Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Why I quit. (Or, knitting drama.)

I used to work at a really, REALLY nice yarn shop. In this state, it's probably only second to ThreadBear. (Okay, I'll admit it, I think it's BETTER than ThreadBear, because the ThreadBear woman was really awful to me when I was there.) The co-owners were really sweet (usually), and the rest of my co-workers were amazing. But over the summer, I called it quits. I had taught classes, given private lessons, and worked countless hours on the floor. I had bought countless skeins of yarn at a small discount.

But here's the catch: I was the youngest person employed there. This was fine with a lot of the clientele, but there were a few who were, for lack of a better descriptor, ANN ARBORITES. These are people who work for Pfizer, Google, or the University and act like they're gods. They throw hundreds of dollars around on things like yarn and wine. They have too much in the way of a disposable income. Some are really kind, while some are nightmares that think they're in Berkeley or Cambridge or something. If you saw the people that go to this university, you'd know that we're NOT the "Harvard of the West" as they liked to claim.

Anyhow, my age. It all seemed to culminate in this one old woman who had knitted a bright yellow baby blanket. When she found out that the kid was a girl, she crocheted hot pink fun fur and multicolored bobble yarn around the outside of it. she was going to finish it off with some plain pink edging. No further comment on the choice of colors/yarns. Note that she had ALREADY crocheted two borders around the outside of her blanket.

She came in to us. I was working with one of the owners, who was teaching a class. They don't like to be disturbed when instructing a class, and rightly so. She saw that the owner was busy, and proceeded to ask me how to crochet an edge around the edge of her blanket. (This would be the third border, mind you.) I showed her anyway, and she insisted that I wasn't doing it right - her tension looked fine on the ugly yarns that she had chosen before, but on a smooth yarn she wasn't keeping it even, so she insisted it was wrong. I explained to her a million ways that it was just that her tension was off and perhaps she could try again.

This wasn't good enough. She looked at the owner, teaching away, and I said, "She's teaching a class. She'll be done at noon." (It was about 10:30.) "THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE!" She barged over and interrupted the class, insisting that I didn't know what I was talking about. The owner looked at her work, told her that the tension was off on her third layer of crochet, and then this woman ACCEPTED THE ANSWER coming from her.

Thing is, I have more years of knitting under my belt than the owner. I started early.

There are not enough expletives to explain how pissed off I was.

The thing is, this happened all the time. Time and time again, I got my intelligence insulted about something which has been my pastime for over fifteen years. So what if I started when I was six? So, middled-aged knitters of southern Michigan with sticks up your asses? You drove me to quit. Thanks a lot.

I get more credibility when working with ceramic tile at my full-time gig.

I can't wait until law school.


Nicola said...

I have so been there in a few of y jobs over the years and there is nothing more frustrating, I walked outof at least one job beacause of it. It is such a pity but some people are not capable of looking past stereotypes

Alice said...

Been there too.

So many times.

BAM said...

That is soooo my industry. How frustrating, I am sure you handled it with pure grace

KnitXcorE said...

Yuk! The first time I went into my LYS, They hurried me past the Noro and Malabrigo straight to the expensive hideous novelty yarns. They though I was buying a gift!!! Once I discussed with them what I've made and how long I've been knitting, they pretty much begged me to teach a class... HA!

Hallie said...

That is awful! It's like when someone sees me knitting something and just assumes that they need to give me hints and tips, when I actually don't need any help!! I've been crocheting and knitting for over 20 years.....but am rather young. I'll ask for help if I need it....thanks!! I feel your pain.