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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:39 pm 
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maygles wrote:
Veganismbot wrote:
This is from my old days as a cook/cashier at a small yuppie restaurant chain in Oregon.


Tell them about the "less lettuce" lady!


Same job at a yuppie restaurant chain in Oregon. I was still working register when this happened.

One of our most popular items was a bean and rice bowl served over a bed of greens. A pair of young women come up to the with fake tans, bottle blond hair, and a Jersey Shore fashion sense, and order their food. They were condescending during the transaction, and one ordered the bowl over greens with light lettuce, but overall nothing notable. They take a seat and wait for their food to come out.

A few minutes later, when I was wiping down tables, I hear one of the women yell, "EXCUSE ME!" from across the dining area.

I walk over and to the table and ask, "Is there anything I can do for you?"

"I ordered light lettuce on my salad."

I look at her plate and it does appear that there are fewer greens than usual.

Aggressively, she continues, "I wanted LIGHT LETTUCE because I wanted MORE FOOD."

"I'm sorry, I don't understand," I respond.

"More BEANS and RICE. More FOOD."

I try to explain, "I'm sorry, I didn't realize you wanted extra beans or rice. In the future, if you would like more beans and rice, go ahead and mention it to the cashier when they're ringing you up. I should warn you, though, that there will be an extra charge."

"But I ORDERED less LETTUCE."

At this point I decide I'm not getting paid enough or this and say, "Let me see if I can find you a manager." He goes over and spends a good five minutes trying to explain how to order food. After he comes back to the kitchen, both women finished their meals angrily and left. I never saw them again, despite working 80%+ of my shifts at register.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:39 pm 
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Ha! I would always respond to that with:
"There are 300 "someones" here. I'm afraid you'll have to be more specific." It always made me happy, if not the caller.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:45 pm 
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kp pickles wrote:
Ha! I would always respond to that with:
"There are 300 "someones" here. I'm afraid you'll have to be more specific." It always made me happy, if not the caller.


Oh, damn, I'mma have to start using that one!

The not-listening-to-voicemail thing strikes me as manipulative. Obviously the voicemail recipient is saving a few moments by calling right back, but the original caller already spent several moments leaving a message. It's one thing if it's just "hi, it's me, call me back," but often if I leave a voicemail I'm going to be asking a specific question, leaving some important information, providing instructions, etc. When someone just calls back without listening to their voicemail it says "my time is more important than yours- you totally have the time to explain this twice to me but I don't have the time to listen to the message you left." I feel it's disrespectful.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:54 pm 
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Got a 3-page email today written in broken English, using zeros instead of "O"s. The author alleges that Facebook and Google were launched from her apartment and that although there are a few people who do indeed have restraining orders against her, it's them who are trying to murder her. Although I rolled my eyes like I usually do, I do feel sympathy for her and the other paranoids we deal with. She's been in in person a couple times and she's so sweet and adorable and really unwell! I have no idea if she has any family or support system in this country and it breaks my heart.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:02 pm 
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Rowan wrote:

"At 1:02pm it was noticed that Ariel was sitting in the dining area wearing only thong underwear. Belle and Jasmine got extremely distressed by this and started making offensive metaphors about Ariels buttocks. I alerted Ariel that no one is allowed in the dining room between meal times. She responded by telling me to perform fellatio on her, to which I responded......."



That's kind of hilarious. I read a lot of police reports for my job and they use very similar dry, technical language to describe situations of absolute mayhem. My recent favorite was from a cop who reported having coffee thrown at him during an Occupy protest: "I suspected the coffee had milk or creamer in it, due to the light brown color." WE'LL PUT OUR BEST MAN ON THE CASE.

PS: we got that case dismissed WHAT yeah!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:08 pm 
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Hehehe, this made me think of this thread: http://jen-campbell.blogspot.ca/2011/05 ... shops.html

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:16 pm 
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"Do you have any signed versions of Shakespeare plays?" AMAZING.

Also, this has totally happened to me:

Quote:
Me: Hello, Ripping Yarns Bookshop
Man: Hello, is that Ripping Yarns?
Me: Yes, it is.
Man: Are you there?
Me: How do you mean?
Man: I mean, are you at the shop now?
Me: Erm... yes, you just rang the number for the bookshop and I answered.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:26 pm 
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Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
Got a 3-page email today written in broken English, using zeros instead of "O"s. The author alleges that Facebook and Google were launched from her apartment and that although there are a few people who do indeed have restraining orders against her, it's them who are trying to murder her. Although I rolled my eyes like I usually do, I do feel sympathy for her and the other paranoids we deal with. She's been in in person a couple times and she's so sweet and adorable and really unwell! I have no idea if she has any family or support system in this country and it breaks my heart.


