Saturday, February 28, 2009

Midnight Rambling

Preamble: It's been a while, I know. You can thank graduate school for that. When I started this blog, a friend admonished that I should savor the precious little me-time I had while in New Hampshire to write my dissertation. She's probably right, but it's the only me-time I've had in a long time, so I'm glad I did something else. This is the first weekend in a while in which I don't have a stats problem set, so might as well do something useless with my insomnia!

Crafts: On to the necessary crafts-related yarn. I'm unraveling at the seams here, folks. Obviously, the whole crafts projects thing is on hold for the moment. I've had to drop the needles for a while as I come to grips with the fact that I am once again slave to the academy. Nonetheless, I tried today to get a jump on some spring knitting (pun intended) by taking a stroll down to the local yarn store (which shall remain nameless because I'm still feeling that nice) to take advantage of their 15%-off-normally-ridiculously-priced-yarn sale. 

The customer service at this place honestly makes me want to go in there, feel up their yarns and then buy them on the web. It's that bad. Evidence: 

Item A) Upon entering yarn store, I inquired as to continuation of aforementioned sale. Snippy response to the effect of, "it's written clearly on your coupon; it continues until 6 PM tomorrow." I ask, "it's necessary to print the coupon? My friend (who works in your store) emailed the sale information to me. I thought it applied to anyone who walked into the store." To make a long story short, rather than offer me the discount, they offered (as sardonically as possible) for me to go home, print out the coupon and return with it in hand, lest I should try to come back 30 times within the next 24 hours to buy out their entire merchandise at 15% discount. The mere thought of such malevolent yarn buying makes the curlers fall right off my head!

Item B) Before I had decided never to return to this store (sorry, Anna), I asked them to recommend a project for my mother, who may have knit at some point in the past, but gave it up to make bazillions of dollars before re-cession-tiring this fall. The sales woman somehow condescended to answer me, even though I failed to realize that size 12 knitting needles don't exist (duh? - they don't want to make knitters feel like their fingers are pudgy?). When I asked whether she had any good beginner quickie patterns that came with purchased yarn, she balked. She reminded me that "most knitters" like to find patterns and then pick the yarn. It is my impression that "most yarn stores" (yes, I'm doing air quotes as I write this; I'm that mad) have patterns that accompany yarns for beginners (usually, they're so easy that you could read the yarn and figure it out, but it's helpful for people just starting out), so at first I wasn't sure why she was so irritated by my suggestion. 

Then I remembered why I never liked this yarn store. They always try to make money, on everything. And when you are inclined to be thrifty (mwa), their Depends go all a-crinkle. Why offer a free pattern with yarn when you can make the customer pay for both, after all? Why offer a discount without a coupon when you can rake in the trees from paper printing? Why offer a free hint for a knitter in trouble when you can make the knitter pay for your advice? Did I mention that this place even makes you buy into the frequent buyer program? 

Well, it's bad business, if you ask me. And rather short-sighted, too. The incentives for me to purchase from this particular store are numerous. For one, this shop is literally around the corner from me. I also have a friend who works there. I like to buy from local businesses (as opposed to online). What, exactly, do they gain by not offering me a small discount, particularly since you had to have received some notification to have any idea about the sale in the first place. I hope these women have some excuse. I mean, relative to one's pocketbook, the price of adult diapers has probably gone up during the recession. In any case, I'm sticking with Weaving Works. They may only give 10% off on the birthday instead of 15%, but I don't have to buy some plastic keychain to receive the discount. 

Enough ranting. The hint is in the label.