Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: Gallery Visit 101 for Tourists

1. Please keep your children with you AT. ALL. TIMES.
2. If you need help reaching/handling something, please feel free to ask. We're happy to help you.
3. Please don't throw your money at me. I have to bite my tongue and have long conversations with God begging that He hold my tongue so that I don't respond in a rude way. Please hand it politely to me.
4. Yes, I'm happy to gift wrap your items. Please don't tell me how to do it. I've worked here for almost 8 years. You've been here for the total of about an hour. My guess is that I know how to do my job better than you do.
5. No, I won't give you a discount.
6. No, we don't have a sale corner.
7. Shipping is a service we provide. Yes, we do it as a service and as such, I'm sure that you understand our making a profit off of it. I'm sorry that the shipping and handling is a little higher, but the post office is just down the street if you prefer.
8. No, we don't have boxes for the items that we sell. Believe me, if I have packed fragile items that have been padded between clothing in a suitcase that have made it through the airline handling halfway around the world, I promise that your small, unbreakable item will make it just fine in the car on the 2 hour ride back home.
9. No, I won't give you the artist's phone number.
10. No, I won't give you a list of galleries that sell my boss' work. They only carry a very few pieces in comparison to what you see on display here. You want to "find bigger pieces at another gallery and not pay the shipping for it?" Thank you for your honesty, but hardly anyone else carries the bigger pieces. Three words. Drop. Ship. Baby. There's no other way. I'm sorry for that. I wouldn't want to pay crating and shipping fees, either.
11. I know that our main lot only has about 12 spaces. It is a smaller lot that requires you to pull head in and back out only. Doing the e-er-e-er in and out, back and forth is crazy. The "R" on your PRNDL means reverse. Utilize it.
12. Again, the lot is small. Please don't double park your car, especially during the busy holiday season. I know that you have a beautiful car. I do, too. Go through one Ohio winter and a few Giant Eagle parking lots and that will cure you of vehicle pride really quick.
13. No, we don't carry rings in 1000 different sizes. We also don't carry cases of every item that we sell. I know that you are here for a limited amount of time and I apologize for the inconvenience.
14. No, we aren't computerized at the counters. All of our slips are handwritten. Just look at it as charm and not a hassle.
15. Please don't tell me that I need to hurry. I'm one of the fastest wrapper that you will find at the gallery. (Not tooting my own horn.) I can only go as fast as my fingers can take me. I'm sorry that you've run yourself so behind. Next time, feel free to keep a running tab going so that I can work on your items while you continue to shop. Then, by the time you've decided that you are to leave, all of your items are wrapped.
16. Your wrapped gifts will not make it through the airport security, much less customs. I'm not suggesting that I send you with the wrap on the side because I'm lazy. I'm really suggesting it as a nice thing for you.
17. Though it hardly ever happens, if you want, we happily accept tips. Especially if your family has been particularly difficult.
18. Continually changing your mind and continually adding on does drive us crazy, even though we won't admit it. We can wait to write you up until after you are finished making your final selections. Really, we don't mind.
19. We have posted hours. I know that you got wrapped up, things took longer, you got lost . . . but really, when it is closing time and you come in at 2 minutes till, we still really want to go home regardless. We aren't telling you that we are closing to be rude. It's true and we are tired.
20. Yes, handcrafted items are expensive. Thank you for loudly confirming that.
21. No. You may not pick our flowers. My boss spends much time and money selecting and planting all of those flowers. You will make him very cranky. Like the park, we have a no collection policy.
22. If you break something, just fess up to it. Hiding it and having me find it later only makes me cranky. I promise, I won't yell at you. Do you want to know a secret? I break things, too. You should see my breakage listing after setting up the Christmas trees.

Smiles in my day:
- Sales were up in June at the store. Oh sweet relief! I told my boss that I was so happy for her. I said that it was like God was patting them on the back and saying that they were doing a good job! She told me that it was kind of like turning a little corner. I'm so happy for them!
- Sitting in the driveway doing stories with K-. We drew a castle on the neighbor's driveway yesterday and she's made different stories with her little thrift store dollies (McDonald's Cabbage Patch dolls) about all sorts of adventures that they were going on in the castle. Generally, I'm the guard in charge of letting people in and out.
- Watching the clouds go by and making up what things are with K-. Tonight, we had a lamp like a genie would come out of.
- K-'s sweet prayer tonight. "God, please help our daddy. Please, please, please heal him." Her prayer went on and on praying for different folks and their needs. So sweet. It touched my heart! He had a fever last night that broke during the night. He has started to feel better, so he had a little bit of a virus, but she was still worried about him.


Rach said...

Hi Amy, we're back!

I cannot imagine how frustrating it must be to work in your gallery at times. Any way you could print out and post those rules? ;o)

I hope hubs is on the mend today.

Bailey's Leaf said...

Yes, it can be frustrating but most of the time it is rather enjoyable. I also admit that I was suffering from a touch of the -eh, hem- Mother Nature induced attitude last week, but I still thought it fine to post. Really, it is true. Last week, we had a bus load of tourists in from China, I was helping my coworker by wrapping some of the things she was selling and no sooner than 2 seconds after I was done, a gentleman whipped his money at me. "Oh my goodness, let me help you!" Oh sweet lovin' Lord, Rachael. I think my eyes turned green. I hate it when people throw things at me. I did talk with my coworker later (she had worked in a similar type gallery in Rockefeller (sp?!) Center in NYC) and she said that it is a cultural thing. Frankly, I wasn't certain if it was that, that I was a woman or that I was in a different class standing. The visitors he was with were very barky with the English that they did know. I don't know. I just like people to smile and be nice! On a whole, that group wasn't so nice. Argh.

Jamie said...

It is crazy how rude some can be. Disrespect seems to be another epidemic spreading like wildfire.

I can't believe people actually throw money at you! All the years I worked in retail and I never had that happen. I think I'd be tempted to throw it back.

Hope your Hubs is feeling better. I had a bit of something going on with my digestive system yesterday and it is NO fun!