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What a night! (sorry but its a very very long story)

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  • What a night! (sorry but its a very very long story)

    Another member asked in another post "do you ever get stressed out?"

    Last night I had a table at a ladies xmas shopping night charity event at a pub in Bury, Manchester. They had a mini auction and sold raffle tickets. Things to buy included pre-packaged gift sets (made up by the charity), small household ornaments and giftware, cards, handmade soaps, handmade candles, myself selling my jewellery . . . . oh - and another lady selling designer handbags. Its a very very small old fashioned pub - think two terraced houses (in the middle of a residential road) knocked into one and made into a pub so that should give you an idea of how little space we all had. I went to see the landlord 2 months ago to see what space I would have so I could plan what stock I should take and was promised a 6ft table down one side of the room with a corner to stand a 3-sided display board. I was also told I would be sharing the room with a lingerie seller which wasn't a problem. She'd also been to see the landlord but we both reckoned we could work within the space.

    Anyway, I turned up last night an hour before the event started to find that my allocated space had been taken over by the "bag lady" who had "reluctantly" agreed to do this event 3 weeks ago (such short notice!) when the lingerie seller cancelled. Well - she couldn't possibly work in such a small space as she had enough stock with here to fill the room 3 times over so, as she arrived before me, she decided she was setting up where SHE wanted to. I stuck my head around the door and was gobsmacked to find she had commandeered 3 walls and 2/3 of the floor space with a huuuuuuge spinning stand full of large handbags and I was left with a 3ft rectangle table and a tiny round table - both of which were covered in yet more of her stock.

    The landlord pulled me to one side and explained that she had been very difficult (not his exact words ) and wouldn't budge. He was so apologetic so I gracefully said it wasn't a problem but I did need to get into the room to set up. We went to ask bag lady how long she would be and she started ranting again . . . .

    I was (surprisingly) very calm and said that I had no wish to fall out with her cos we had to share the room for the whole evening and I didn't want either of us to feel awkward, but I did need her to move her things off my table and to clear some floor space so that I could get in. I then left her to it and went to get stock from the car. Upon my return, she had cleared my table but I still couldn't get in the room for her stuff. At that point, Sam (who works for me) was losing patience quickly so she just pushed her boxes nearer to her so that we could get in front of my table but that meant that baglady was now trapped in the centre of the room. She wasn't pleased! and started ranting again to which I eventually replied "If you do this sort of event for a living then you should have been professional enough to take time to come here to see what space you would have" but she was "far too busy to do that - works full time and does charity work in the evenings and lives at the other side of Mancester so its too far for her to pop in to see the landlord before hand" to which I replied "the other side of Manchester????? I live on the other side of the Pennines and half way down the M1 so I think you've lost that argument!"

    As if that start wasn't bad enough - I discovered that I didn't have 2 boxes of stock that I should have had . . . . . and of course it was all Urbtaf's fault cos he loaded the car up for me! so I grabbed my phone and went outside to sit in the car, phoned him, taking all my frustrations out on him till he eventually calmed me down (by this time I was sobbing with anger and frustration) and told me to just pack up, apologise to the landlord and give him a donation for his charity and come home. I would have none of it cos if I did, then SHE would have won - and I wasn't having that.

    I eventually decided to just make the best of things so I went back in and Sam had made some progress with the display and my lovely friend Goldy1 had turned up so she chipped in as well and between us we did a not bad, if very small, display and began to relax a little bit.

    As the night wore on the baglady was getting more frustrated as she didn't make many sales (her bags were nice but a bit pricey being designer) and although we weren't doing particularly well either, we were having a good laugh with the customers so it was a good atmosphere (especially after such a bad start to the evening). Goldy was worth her weight in gold (no pun intended) as she positioned herself right by the door and gave every customer one of my business cards when they came in the room and another one when they left.

    Eventually the baglady decided to pack up early and go home but not before the landlord asked her for her address (to send a thankyou letter from the charity) which we overheard and learned that the town she lived in that was sooooooo far away was actually about 9 miles away and takes approx 15 mins to get there! I travelled 49 miles each way (on one of the scariest motorways in Britain in the fog and rain).

    Her parting shot at us when she left was to scan my table and say "cheap tack (read "smelly stuff") to which Sam reply "we still sold more than you though, didn't we?"

