3 court orders. The women is sueing us for 3550 NIS (approx $750) for the hours she spent knitting.
I had to take the paperwork to my lawyer, to draw up the defense.
For some crazy reason, after everything we did, I have the feeling she is going to win this case. Otherwise, if the saying what goes around comes around is actually true, she should have been thanking us for all the free lessons and encouragement she got over a period of six months.
For a few days, I decided that there would be no more being nice to customers. They'll just have to figure it out themselves. No more blaming us. All the HUNDREDS of people that have come in to thank us for ideas, explainations, color combinations, a kind word, encouragement, are not worth one single lady that's been causing so much trouble.
A few more days went by. A few more kind knitters come in. They hear the story. Many know who she is, they've seen her at the shop endlessly for the past six months. These kind knitters have changed my mind. My wonderful knitting community. The ones that visit the shop for a daily and weekly visit. Knitting, smiling, and always always appreciating our help.
I hope the judge is a knitter. I hope the judge has knitter friends. I hope the judge knows that knitting is not a sweater investment. It's a people investment. We are here to help knitters. To make them smile, to make them relax, to forget their problems, to be loved and appreciated by the family and friends they give their knits to.
I hope the judge understands. And if not, I'll pay my fine to the women. I'll still win. I'm left with all you knitters. Knitting friends for life.

3 תגובות:

Esther אמר/ה...

That is just appalling.
She is obviously a very unhappy woman with no personal resources looking to blame everyone else for her problems.

I hope you win the case not just for yourself but for all decent-minded people out there.

Michal Stern-Zuckerman אמר/ה...

אני ממש לא מוצאת מילים לומר לך כמה אני מזדהה אתך. כמה חבל לי שהיית צריכה לעבור את זה. אני כל כך רוצה לעזור, רק שאיני יודעת איך. אני מקווה שלפחות תזכו במשפט, אבל גם בלי המשפט כבר סבלתם כל כך הרבה עוגמת נפש.

אז בינתיים, כיוון שאין לי הצעה מעשית לעזרה, אני שולחת לך חיבוק חם ובלי סוף איחולי הצלחה. ואל תתני לה לקלקל לך את האמון בטוב. קל להגיד וקשה לקיים, אני יודעת, אבל אם לא תתני לה, תראי את כל הטוב שמסביבך ותמשיכי להינות מהחנות הנהדרת שלך, ומהנתינה הנפלאה שלך ושל אמך לכל כך הרבה אנשים. אם היא לא תצליח לקחת ממך את זה - היא לא ניצחה.

ממיכל, לקוחה חדשה שנהנתה בינתיים רק משירות בטלפון, אבל יודעת בדיוק מי אתם ומחכה לפגוש אתכם.

CHANNAH אמר/ה...

That's crazy. I hope the judge throws her out of court, on her tuches. Please keep us all updated on this. I'd be honored to come testify on your behalf.