I hear you. I had a client who was getting evicted a few years back who was frankly facing a hopeless case. When we laid out his options to him (which were frankly not good), he told us he'd be alright. He'd just become really, really, small, so that when the sheriff's department came to kick him out, they wouldn't see him. When they were gone, he'd go back to his normal size and keep living there. It's often so hard to help the people who need it most.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:39 pm 
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Veganismbot wrote:
Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
Got a 3-page email today written in broken English, using zeros instead of "O"s. The author alleges that Facebook and Google were launched from her apartment and that although there are a few people who do indeed have restraining orders against her, it's them who are trying to murder her. Although I rolled my eyes like I usually do, I do feel sympathy for her and the other paranoids we deal with. She's been in in person a couple times and she's so sweet and adorable and really unwell! I have no idea if she has any family or support system in this country and it breaks my heart.


I hear you. I had a client who was getting evicted a few years back who was frankly facing a hopeless case. When we laid out his options to him (which were frankly not good), he told us he'd be alright. He'd just become really, really, small, so that when the sheriff's department came to kick him out, they wouldn't see him. When they were gone, he'd go back to his normal size and keep living there. It's often so hard to help the people who need it most.


Mostly because the second you suggest they need medical attention you become part of The Conspiracy against them, but also, significantly, because we have pretty much zero mental health infrastructure in our country (or our state- thanks, Reagan!!!!).

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:08 pm 
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I used to run farmers markets and definitely ran into some craziness. I ran the one in the haight ashbury part of San Francisco, so I often had people who were high or didn't wear shoes. It is really cold in that neighborhood to not wear shoes.

At the inner sunset market (for those of you who know the area) a guy who lived in the neighborhood would come by nearly every week and yell at us because we made parking in the neighborhood horrible and he, "worked all night and would come home and couldn't find parking and what were we doing to help? And how did a farmers market help the neighborhood? And we were awful people for being there". W explained over and over that once a year there was a community meeting he could attend to discuss the farmers market.

In San Mateo I had a guy that wanted one of the vendors to give him a deal, which obviously is not required. The guy then stood next to the vendors stall and talked shiitake about him to every customer. He would not leave. He wanted a dollar off. He went on and on about how he was going to get the farmers market kicked out of the neighborhood because he couldn't get a deal. He left, then an hour later he came back, driving a convertible Mercedes, and wanted to talk to me more about how he should get a deal. Seriously?

I also had a guy that would come to a different market every week at the end of the market and criticize the market, and me. Then he would offer to help me clean up. At the end of the season I wasn't sure if that market was going to open again and he went on and on about how great the market was. So weird.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:30 am 
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well, one just happened five minutes ago.....

i just did a translation of SAP codes for Human Resources. Extremely technical. Before the job started they gave me a sample and i submitted it, it was corrected to be the exact SAP type (using very specific language to describe everything). So I assume, it's flowcharts describing SAP codes.
I just got client feedback, they wanted it to be "conversational english." So from "HR/3 dispatches form HR/3H to Dir/4 by running program HIR-PD transaction 65p to update employee clocking-in data" it should be what, "pleasant HR director walks to computer, runs some lovely program to update when the team member punches in and out. And how are YOU feeling?"

I agreed to make the changes (there goes my weekend) but I guess I won't be getting more work from this agency. Worse, I can totally see this client: "if i can understand it, the english isn't good enough!! send it back! make it more idiomatic!" (ive had some of these before)

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:12 am 
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This doesn't really count as "very special" because it's about a kid, but it is umm... something. There's this little girl (I suck at ages, but maybe 5 or 6?) who comes in every day and is so LOUD. Usually she gets to roam around the library by herself and sometimes she's there all alone (not actually allowed). If there aren't other kids around, she'll hang out at our desk. As in, she pulls up a step-stool so that she can see over the counter. Then she starts talking incessantly... even while we're helping other patrons.

"I don't live with my daddy anymore, because he beat on my mommy."
"My mommy sleepwalks and she eats everything. She ate all the blah blah blah."

I'm sure her mom would just love to hear the things she says. When there are other kids there, she RUNS up to them and hops on the desk and looks over their computer screen to watch everything they're doing and to talk to them. She'll pull up a chair too if there is one available. It doesn't matter if the kids are a lot older than her.

She's probably lonely and needs friends?

