Monday, July 24, 2006

LYS + sock patterns= public embarrassment

So I got a package frommy SP today full of sock making goodies, and after searching the net for a pattern I came up void. So I decide to drive to a LYS * which is 35 min away mind you* to see if they had any good patterns. So I got dressed. I'm looking cute I might say...Tight button shirt and pants and pants from H&M and my shoes were kicking...And I was rocking out my new scarlet hair *this is important for later...*

So I get there and notice its filled with knitters, and the owner was behind the counter and greeted me. We started having a conversation about the reason I was there...

*Scene*

Her: What brings you in today?

Me: Well a friend of mine just sent me a box full of goodies to make socks and I was wanting to look around at your sock area..

Her: GREAT! All that stuff is in this corner. What all did she send you?

Me: I have new needles and yarn...They yarn she gave me is super cute, but not really my style so I was going to learn on that and see if I can find some other colorways that I might like to knit with.

Her: Where did you learn to knit?

Me: I taught myself one night out of boredom and its kinda become more than a hobby. LOL

Her: What all have you made?

Me: A few hats, purses, a sweater or two...

Her: That's good. What kind of needles did you get?

Me: size 1, bamboo...I'm scared I might snap them when I'm knitting LOL

Her: LOL yea that does suck. Well, then I sell more needles so its ok...

*we laugh*

* I start looking thru the yarn till I have a question and turn to ask her about patterns at which point a family walked in and she started talking to them. So I quietly waited till she was done talking to them. Then after they were done she got a phone call so I waited till she was done on the phone...Looking over my shoulder to see if she was done now and again. Finally 4 cops showed up and started talking to her. Again I wait till she is done so I can ask her about sock patterns. I hear a few words of their conversation..."Red hair" and "Him over there" were the ones that got my attention.*

Cop: Will you step outside for me...

Me: Umm ok...

Cop: What brings you here today?

Me: I was hoping to find a sock pattern.

Cop: Do you have any weapons or drugs on you?

Me: *taken back* Ummm... I have a cell phone...

Cop: the reason we walked you out of here is because the woman inside said that she felt threatened with you in her store. She was robbed a bit ago and you being here made her feel uncomfortable.

Me: WHAT? I was looking thru sock yarn...Can I talk to her?

Cop: Sure we will see is she wants to talk to you

*a second cop goes in and starts talking to her*

Cop 2: She will be right out...

Cop 1: Do you have any id on you?

*hands him my D.L*

* Shop owner comes out*

Owner: the reason I did this was because I didn't feel comfortable with you in my store, I was just robbed and I when you walked in I felt this huntch that you're going to hit me again and my husband told me if I get those that I should act on them

Me: Yes but I have shopped here before, and I believe it was your daughter-in-law that served me because her husband was knitting in the back room.

Her: Well I didn't recognize you and so I called the cops.

Me: *shocked*

Her: You were looking at me more than the yarn...

Me: because I wanted to ask you a question about patterns. You were busy so I waited to talk to you.

Her: Oh...

Me: And your husband is the one that told me about your store. He seen me knitting at Starbucks and handed me cards and told me to come here and look at your stuff.

Her: umm...

Me: All I wanted was a stupid pattern...

Cop: This is a private shop if you would like him to leave we can see to it.

Her: No No its ok...He can stay. *she goes back inside*

Cop: Ok...Can you stay out here Krys we are still running your id thru the scanner.

*finally the cops let me go and I'm allowed to go back in. I walk in and all of the knitters are staying at me like I'm a criminal...*

Her: Here are some good patterns for beginners, an I was told that this is a GREAT book to have if you want to learn to knit...*hands me "Sensational Sock"*

Me: Yea I heard that was good too...

Her: These are nice too...*hands me some other patterns*

*after I realized what just happened I started shaking and could talk:

Her: Oh my...Your shaking...

Me: *looks up at her trying not to cry* I have to leave...I can't stay here...

*drops the patterns and hurries to the door before I start crying*

*End Scene*

so as soon as I left I collapsed on her front patio and started crying...I called DH, I couldn't talk he thought I was in a wreck at first....

After crying for a few min I was able to drive myself to work *Starbucks* and have a cup of coffee to sooth me...

I told my boss what happened and she couldn't believe it...

After I got home I sent this to the store owner via email...

