Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How Did I Get Here?

My sister and I were talking about a few really odd experiences at retail stores this weekend.

We've noticed a distinct change in the retail experience over the last ten or so years, and not really for the better.

For one thing, we've noticed that no one in any sort of retail store seems to know anything about the products in the store. I mean anything. If you ask a question, a crazy, outlandish question like "do you sell garden hoses," employees will stare at you, slack jawed, and join you in your wondering. "Wow - I don't know - I wonder if we do? I need a garden hose too."

The second thing is even more disturbing. This has happened to me several times when I've traveled lately. The most recent was in Salt Lake.

I was looking for a business, and I asked a person who worked in Starbucks where a particular address was. She walked outside with me and it was like she had just exited the alien spaceship in which she arrived at Starbucks that morning. She looked around like she had never seen any aspect of this environment before in her life. So much so that I asked her if she was from there. She not only said yes, but that she had worked at that Starbucks for five years, and dang it if she had no clue where the address I was looking for was. Now I'll give her that addresses there are stupid, but this was pretty odd. Turns out the address I was looking for was actually IN THE BUILDING THE STARBUCKS WAS IN and not two blocks south of there, which is where she tried to send me.

And she's not alone. This happens nearly every time I travel and ask people for directions. I have no idea how people actually get to work every day.

However, while pondering this I realized that maybe these two things are related. Maybe the reason that the people in Home Depot don't know whether they sell garden hoses or not is because they don't actually WORK at Home Depot. They work at Starbucks, but they didn't know how to get there, so they ended up at Home Depot.

That's my working theory, anyway. We should be kind to these people. They must be frightened and confused constantly.

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I made most of this card on Periscope yesterday. I wanted to show people how to use this ArtGraf water-soluble graphite. I love the sparkle the graphite gives - and you use it just like you use watercolor. Really fun.

I stamped the image from Blended Bloom in Smoky Slate before watercoloring with an Aqua Painter. The stamp and die for the sentiment are the Being Classy bundle from Concord & 9th. The card base is Basic Gray.

Big news about OnStage Live in Dallas if you're going - Bev and I are hosting a mini-retreat the Friday before the event. So if you are going to be in Dallas that weekend, or you just live in Dallas and want to stamp, be sure and register here - space is limited!

Also - my Embellished Ornaments online class is available now and I have the CUTEST Santa's workshop class coming in about a week.

In the meantime, if you go into a retail establishment in the next few weeks, plan on being self-sufficient.



  1. I know exactly why no one knows where anything is: GPS. I always look up where I'm going before I leave the house to get a feel for where it is in relation to other places I know. I also know street names, and can get places without GPS. I finally broke down and got a Garmin, and I've used it a few times, but when I use Garmin, I find I stop paying attention to street signs because it always tells me to turn in x number of feet.

    If you grew up with GPS, you cannot function without it.

    That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.

  2. I totally agree with Leslie about the GPS. I use mine ALL THE TIME. Same way I don't know anyone's phone number - my phone knows it. Now, as far as the retail store situation: I agree that SOME employees are not committed to the jobs & have no customer service skills whatsoever. But not ALL retail employees are of that ilk. I worked in a big box craft store for 5 years. I LOVED my job ( for the most part) and I could tell you just about anything & everything about almost any product in that store. And I'm fairly proficient at using a great deal of it. But I'm an old fogey who was raised with a tremendous work ethic. The majority of my younger co-workers did not share that work ethic. That is why I left that job & took my work ethic, knowledge & experience with me. I still shop at this store & they STILL ask me questions about stuff when I'm shopping! Having to tell the cashier how to find up your purchases is ridiculous. But in their defense, the store gets what they pay for - minimum wages for minimum effort.

  3. I also agree with the above, between Navigator machines and mobile phones Our children have forgotten or not learnt at all how to look something up on the map. We all owned street directories yet if you ask the kids where their's is they look blankly at you. Where we drove using a map or with written directions and we noticed things like the big pink building half way up the street on the left next to city bank etc they dont look past the sound of the instructions on their device. You will reach your destination in 50m, then they look for a parking spot. Love that flower looks wonderful especially with the gold embossed word.

  4. You made me laugh! Stunning flower and gorgeous card!

  5. Lydia, I had a similar experience at Home Depot that just boggled my public school teacher mind - I asked the young man who worked there if they had any 25" x 16" furnace filters. He checked, and said, "No, all we have is "16" x 25" ones." Yikes? Love your card!

  6. I watched you do that card on Periscope and love seeing the finished card. Wow that's beautiful. Now I have to add that ArtGraf water soluble graphite to my list. Sigh the list never ends.

  7. I know exactly what you mean about retail stores. Was shopping the other day, picked out a really cute top in a very small boutique-y type of store, but there was a button missing. Asked the salesperson if there were supposed to be extra buttons with the garment. She answered after a lengthy pause, "I don't know, is that normally how it works". Needless to say, left the store without the top.
    You card however is a work of art. Love the monochromatic look and the shading is awesome.

  8. Haha! This post cracked me up so much that I burst out in laughter and scared my two year old! Oh my goodness! this completely explains my last visit to the Home Depot where no one had any idea where anything was in the store...or even what I was talking about. At least you obviously know what you're doing because your card is just gorgeous!

  9. Retail. I did that for ten years, ending about 15 years ago, before GPS was common. Phone callers always asked how to get to the store, and we finally had to post the accurate, concise directions by each phone so the shoppers could get to us. ... As for Valory Degree's comment above, I once asked someone for the measurements of something; she said she had the "dimensions" but not the measurements. ... I wish everyone had gone to school when I did!

  10. Oh my word, Lydia! That is gorgeousness!!!!

  11. I've only been subscribing to your blog for a few days. I can sure relate to your experiences in retail stores. If we didn't laugh about all the aggravation, it would drive us crazy, but on the other hand it is so sad. I do like your idea that they just arrived from outer space. I know I'm always telling my husband that I just don't understand how people can exist on this planet into adulthood and not at least absorb some basic knowledge. I never thought of cutting them some slack because they might be from another planet! LOL!!! I'm always going in to my local big box craft stores asking for the latest and greatest craft supplies and since those stores are always so slow to get things (if they ever do) the people who work there never seem to know what I am talking about. My husband always tells me he loves watching their eyes glaze over when I am asking for products and having to describe what it is and what it does. LOL!! But, bottom line, you are so right about how the retail experience has changed over the past decade or two. And the saddest thing about that is that it really means our entire society has gone that much further down the drain! :(

    But, thanks for the laugh. And even more, thanks for sharing your art with us. As i said, I'm very new to your blog, but am looking forward to having some time to look around and see more as well as looking forward to receiving your e-mail notices when each new post comes out.

  12. Your theory on the employees cracks me up!!!

  13. You made me laugh...out loud 😄
    Your graphite bloom is gorgeous! Sorry I missed the Periscope...
    Have a great Sunday!

  14. i know what you mean at a local craft store they ask you did you find everything you needed ? if you didnt they say im sorry and thats it they dont really make an effort to help you or they call somebody and they say we dont carry that item sorry drives me crazy. thats why i have started shopping online

  15. I'm with you all the way...on everything you said about retail. When I worked "retail" I made sure my employees knew everything about everything we offered, trained them to the hilt, and made sure they learned our customers' names.

    Sigh. Not like that any more. Some businesses have lost my business because of it.

    Lovely card! I've never heard of water soluble graphite. But I love the pencil-drawn look. I may play with my drawing pencils like this.

    Notice. I actually didn't say that I would have to go look for some. ;)


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