    Anyway - if you're still reading this - when she had gone so many people came in to see us and comment about baglady and her attitude and behaviour and the landlord also informed us that she had been sacked from charity - it couldn't have happened to a nicer person! He also asked me if I would be willing to participate in future events that he holds - several throughout the year.

    So all in all, even though I was sooooo stressed out at the time, I can laugh about it now and we did eventually have a good night. My takings could have been better but I was happy with £122 that I took and I gave the £22 to the charity. I also took an order for a £30 swav crystal bracelet and there were loads of customers that are coming to see us on the market as the stock I had wasn't what they wanted but they like the idea that I make it all myself. So it wasn't a wasted evening really was it?

    And I mustn't forget to thank Goldy for her support - she really did help me out . . . . ta chuck, much appreciated.

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  • #2
    Phew!! I got through that. Well done you for keeping your cool and for staying. It's understandable that you were stressed and in tears, when in the car on the phone about the forgotten stock, but you turned it around.
    That 'bag lady' sounds totally selfish and it's no wonder she didn't do well as I suspect her face and her body language were speaking volumes.

    You paint a very good picture and that was a good read.
    Well done!

    ~ Rachael
    My etsy Shop Blog


    • #3
      Auntynet I think you dealt marvelously well with a difficult moo

      Obviously it isn't the first time she's treated people like that , she sounds like an old hand at it !!

      When I'm stressed I'm afraid I have a very short fuse ,although it is improving with hats off to all 3 of you for showing her how selling and public relations should be done.

      did you remember her address we could send her a "how to win friends and influence people" book,lol
      Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes CAN change your life !!

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      • #4
        That was the longest rant I have seen in a long time but well deserved. The cheek of the woman, who did she think she was. Good on you for doing so well and keeping your chin in the air, you won.


        • #5
          I'm not sure I ought to say this, but I enjoyed reading that! Serves her right for not making much on the night, bad tempered ol' bag lady! Glad you did though.
          Gail x

          My Blog:


          • #6
            Poor you - what a rotten start to the night, but so glad you turned it around and did well! Sounds like she got her just desserts as well!

            (by the way, it wasn't this bag lady!)
            Cathy xx
            I don't have a short attention span, I ... Ooh look, there's a chicken!


            • #7
              Yea I enjoyed the read too, LOL Well done Auntynet for keeping your cool. What you sow, so shall you reap eh? Glad you won the day in the end. xxx

              Folksy shop


              • #8
                Can't blame you for ranting, and what an eloquent rant it is too! Well done for holding your own. I would have either lost my temper with her big time or packed up and left. Glad you had support there though and didn't have to do it all on your own. Hope you get some more business from the evening.


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                • #9
                  Aaaaw that sounds like one crazy night! I can't believe some people can be so selfish! Well, luckily all us bag people arn't the same! I'm glad she got what was coming to her. Well done you for sticking it out x
                  Dee x
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                  • #10
                    Good for you keeping your cool
                    An excellent idea I fell flat on my face with many times last year (my first year doing events) about not agreeing or checking the display space, it sounds to me as though your professionalism was what won through in the end-and as for her... shame on her lol xx
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                    • #11
                      What a delightful person she sounds!!!!!!!! Thank goodness there are not too many like her around, normally people are so helpful in making room for each other (just thinking Beckyboo about you moving to accommodate another stall holder at our event).

                      Well done in keeping your head and hope you don't have to come across anyone like that again!


                      • #12
                        What a great read! I can just imagine the Bag Lady (Hehehe!!!). And so good that even though it didn't start off well for you, you had a good night in the end - £122 is fantastic (£152 counting the order). Well done you for sticking to your guns.
                        Katian Mosaics

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                        • #13
                          Hats off to you hun for keeping your cool with her as it was more than she deseirved, great result at the end of the night well done
                          Ger xx

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                          • #14
                            You're far more tolerant than I would have been! Hot headed me would have said two words to her and the second one would have been off!!! Selina


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Selina View Post
                              You're far more tolerant than I would have been! Hot headed me would have said two words to her and the second one would have been off!!! Selina
                              Me too Selina, Good job I wasnt there really, though Im supprised how restrained Sam was, she thinks the world of Annette, and is never afraid to say exactly whats on her mind. And if she spots one of the local shoplifters near the stall she turns into rockwiler mode, very scarey

                              And in my defence, loading the car! I loaded what was there, the offending boxes were still on the stall, where Auntynet and Sam left them!
                              Well proud of the way she handled the night and thanks again to Goldy, Justifies all that time finding that special T-light