Dear XxXxXxi * I hope that I show you spell your name*; First and foremost I would like to say that I am sorry you were robbed recently. Working in retail I have been held up a few times and I know that isn't a situation I would place anybody in. The reason I'm writing to you is that today you had 4 police officers take me out of your shop and question me. These questions included my purpose for being there and if I had any drugs or weapons on me. I have never fired a gun in my life so those questions were extremely offensive. You're husband is actually the one that told me about your store. He seen me knitting in Starbucks a few months ago and hand me a few cards and told me that I should stop by sometime, and I have but the times that I came in you weren't working and I believe the person that was said that she was your daughter-in-law. Another reason you never see me is because I usually go to Knitty Paws which is closer to me by around 10 - 15 min, I came into town just so I can go to your store. What I don't understand is when I walked in we talked about the supplies that I had i.e needle sizes and what they were made out of, and a few former projects of mine and I don't think some that was going to rob you would take the time to talk to you esp if you have a shop full of clients. I wasn't wearing baggy clothes or looked threatening in anyway. I'm hoping the reason you did what you did had nothing to do with my skin tone, and if it did I'm sorry...I'm sorry that you only seen color *skin as well as hair* and not the person that wanted to make his first pair of socks. When I walked back into your shop I was SOO embarrassed! This is the first time ANYTHING like this has ever happened to me. And what hurt me most was that you never once said that you were sorry. You explained why you did it but you never said that you were sorry about it. I don't like to interrupt people. So every time I was going to ask you something you were busy. I waited for you to finish the conversation you were having with the family that walked in after me. I waited till you got off the phone. I was even waiting to talk to you while the police were in there... Your web site says: Stop in, plan to stay a bit. Enjoy a cup of coffee and meet fellow fiber artists. Knit a friendship at Cottage Knits! I tried and all I got was public embarrassment. People staring at me like I was a criminal about to do something wrong. I hope you never have to feel like I did today. You seem like a nice woman and I would still like to frequent your shop from time to time. I just wanted to let you know how what you did today hurt and embarrassed me. I hope that I get some kind of apology after all this is said and done... Thank you, Krystofer Dixon



Did I over react or was this sooo uncalled for?

16 comments:

OldLadyPenPal said...

you can shop in my yarn store any time. don't let the fact that i don't *have* a yarn store stop you.

i admire your cool head in your email to her. you obviously have a kind heart, despite the way other people behave towards you. here is a hug: o. or is x a hug? whatever. a hug.

Michelle said...

You did not overreact at all. I'm sure if I were writing that email it would be a bit more...biting. I'm so sorry this happened to you. If I had a yarn shop, I'd pay you to hang out there because you would undoubtedly attract more cool people.

Grace said...

Omg! I'm sure she was overreacting because she had been held up in the past, but like you said, it also wouldn't have happened if you had fit her 'profile' for what her customers should be-- female, middle aged, and white. You did the right thing pointing it out to her. She totally owes you an apology, and if I were you I don't know if I'd be gracious enough to ever shop there again. But, that's just me. I'm hot and grumpy.

Now I'm thinkin about sock-knitting robbers. Wouldn't robbers knit hats, like big black ones that go over their faces?? Or maybe gun cozies? Lol. Hope this doesn't discourage you from learning to knit socks!

Batty said...

That shouldn't have happened to you. That shouldn't happen to anyone. I hope you know you're a terrific person because you handled this so well. Calm down, be good to yourself, pamper yourself and have your guy pamper you too. This is such a shock. Give yourself time to get over it,then sit down and knit some socks -- from a pattern you find elsewhere.

Dave said...

I'm very sad that this happened to you. Her reaction was totally uncalled for, and your letter to her was well written and explained the situation and your feelings very well. I hope she has the decency to apologize. I'm shocked that she didn't do so at the time.

Steph said...

Oh, yeah. Because you'll hold up the store with your DPNs. What a bitch. Email me her info and I'll tell her what I imagine you're really thinking...or worse, what I'm thinking. I've spent my whole adult life working retail and restaurants, working with the public. I can't possibly imagine doing something like that!! Poor Krys. *hugs*

MarQ1 said...

I wouldn't ever visit that shop again. I ,personally, would have let her have it right there, but that's me, and you were remarkably self-restrained, Still, I wouldn't go back without an apology, at best.
Btw: not all of us want Blogger accounts.

