The Ears of Many Yarn Shop Owners

I’m in Buffalo and it’s just a lovely town! I hit a rainstorm as I neared the city, and as it was rush hour that really slowed down the traffic so I didn’t get in as early as I would have liked, but I was at the Guild meeting in plenty of time and there was a nice bunch of nice ladies (and several orchestra members who had to travel through our room to get to rehearsal, that was kind of comical!)

As the rain ended the sun was just going down – it was still spritzing and the sunset was AMAZING (and entirely PINK sky with orange and red sun setting. As I was passing a cemetery I stopped and took a photo – lovely, huh?

Then I turned around and saw a rainbow – so gorgeous – the promise of good things to come! Apparently there was a double rainbow (they were talking about it at the guild meeting) but I only saw the one.

It was refreshing, because I’d just gotten off the phone with the shop owner in Georgia. I started this entry thinking that I’d write her shop name, but I won’t. If anyone really wants to know what shop it is, email me and I’ll tell you, but I don’t want to publish the name on my blog.

Apparently my suspicions were correct. She stopped payment on the check for two reasons;

1) I didn’t stay with her friend (and next door neighbor) who, I was told on the phone today, “cried in the parking lot” when I said I wouldn’t be staying with her.

2) I didn’t print my own handouts.

A few days before my trip my printer died, so I wrote to each shop explaining that if they could print the handouts that would be great, but if it was a problem let me know and I’d go to Kinko’s and print them out. Not really a problem for any of them, and I was VERY grateful for their help, and I didn’t hear boo from this shop owner about it being a problem. But suddenly it is a problem for this shop owner. On the phone today she said, “You said you’d print them out if it was a problem!” – Yes, yes I did. And she never told me it was any problem, so how would I know that? This is just a sample of the terrible communication she feels is good business practice.

She left a message on my cell phone where she told me she didn’t appreciate being “threatened” – referring to my mention that my lawyer would be in touch with her. Then she herself threatened me by saying, “I have the ear of MANY shop owners…” (when I told my husband this he said, “Did she pay for those ears, or did she cancel the check later…)

So – the upshot is that for those two reasons she feels that it’s valid to stop payment on my check. She said,

“I stopped payment to get your attention.”

Excuse me?

Okay – show of hands – how many out there have emailed me and had me email right back with help or an answer? I ANSWER EMAILS and she HAD MY PHONE NUMBER. But she chose the more efficient? method of communication, stopping payment on a check. And what was I to infer from this?

All through the conversation she kept saying, “Stop yelling at me – I can’t believe you’re yelling, can’t we just talk like reasonable people? I can’t believe you’re being so unprofessional!

Yes, I was really mad, but I wasn’t yelling (I told her if she wanted to hear some yelling, I could give her a sample) but it was obvious that she was playing to a room, pretending she was being yelled at. Oy.

She was also upset that when she came into the shop I was sitting in an armchair with my feet up on a foot stool in front of the chair, checking my email and listening to a audio clip that someone had sent me. How Dare I???

Apparently she was upset that I didn’t get up when she came in the door. That was reason #3 that she canceled payment on the check. I didn’t rise when she entered.

On the phone I tried to recap; “So, let me get this straight – you canceled payment on a check for a contractual obligation that I fulfilled because I didn’t stay with your friend and you printed my handouts?”

“Yes. [vaguely] And other things. And I’m going to charge you the fee for the xeroxing and my time and travel expenses to go to Kinkos.”

“What other things?”

“You were rude when I came in, you didn’t stand up.”

“Listen, the stuff about me being rude to you or you being rude to me is a she said / she said situation, and obviously we experienced an incident and saw it two different ways. But the indisputable facts are that I arrived at your shop on time, I provided the service you hired me for, I taught a good finishing class, you were paid $50 by each student who attended, and – with no warning or notice – you stopped payment on the check.

If you had a problem with the class, the time to mention it would have been when you gave me the check. Or you could have emailed me, or called me.”

“Why are you yelling at me. Stop yelling at me!”

Q. Which court handles small claims in Gwinnett County?
A. The Magistrate Court handles small claims.

Do I want it to come to Small Claims Court? No. I’d rather she just send me a CASHIERS check for $260.

As my husband said, “Do you feel like visiting your cousin again? How about a Georgia Road Trip?” I’d love to just get the money (what a concept, being paid by the woman for whom I earned $650!),

But I am so angry at her behavior, her own threat to blackball me among yarn shop owners (“I have the ear of many yarn shop owners…”), and her inability to see that this is just NOT how one does business that I’m stupified.

I have a Letter of Agreement, signed and returned by her. I fulfilled each obligation required of me.

(FYI – in answer to a posted comment, I ask yarn shops where I teach for more than 6 hours to provide a night in a hotel or a private room in a smoke-free home, but it’s a negotiable at shops where I teach less than 3 hours. I’d never received confirmation of an address where I was staying or an answer to my confirmation email, so I had to assume that there had been no arrangements made.)

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