Was I a pansy?

Your opinion, please:

I was standing in the cutting line at Joann Fabric, watching the lady in front of me have her fabrics cut from the bolts. The first was a gorgeously colored pansy print–possibly this Keepsake Calico? Then came a silky fabric in a brilliantly coordinating purple shade. The purchaser was elderly and extremely stooped over a walker. I mentally admired her choice and loved that she put those two items together for the stunning effect they produced. I noticed there wasn’t much left on the bolt of the pansy fabric (“remnant project” neon light started pulsing on and off in my brain), and the clerk shoved it under the cutting table when she was finished, unlike the bolt of purple, which she placed in a wire bin. When I got up next, I asked to see the remainder of the bolt of pansy fabric. The clerk told me, haltingly, “Actually, I wanted that.”

“Oh,” I said.

I completely understand that people who work at a fabric store probably have a great love of fabric, themselves.

And it’s not like someone was stealing from me, something that was not at all even in my cart yet. But I know if I’d been the clerk, I would have offered it to the customer. I am not saying I am better; I’m not better. I am just old-school enough to know that the customer should prevail in a contest such as that. Do you agree?

But I didn’t challenge her. I have run into many little scenes at various Joann stores, where clerks think they have a special power over the discounts (or maybe just an inability to ring up sale items correctly) and can wield it at their own, in my opinion, flawed, discretion. And, sigh, of material, I have plenty plenty, so I shouldn’t even be writing this–except that it seemed so unique, that a fabric store clerk, someone who is paid to enable people to trade their food, gas, and electricity money for fabric, would put the kabosh on another attempt, however small, for the fabric addict to score.

And so I hereby fling away to the four winds, any feelings of having been slighted, any residual emotion of regret that the Great American Novel was not written nor the Great Remnant Project of the Ages produced, and acknowledge that the Heavenly Father of all of us is the great source of all love, compassion, beauty and spiritual experience, and say, “I have enough fabric! I am free!” And to the clerk at the cutting table with the beady, darting, rodent-like eyes, I give you, along with your prize pansy-motif end-of-bolt fabric stashed under the counter, a dozen virtual roses and my wish to be prosperous and happy in your creative pursuits!

beautiful roses

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. JanF
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 16:40:44

    We were in one of the big Asda supermarkets in England once, it was back when they closed on Sundays and used to reduce certain products on a Saturday afternoon/evening. There was an announcement made that the cartons of mushrooms were now discounted to half price.
    Imagine our amazement when fully half the cashiers left their posts and ran to the mushrooms to load up!
    This just tickled my American husband no end and he has often told the story!


  2. Ethel Grogan
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 16:58:59

    Hummmm . . . beady, darting, rodent like eyes kinda doesn’t fit with “my wish to be prosperous and happy in your creative pursuits”. ;o0


  3. SlaveToMyNeedles
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 17:13:29

    You were not the pansy, you were the more mature adult. You did the right thing, and I am happy you posted this as there are so many blunders at the JoAnn’s here as well. Big blunders and you are right about the clerks…as well.
    I am sorry this happened to you, but so glad you went down the right road with it all. Congrats on being the nice, respectable person who showed her how to take the high road.


    • Ethel Grogan
      Feb 21, 2012 @ 19:20:51

      Unfortunately the clerks never learn to behave properly. Perhaps a word to the manager though I don’t doubt one would get the brush off if you did. Sigh


  4. Tina Hutchins
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 20:23:46

    Oh my gosh. Yep, that clerk should have not said a word and given you dibs. I’ve been saying that to work at JoAnn’s they ask if you can use a computer, when the answer is “no” they say ‘you’re hired” 🙂 See you tomorrow.


    • jenyjenny
      Feb 22, 2012 @ 09:19:15

      I believe it! I have applied for a job there, but they don’t even consider you if you don’t want to work on a Sunday. Probably good that I never got hired, because I’d be like that lady who can’t remember how to ring up a sale on the cash register and always has to call another clerk to help her!


  5. de68ie
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 20:57:35

    Worked in Fabric stores a LOT… TGY, 1 year; Ben Franklin 4 years; Jo Anns 1year; Fabric King 2 years.

    Our policy was ALWAYS… Employees had to offer the remnant to the guest at a discounted price if less than one yard. If refused, it was to be put into an area for remarking. IF another customer saw it and wanted it, they would have to pay regular price, or wait until remnants had been priced and put out. The employee could purchase a remnant on break or at shift end…. but could not refuse to let a customer get it.

    JoAnns did (at the store I was out) have what they called Remnant Riots… where we would make up the “remnant bundle” and leave it for the manager to price. She would look at the selection available in the store, and add to it from the remnant bin. When Remnants didn’t sell faster than we collected them, employees were given the option for a short time (usually about 3-4 days) to go through all remnants and get them at a SUPER discount. HOWEVER, popular remnant types (and cotton / poly-cotton were very popular) would be fed to the remnant bin as they came available..

    I’ll see if I can find pansy fabric at JoAnns along the way…. Shall I sms a photo if i find any?


    • jenyjenny
      Feb 21, 2012 @ 21:32:27

      That is so sweet of you Deb, you are the coolest. I could go to Joann.com & get the Keepsake Calico & it’s on sale!! But better yet, I need to quit lusting after fabric and realize that I already have way too much! Your comment has a link to your blog site–when are you going to start posting?


  6. cubbyholes
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 21:25:58

    I would probably have had a quiet word with the manager. Not in a mean, “i’m gonna get her” way, but a discreet mention of the incident. They are there to make money and if their own clerks are preventing that, then it’s not good.


    • jenyjenny
      Feb 22, 2012 @ 09:14:52

      Thanks–I’ve thought of it, but in talking to the manager about other things in the past, I don’t think I could make a point in my favor with her. Some of the clerks are very warm and friendly but the manager will cut you off at the pass if you bring up something controversial! There is no competition for fabric in our town. Joann’s is the only store. And if you want to drive 45 minutes to the next town, they have another Joann’s or a Hobby Lobby, that’s it. The little quilt shop another 30 minutes south just went out of business.


  7. Gussie
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 18:29:27

    Haha this is a good post. the clerk is a pansy!


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