CynCyn said...

you gotta be kidding me krys! you're letter/email, words and actions show you to be the kind person that you are... while her actions, having been recently held up or not, were deplorable. If i were you, i would NEVER EVER darken her door again. Depending on her reply to your very nice letter, I would maybe even let everyone else I know not to shop there.
I'm sorry you had that experience. Your hair, your skin color, your appearance... should never ever dictate how people treat you, but us people of color know that THAT is a dream not yet realized.

Honey Cakes said...

Oh my! I cannot imagine being in that position and keeping such a level head about it all. I would have ripped her a new one, and I don't mean a seam either. You were NOT overreacting and that was a VERY GOOD letter.

I sincerely hope she is ashamed of herself!

KnitXcorE said...

Now I'm thinkin about sock-knitting robbers. Wouldn't robbers knit hats, like big black ones that go over their faces?? Or maybe gun cozies? Lol. Hope this doesn't discourage you from learning to knit socks!

It's funny you mention "gun cozies"! When we first moved into our condo, i had a package stolen....($80 worth of baby alpaca) and we always joke that the first hold up involving "gun cozies was the guy :-)

WoW! That's pretty ridiculous... I would probably be too embarassed to ever go back! I've gotten weird looks and things in stores... but that is extreme! I probably would have went back in and picked up tons of stuff and then when she got all excited that i was spending like $300, i'd giggle and say, "you know what, never mind". You must be pretty even tempered not to flip out...

It sux that it happened, tho... some people just don't get it.... *hUgS*

Shannon said...

OMFG. I hope you don't really consider shopping there ever again! That is ridiculous, and you handled it WAY better than I would of.

Dr. Hoffman (Shop owner's daughter) said...

To Krys, the shop owner feels terrible about what happened and offers you her biggest apology. To all of you who did NOT see the response to the letter sent to the shop owner...this is her daughter, who was one of the first to respond to the scene when her own mother was robbed. Both my mom and I feel badly about what happened yesterday. My mom would NEVER discriminate based on age, gender, hair color, etc. Yes, what she was feeling was a false alarm, but put yourself in my shoes. The thought of your own mother (who is a VERY nice person to everyone) having her arms and legs tied together, being thrown in a back room, and robbed at gunpoint is enough to make someone very overprotective. I encourage her to act on any suspicious feeling or thought, as would all of you if this was your own mom. To have the audacity to call someone you don't know who has been subjected to such heinous things a BITCH... I think all of you should be able to read my mom's response and know that she wants so much to make the situation right. She even offered a free sock class and a million apologies. Keep in mind that every person you call a bitch is someone's daughter, sister, mother...
I was there with my husband the first time you visited my mom's shop. I remembered you immediately because of the fact that you weren't like other customers--not just age and appearance, but also in your demeanor. After talking to you, I realized that you were a nice guy and did know what you were talking about regarding knitting. After you left, I told my husband that I hoped you would come back when my mom was there, as I knew she would love to meet you. It was an honest mistake that you gave her a weird vibe, and the actions that followed can't be taken back. However, all my mom can do is try her best to make it up to you. Hope you understand where she (the victim a year and a half ago) is coming from.

Jon said...

Wow. I'm shocked.

The shop where I work has been robbed before. I know the owner doesn't like us working alone. Perhaps this lady shouldn't work alone.

I do know, however, that female shop workers immediately come on the defensive when a guy comes in their shop. After all, as I have been told numerous times, a man doesn't belong in a women's knit shop.

Blech.

kristin said...

I just came over after seeing your socks on craftster (great job BTW!). I wanted to tell you I'm really sorry this happened to you. It sounds like a horrible situation, but I think you handled the situation perfectly. I may have blown up in her face and not taken the time to collect my thoughts. Your letter clearly let the shop-owner know how you felt without getting personal and calling her names. I have a great deal of respect for the way you handled everything. From her letter in response--it seems that you have taught her something and hopefully she's the kind of person who will be willing to learn.

Kathy S. said...

You know, I think you're the kind of person I'd like to be in regards to even being able to consider meeting with her. Not because she was bad or she was wrong, but because I'd be so shaken by the whole experience. And mad that she showed no remorse at the time. Here's to you, you're a very good boy. If she doesn't understand that after your letter, then forget her and her silly little shop. And btw, I'da been near tears also.

tiennie said...

It just sucks when you live your life trying to be a good person and people want to tear you down. So sorry you had to experience this!