This might sound cute to you guys, but when I see her come in, I groan. She really doesn't stop talking or shouting and she has no problem interrupting while I'm helping people.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:20 am 
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bastah wrote:
This doesn't really count as "very special" because it's about a kid, but it is umm... something. There's this little girl (I suck at ages, but maybe 5 or 6?) who comes in every day and is so LOUD. Usually she gets to roam around the library by herself and sometimes she's there all alone (not actually allowed). If there aren't other kids around, she'll hang out at our desk. As in, she pulls up a step-stool so that she can see over the counter. Then she starts talking incessantly... even while we're helping other patrons.

"I don't live with my daddy anymore, because he beat on my mommy."
"My mommy sleepwalks and she eats everything. She ate all the blah blah blah."

I'm sure her mom would just love to hear the things she says. When there are other kids there, she RUNS up to them and hops on the desk and looks over their computer screen to watch everything they're doing and to talk to them. She'll pull up a chair too if there is one available. It doesn't matter if the kids are a lot older than her.

She's probably lonely and needs friends?

This might sound cute to you guys, but when I see her come in, I groan. She really doesn't stop talking or shouting and she has no problem interrupting while I'm helping people.


It sounds to me like this kid needs help. I think if a teacher observed these behaviors (especially the statements about daddy beating mommy) it would fall into mandated-reporter territory. I don't think library staff are mandated reporters, but is there someone you can call or some protocol in place for when you encounter a child who may be in a bad situation like this?

That said, I would also add that, having been that "troubled kid" who came to the library as a refuge from the shiitake going on in the rest of my life, anything at all that you do to show this kid that the library is a safe place for her to be can make a huge difference. I know it can be a pain in the asparagus sometimes but I just want to affirm for you...just by being nice to her, you're helping. (And hopefully instilling a lifelong love of libraries in the process.) :)

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:47 am 
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choirqueer wrote:
That said, I would also add that, having been that "troubled kid" who came to the library as a refuge from the shiitake going on in the rest of my life, anything at all that you do to show this kid that the library is a safe place for her to be can make a huge difference. I know it can be a pain in the asparagus sometimes but I just want to affirm for you...just by being nice to her, you're helping. (And hopefully instilling a lifelong love of libraries in the process.) :)


Totally. I get how she would be annoying, but you might be the only safe adult that she knows right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:58 am 
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A child that young by herself? That can be a sign of neglect. Coupled with the beating comments, I would report this. It's important that you do it even if you are not sure. Its possible that other people have also reported and they have an open case. What I'm trying to say is that you can't be expected to have a complete picture of the situation. Case workers evaluate the evidence as they collect it and this sounds like something they should be aware of.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:32 pm 
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I used to work for the head office of a gym company, taking members' calls about payments/contract issues/etc. Quite often we'd get people phoning on behalf of someone else but, due to data protection we couldn't go into specifics with them about the account without the member's permission. One day a mother calls for her son. I explain the above. She gets agitated. The following conversation ensues:

Me: I'm very sorry, but we really would need to talk to your son about that matter, or at the very least get his permission to talk to you about it. Would he be able to call us quickly?
Woman: No, of course he can't call you, he's away!
Me: [thinking maybe he's somewhere he couldn't easily call the UK] May I ask where he is?
Woman: [rudely] He's in Scotland!
Me: Um. They do have phones in Scotland, you know....?
(I really shouldn't have said that, but she was being so indignant that he couldn't possibly phone because he was away in ANOTHER PART OF THE UK that it just slipped out. Oops.)

I used to have tonnes of other funny ones from that job... but I think I've blocked much of that period of my life out.

Actually, there was one guy who I spoke to on the phone for about 10 minutes about whatever (I think he wanted to pay a year of membership in full), after which he asked me on a date. Uh, no thanks weird phone guy. I did feel a little bad for him, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:20 am 
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Okay, there is the dude who has only called 3-4 times since i've worked here, but it always goes the same:

"[business name], how may I help you?"
"Is [my boss] there?"
"He's not in right now, may I take a message?"
"*CLICK!*"

I don't know who the fork this cornhusker is, but if I ever find out he's going to forking get an earful about hanging up on people for NO GOOD DAMN REASON. I've told my boss about it and when I said I was going to teach the guy some manners he didn't say anything, so that's almost sanctioned. Unfortunately he doesn't call often enough that I recognize his voice, i'm hoping he'll try back today so I can just ask who's calling first and get his name.

But the chances that it's a relative of my boss are very high.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:12 am 
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mrsbadmouth wrote:
Okay, there is the dude who has only called 3-4 times since i've worked here, but it always goes the same:

"[business name], how may I help you?"
"Is [my boss] there?"
"He's not in right now, may I take a message?"
"*CLICK!*"

I don't know who the fork this cornhusker is, but if I ever find out he's going to forking get an earful about hanging up on people for NO GOOD DAMN REASON. I've told my boss about it and when I said I was going to teach the guy some manners he didn't say anything, so that's almost sanctioned. Unfortunately he doesn't call often enough that I recognize his voice, i'm hoping he'll try back today so I can just ask who's calling first and get his name.

