The lessons learned

So… we made it out to the farmers market this time.

And that’s about all I can say for accomplishments.

I’m trying to be positive… and to stay relatively vague on social media… but, well, it went completely awful.

I’ve been to this market as a patron for years… and always found it to be a nice place that I’ve had no problems supporting. I took kiddo out there a couple of weeks ago to scope it out, and she loved it.I had no doubts about picking the oldtown market as an in-person location.

As vendors… If I hadn’t already paid for three more weeks over this summer with the initial payment, I would not at all consider going back.

As it is, I’m thinking we might not go even with the pre-payment.

We didn’t sell a thing… or even honestly come close to it… which could be a fair outcome for a new vendor, and is something I could deal with and tweak.

But.. the other vendors were complete jerks.

As in, on 6 different occasions after I started counting, the staff of the booth next to us would literally approach people who were already _inside_ our booth space, actively looking at our products, and pull them over to their organizations activities instead.

But… their organization was a program that does art classes for deaf kids. So, no matter what I did, I was going to look like a total ass telling them "ya know, maybe they will after they are done with what they were already doing inside someone else’s booth…"

I held my tongue…but I’m not sure that I really should have.

They also had all sorts of tables, an easel, someone in a dinosaur costume, and a very large deaf dog outside of their booth in front of their tables… frequently blocking passage along the sidewalk at all for patrons… at best, bottlenecking them between their chaos and two trees… but more frequently, causing them to go around our corner of booths entirely.

And didn’t seem to care one bit when their activities completely blocked the doorway of our booth. Actually, at one point, the dog was intentionally told to sit right in our doorway and left there for about 5 minutes or so.

Looking at the pics on their facebook page pretty much infuriates me at just how obvious it was.

The booth on the other side wasn’t a whole lot better… starting the morning off with snide comments both directly to us and to others about us within our earshot… "You must be new, don’t worry, you’ll figure it out eventually" in a tone that said more than the words ever could have.

This is after she’d thrown a fit that we needed to move to the next parking spot over…. literally, a single spot over… after the directors husband had told us earlier we were parked in the exact right spot (after another vendor had told us to move out of his place earlier… at 5:15 in the morning when there were only 3 cars even around…)

And then followed by a fit that since we had closed walls, we needed to move our booth over so she could get into hers. Rather than moving her own tables over a bit, or going in her own back wall of canvas. I accommodated both requests… but only afterwards remembered that I’d rented a 10 by 10 space, but only made my booth 8 by 8 based on ability to fold and fit into my truck bed…. so since I was against the other booth anyway to the point that one of our poles was bowed around a pole, 2 extra feet on that side were mine to take up anyway.

And that was after having started setup in the place the husband had told us, only to then having to try to move the booth over about 6 feet with weight on it (which it already wasn’t taking very well and was trying to bow).. so it was in a position that we’d officially been told (for a second time) to put it by staff.

Between the attitude on one side already getting to me… and then the circus on the other having no resemblance of respect of others at all…. I was over it well before 10am… long before having our former pastor shop at the attitude chick’s booth and not even acknowledge us..

So.. honestly… I don’t even know how we are doing on prices or if the quality of painting made any difference or anything along those lines from the day. Very few people were even making it into the booth to really be close enough to see or to even know what the prices were…. and the handful that did were quickly attacked by the sharks next door.

I did also get a rather painful sunburn.. resulting from the decision to remove the overhead cover… to reduce the weight on the top until I could add some additional support to prevent the bowing problem.

I really don’t even want to go back out there again.

I probably should, hoping to get better neighbors and have a better go at it.

And I want to teach my daughter the value of getting back up and trying again.

But as I unloaded the truck tonight, much more roughly than I should have and in tears… I’m really just feeling done with dealing with this location and that maybe it would be better to move forward somewhere else.

And I wonder if on the other side of things, if what I actually taught my daughter this weekend was that people are jerks, that its all about money even if you are a charity, that deaf kids having art classes trumps her having a fair shot at her hard work getting seen… and that you have to be a jerk too or you get trampled and ignored.

Honestly… well… sometimes it does feel like that’s a better view of the business world than the one I’d like to pretend exists where work is appreciated and has a reward…. but it’s still not exactly the message I’d hope that this experience is giving her.

But meanwhile… the post I made on my personal facebook page… that only has 60 some friends… that only showed the pics of the booth with no commentary about our day… generated one sale, and one potential sale… plus several compliments.

That’s better than we did in the entire morning of work. So at least I still feel like it’s not for a total lack of interest in our stuff.

But it was very much a bad day.