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Monday, 23 April 2007

How much more can I take?

Finally managed to finish the 8x8 album I've been working on for DS1's neice (she'll be one at the weekend) - pictures to follow (hopefully tomorrow) and spent the rest of the morning pottering on a layout for my class on wednesday night (yummy it is too!) before I was the victim of a random act of criminality!! This is how it goes:

A foreign couple come in to the shop & purchase (with a £50) a pack of rub-ons. I carefully consider whether I'm going to take this note - but I need every sale I can get so I take it & hand over £46 something in change. They then realise that these are not temporary tatoos & want a refund (the whole time talking away in a foriegn language & making sure I don't understand.) They even ask if I speak french, I reply (in french) that I do a little. The man then says something else (not in french, possibly italian - but I don't think so) So we swap the notes back except the change is now only £26 & I am £20 short. They don't even leave straight away - but browse some other papers (still speaking impossibly fast, this time I catch a couple of spanish words - but I don't think they were speaking spanish either!) They ask if we sell wallpaper - I do my best to get them out of the shop as fast as I can so that I can call the police. So maybe they think they are terribly clever & I don't know that they've robbed me - or maybe they are relying on the fact that I won't tackle them because I'm on my own - either way they win!!

So I let them (and my money) walk out of the shop. I am not rich & I cannot afford to lose £20. That is a whole month's electricity bill! It is not a victimless crime - my insurance won't cough up for £20 (the excess payment is £300!) and this is twice in as many weeks. I work seven days per week and most evenings, I take no wage AT ALL, every penny goes toward paying my suppliers, covering the shortfall for the six months we spent in a shopping precinct, covering the four months in which we had no premises. I have had just one day off this year & I expect my next one to be Christmas day.

I work hard to stay afloat & for what? For random criminals to come and help themselves? There are all sorts of attributive theories that I could apply: it's because I work in Dartford - well probably not, I suspect it's the same everywhere; it's down to the Eastern Europeans - well they might well have been Eastern European but I have other visitors from that area & they don't feel the need to rip me off! I could go on but there has to be a limit to how long I can vent my anger for (it has been, on & off, three hours so far) so maybe it's time to stop now.

So the burning question now is: how much more can I (or should I) take before packing the whole thing in & walking away?

Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Oh Beverley that is really crap for you!! :( Dont really have anything constructive to add except (((((((((hugs))))))))) Louise

Rhi said...

I popped by while blog hopping but I couldn't stop without saying something.

Its just so rubbish that happened, I know how difficult it is starting up in business and every penny really does count. Remember most crafters are kind, honest people though, {{hug}}


Beverley Todd said...

Awww thanks guys! Your support is really appreciated. I think I was so gutted because crafters are mostly honest and kind so I didn't expect this sort of thing to happen - but these were not crafters - they were criminals!!

Louise Stevenson said...

awwww so sorry you had to go through this... don't let nasty people like this stop you from building up your empire... we need good shops like yours.

Still Loving Cosmo Cricket!