But the chances that it's a relative of my boss are very high.



I have a client like that (actually my boss does, I don't deal with her often). I am the chief phone answerer here and this writer will call often and ask for my boss. And if I said no she would hang up and then tell my boss I wouldn't take a message.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:15 am 
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Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
The not-listening-to-voicemail thing strikes me as manipulative. Obviously the voicemail recipient is saving a few moments by calling right back, but the original caller already spent several moments leaving a message. It's one thing if it's just "hi, it's me, call me back," but often if I leave a voicemail I'm going to be asking a specific question, leaving some important information, providing instructions, etc. When someone just calls back without listening to their voicemail it says "my time is more important than yours- you totally have the time to explain this twice to me but I don't have the time to listen to the message you left." I feel it's disrespectful.


Oh I have a confession! I don't listen to voicemail unless it is someone I don't know. If it is someone I know, I'll just call them back and talk about whatever. Granted, the voicemails aren't very detailed generally. It is just someone saying "Hi, I need to talk to you about this". If it is something detailed, they'll usually send email.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:27 pm 
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I didn't even think of this when I first responded, since I get voicemail so rarely, but my voicemail is actually set up though my email, and I don't have email on my phone. So if someone leaves me a message, I actually can't listen to it until I'm at my computer. I guess this is probably not something you'd typically encounter since most people seem to have internet on their phone nowadays, but it's another possible explanation as to why someone might not listen to the message before calling back.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:38 pm 
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also, sometimes i miss the call like as i'm running to the phone. and my voicemail takes like 15 minutes to sync up and usually i just want to call right away and find out what it's about. if the message is there on the phone, i always listen first, then return the call.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:05 pm 
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Ack. The special customers I've encountered.

One such person had received a letter from us and I was trying to find their records via their address, but the customer had a strong accent and the telephone line wasn't good.

Me: Can you spell your postcode phonetically?
Customer: What do you mean?
Me: The phonetic alphabet - as in A for alpha, B for bravo, and so on.
Customer: No, it doesn't say.
Me: Where doesn't it say what?
Customer: On the letter.
Me. Have you heard of the phonetic alphabet?
Customer: Yes.
Me: So, for example the postcode of this business is N for November, N for November, 6, 5, P for papa, H for hotel. Can you tell me your postcode like that?
Customer. No! It doesn't say!


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:37 pm 
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8ball wrote:
Ack. The special customers I've encountered.

One such person had received a letter from us and I was trying to find their records via their address, but the customer had a strong accent and the telephone line wasn't good.

Me: Can you spell your postcode phonetically?
Customer: What do you mean?
Me: The phonetic alphabet - as in A for alpha, B for bravo, and so on.
Customer: No, it doesn't say.
Me: Where doesn't it say what?
Customer: On the letter.
Me. Have you heard of the phonetic alphabet?
Customer: Yes.
Me: So, for example the postcode of this business is N for November, N for November, 6, 5, P for papa, H for hotel. Can you tell me your postcode like that?
Customer. No! It doesn't say!

I always struggle with this since I only know the phonetic alphabet for a few letters. "M for...muffin?"


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:58 pm 
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i only know alpha, bravo & charlie. (and i never knew it was called the phoenetic alphabet. i know phonics, but that's completely different. if someone asked me to define phoenetic alphabet, i would have said EYY, BEE, SEE, DEE...)

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:30 pm 
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I had a woman who commissioned me to make a riding vest. I quoted her for my time as well as how much I spent on fabric, and then she wanted me to add a rhinestone pattern to the back of the vest. I told her it would be about 3 hours' worth more of my time.

Then she got all ticked off when the vest ended up costing $100 (it actually should have been more, those rhinestones were a pain AND it was a custom-tailored job, hello) and said she'd come by in the next couple days to pick up the patterns she'd left with me for the vest and another project she didn't end up wanting after the vest cost such a "fortune".

ONE YEAR LATER almost to the day she emails and asks if she can come by to pick up the patterns. I told her that no, sorry, I hung onto them for aeons and they Weren't Around Now. I got sick of waiting and threw them away. She came by anyway and my husband dealt with her and apparently she told him she'd been TRYING to get over here to pick them up. (For a year? Suuuure.) Her place of business wasn't but a few blocks away from our house, too. She had zero excuse.

Yes, I *could* have taken them over to her but I wasn't in the mood after she acted like I'd misquoted a price. I was very upfront the whole time about cost, so it wasn't my problem. It felt really good to throw those patterns in the garbage.

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