Thursday, March 13, 2008

Glorious in the neighborhood...

Yes the sun is out, the sea is glistening, the temperature is rising (today is suppose to be hovering in the mid 50's), and spring is just around the corner. I almost walked to work today, but my purse is too heavy to walk the two blocks with so I drove instead, but I thought about it so that counts. Yesterday we moved more fibers around (and around and around and around), but since some stitchers had called on Tuesday to ask if they could come on in to the shop, we also were open (as many of you know I'll open anytime for anyone...) and as luck would have it we also had another call from a local wanting to bring in someone from out of town, so we had a fun day yesterday. I have almost as much fun as the ladies do..I get such a kick out of stitchers and their stories. So thanks to Ellen S., Janet L., Karen B., Judith J., Marie C., Sarah S., Rosemary K., Patricia A., & Helen S., and all the other ladies for stopping by and making our day. We had fun and I hope you did too, and I hope you enjoy all your new "goodies." I'm also getting numerous e-mails regarding the Whitman's tins. I can't thank Ellen S. who's held hostage in New York city for working so hard on my behalf finding tins, getting info on blogging, etc., for me...Ellen your diligence is appreciated. Also heard from Cynthia R. who has tracked some down in Maine and apparently they don't give a damn about the heat as they will ship. Heat...I still can't get over that woman in Virginia...are you folks having different temps than we are here? Cause I'm telling you it's warm and sunny during the day, but not 76 degrees that she was talking about...and how long would the ride have been anyway as I found out this store is between Ocean City and Williamsburg which is approximately 3 hours. So we're not talking sitting on a truck for days...and if it's UPS we're talking just a couple of days to begin with...oh my God, you got me started and I don't think I can shut up. If you don't want to ship something, if it's just too much trouble then say, "I'm sorry I don't feel like hauling my ass to the post office with your lousy candy tins and if you can't come into the store than you aren't going to see our tins." But don't, for God's sake, come up with "it's too hot to ship this time of year." First she didn't ask if I was north or south, or if I was two doors away or 6 states know the more I think about this the madder it makes me. She's obviously got more money than I do...hell I open the store for a skein of floss if someone needs it, I'd drive the tins to a customer if I had to (we actually thought about driving a dollhouse when we sold miniatures to Baltimore for a customer because the shipping would have been too high for her). Oh, well, I need to get over this...but you know what I mean. Customer service people...that's what I'm talking about. We can buy goods anywhere...what we're looking for are people who appreciate our business and let us know that by treating us like they appreciate our business. This brings me to another area of Customer Service. My adorable niece, Kelly, sent me a bouquet of absolutely gorgeous flowers...they arrived in the shop while I was busy with a salesman. I said thank you and the delivery person sort of stood there and looked like she was waiting for a tip, which I didn't produce and so she left. First I didn't have my purse with me as it was in the office, but I could still have come up with the money out of the drawer if I had to I guess, but I didn't do that. After she left and the salesman had gone I started feeling guilty and said something to Sara. She said not to worry about it and I should have to tip a delivery person in the first place. It's a weird area. Tipping in this country (we've discussed it before) is so out of hand. In self serve places, carry out counters, all over the place where we are actually doing the work ourselves we are being asked for tips. If I have to drive to your establishment and stand in line to pick up my order why do I have to tip you...what service did you provide? You cooked it, but then isn't that built into the cost of the item to the customer? If I stay overnight in a hotel do I tip. No, because the room wasn't cleaned for me; however, if I stay 2 nights or longer then yes I am required to tip, because after the first night the housekeeper has to come in to make the bed, vacumn and whatever else they care to do. But flower delivery....I suppose you could call and say you have flowers for me to pick up but I'm sure then you would put the container on the counter saying ,"tips appreciated." I was a waitress (before you had to pay waitresses) so I appreciate a tip, but I also appreciated the fact that the tip was for services rendered and it was adjusted on how well you performed. Does anyone care about performance anymore? It certainly doesn't appear to be the case. We've also had a strange thing happening when we go to lunch. We are creatures of habit and tend to go to the same places. In one of the places we are waited on by a woman who knows my daughters and she never charges us for the tea or soda or ice cream floats we have with lunch. The first time it happened I mentioned it to my daughter and she said "Mom, just leave the money you would have paid for the float as extra tip." Now when I'm in a restaurant and the service is alright with me, but the management feels it isn't up to par and they don't charge me for something I do take the cost of that item and tack it on to the tip so the waiter is the one who benefits (remember I use to be one). If the service stinks forget about it, I still tip but I don't tip 20%. Service is good it's at least 20% or better depending. Anyway, we've been back to that restaurant now 3 times and each time she's given us the drinks...and she doesn't own the business. When it happened again on Tuesday, I said to Mary, "This isn't right and I'm not sure what I should do." Mary then said, "Mom it's O.K., all bartenders do it." And I mentioned that just because everyone does it doesn't make it right, and then she tried this, "the owners of bars allow the bartenders to give so many drinks to customers free and that's what I'm talking about." Well, I didn't know an owner would give anyone permission to give away product. I don't I don't allow it, that's called stealing. If I want to give something away, well that's O.K. because it's mine, I paid for it. So by giving the price of the drinks to the waitress along with 20% makes this a reward doesn't it for stealing from her employer? I don't know, I just don't feel right and to be perfectly honest I don't want to eat there anymore. On the upside, we just had a Panera Bread open in the White Marlin Mall..yea!!! It's busy as I don't know what, but they did a bang up job running it so it's quick in and out which I love and no waitress to confuse me on this drink issue. But enough on tipping already...I won't tip to delivery flowers since in my opinion that's the job is to get the flowers to the customer, or isn't it. If you are a florist and feel differently e-mail me and perhaps I'll change my mind. On the shop front, the Miss Penny dolls finally arrived as well as Barnabee's Bridge and she's sparkly and bright so come on by and meet her. I've got to taxes are calling my name.

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