My favorite thing about my business, aside from the whole bringing-joy-to-your-event thing which is obviously well above all the other perks, is that it's MY business.
Becuase I'm the one who *gets to* arrive early, stay late, and assume all the worry, I take the trade-off as well: I get to make the rules, I get to make the decisions, and I get to be the boss. I get the right to run my business as I wish, and offer what I want, and not offer what I don't.
And sometimes, my decisions mean that I have to turn people down for things, and most of the time people are generally understanding when it comes to this.
"Are you free on my date?" "No, I'm sorry, we've already closed that date," is typically met with an "Oh, darn."
"Do you sell flowers by the stem?" "No, I'm sorry, we're an event planning and floral firm only," is typically answerd with "Oh, ok, thanks."
But then there's the 1% of people who just truly do not understand, or who don't bother to try to understand. They don't read the signs in the parking lot or on our window or on our door which say "Appointment Only!" and "Events Only!" or even stupidly specific signs such as the one in the window that literally says "We Do Not Offer Cash and Carry Services At This Time!"
(Seriously. We could not be more clear about this. NO.)
And sometimes, when faced with the harsh reality that the rules and decisions I have made in the way I run my business might actually apply to them, these people turn into what I like to call the "I QUESTION YOUR LIFE CHOICES, BIATCH" people.
Usually, these are callers, and usually, they've been told "No," for some crazy reason like we're already busy on their date or we are not available at the precise ONE window of time that they desire to meet with us, other clients or events be damned.
I can usually peg that they're going to be an IQYLCB caller when I can hear their hip popping out sassily and their pointer finger coming up in the silence between my "No" and their "Esssssxcuuuuuuuuuse ME?!"
"What do you MEAN you are closed that weekend? I mean *sound of abject disgust* how many events can you POSSIBLY be doing that day?" (Answer: If we're closed already? Probably 5. Maybe 3. Maybe 1 really awesome big one. There are about 13,000 weddings in our region PER YEAR. Do the math. Or maybe I'm just not working that weekend, not because I have a life or anything like that, but because my robot batteries need recharging and that guy who thinks I'm his wife wants to see me.)
"I mean, really, WHAT kind of place does not offer Saturday/weekend meetings *sound of abject disgust*?" (Answer: The kind that does Saturday/weekend events. Like the one you're calling to book.)
(and my absolute favorite): "*Sound of abject disgust* Well, you SHOULD be able to do mine, because MINE isn't that hard. I totally already met with someone and I know EXACTLY what I want and I just need you to do it." (Translation: Please steal another person's work and ideas and give it to me for less, and make it exactly what I want.)
But today was definitely a first. Today I had a IQYLCB walk into the shop, snark, leave, and then COME BACK FOR MORE.
There's a reason my door is now locked.
So this person walks into the shop -without a greeting- and starts explaining what they need for a luncheon. I question if the luncheon is today and when it is, explain that we don't do cash-and-carry pieces and are appointment only (like it says on three different signs located BEFORE you enter my shop) and unfortunately, we have no flowers in the store.
This is typically met with an "Oh, rats!" reaction.
Blank stare ensues. This person is literally in disbelief that I cannot help her. I give her recommentions of two other florists, both within a 5-10 minute drive, and say, "I'm sorry we can't help you today!" to which I literally get a "huffff.....Yeah, me too," as she storms out.
Pleasant. Nice to meet you too. Terribly sorry you don't approve of my business model- gosh, I will just get RIGHT on that.
Back to work, right??
5 minutes later.
This person comes back in, tells me they're just going to buy flowers at the grocery, and asks to take a free vase so they can just make a centerpiece on their own- they'll return it, naturally, so obviously I'll just give it to them for free. Because they aren't just any person- they are WITH A CATERING COMPANY, thankyouverymuch, and therefore I am obligated to help solve their problem.
In between the 10 or so seconds of incredulousness (wait-weren't you just in here questioning the way I choose to run my business and now you want something free?) they point to a cut-crystal display vase and say "You're a doll. I'll take this."
Awkward discussion (between my mentally berating myself for not locking the door earlier) ensues about how I'd prefer to give her something that is a little more of a typically stocked item (not, say, a CRYSTAL VASE) which is met with a less than pleased reaction.
I wind up offering a glass curved vase that is nicer than a "plain vase" but something I won't miss if it doesn't come back to me, which though she says it will, meh, may or may not be likely. And that's fine, mind you, it's a vase- but no, you're not taking one of my expensive ones, and certainly not when you're taking it for free, and certainly not when you've basically been rude this entire time.
I get an exasperated "yeah, fine, I guess." The key words not utilized during this transaction are "thank" and "you."
Bonus?! I had a client in my office the entire time, who thank god is also a close friend, but which this person had absolutely no way of knowing.....so this *professional* came in and did this TO someone she didn't know, IN FRONT OF someone she didn't know.
And people wonder why my door is locked.