On Sundays at the moment the lights are on, the music's playing but the door is locked with a sign asking customers to ring the bell for assistance. I employ staff to work in the shop on a Sunday from Easter - December, but at this time of year it's just too quiet to make it viable to pay anyone.
As I am always in the shop on a Saturday, by operating this way I get to spend time with my daughters on a Sunday and, so long as we don't leave the house, I can hear the bell and dash down the stairs to help any customers that may visit.
This Sunday I was helping my youngest daughter to make this tin can robot with a kit she received for Christmas - lots of fun!
The bell rang and I quickly popped down to unlock the door for two ladies. When I arrived they were reading the sign on the door which says that the shop will be closed this coming weekend as I'll be away at a trade fair - again, I can't afford to pay for staff just now.
One lady commented, "You're always closed," before turning to speak to her friend. I wanted to ask what she meant and had she been inconvenienced previously, but I missed the opportunity. I had geared myself up to ask her when she came to the counter, but they left without buying anything and I missed my chance.
She didn't say it in an unpleasant way, it was more of a passing comment. I wonder whether she'd called in when I was redecorating and found the place closed. It has been on my mind ever since, largely because I'm worried that she sees the shop as being closed often and may be telling her friends the same. In reality, the shop is open 6 days a week, all year - the only exception is a few days in Jan & two days in Feb.
My own perceptions of another shop were changed last week. I won't name the shop, suffice to say it's one of my favourites - piled high with interesting things - lots to see and fun to explore every nook and cranny. I was really enjoying a good rake through everything when the owner started telling her staff off quite loudly. I could hear every word and it made me feel very uncomfortable. It won't stop me returning, but it has affected my impression of the owner. Fair enough to tell your staff if they're doing something wrong, but there are ways and means!
OK, that's too much writing and not enough photos, so here are some I took this morning on a frosty walk around Johnshaven.
|The old railway line|
|Looking south to The Narrows & Seagreens|