Awesome shwopping and seriously uncool shopping

Ain’t this awesome? —> The Big Shwop! Kindly brought to my attention by the loverly Kimberley. I shall do my best to gather up the clothing that I will never ever wear again *thinking of my fave Fin pants that my butt no longer fits into that have been wallowing in the corner of my room since the last ‘growth spurt’*

And the uncool? A certain store which is lit by spots. Uncool is the mild form of my severe dislike for this chain of craft stores. Unfortunately my trips there are so infrequent that I forgot how horrible it is by the time I organise my next outing. Sunday saw some child free time (thanks to Sig) that I could spend with a friend, Kat, so we headed out to there to choose some fabric so Kat could make some new cushions. In actual fact, we did find some pretty cool stuff. And I ventured into the racks of ‘craft cotton’ that I had previously ignored. Now I know that actually that’s where you find the coolest stuff! The banner from Louise‘s blog… lit by spots craft cotton! How did this manage to escape me for so long?

Anyway… one small redeeming feature. But they killed it with their customer service. I found a pattern that I had wanted to get for ages and sauntered up to the dress making counter with the number firmly planted in my mind. As I was walking toward the line I noticed that the people at the counter had about 9 different types of velour (bleugh) waiting to be cut. The gothic types who had cued behind them with their assorted shades of black fabric had just given up and moved to the other side of the counter where there was another lady serving, despite there being about four more people ahead of them in that new line. It should have set the alarm bells ringing but I thought it couldn’t be possible that one lady could serve 6 people in the time that the other lady could serve one and get to me.


It seems that the youngish girl at my counter was stuck on slow motion. She’d pick up one bolt of velour and slowly swing it around in a graceful arc to be delicately unfurled on the next counter. She would spend hours quite a while adjusting the fabric so that it sit right… can’t trust that stretch fabric… and then re-adjusting so the customer doesn’t get any more than they would pay for… before she would cut into it. Half a metre of each. Then she would slowly roll the fabric back onto the bolt, retrieve the record of how much was left, carefully calculate Xm minus .5m (difficult sum.) and note the change before pinning the record back to the bolt and walking back to the other counter to deposit the velour into the ‘to be re-shelved’ pile and retrieve the next bolt.


After the other girl managed to serve the whole queue on her side and the girl serving the customers in front of me was only half way through the velour pile, I decided to switch. Only to make it even easier to watch the painful process going on in front of me.

AND THEN they didn’t have the pattern in stock. Gah!

Then they fecked up the exchange of a voucher and tried to short change Kat. Luckily she picked up on it (I wouldn’t have!) and the lady serving her commented “OK staff – there is a glitch in the voucher system”… wanted to add “it has caused a malfunction in the counting ability of staff” o_O

I’m sure there are lovely people that work there. Well… almost sure. The horror stories I heard from my old flatmate who was in charge of training the staff when the chain moved over here sure don’t encourage much positivity in that regard. Ah well… until next time.


8 thoughts on “Awesome shwopping and seriously uncool shopping

  1. I worked there last year. Minimum wage. Half the staff are on happy pills, the other half should be (I ended up on them after working there for only 4 months) and…well I wont tell you all there is to tell but yeah, I only shop there if I have no choice.


  2. boo hiss to the boo hiss never fails to amaze me that it is such a universal (ok, nationwidal) phenomenon. how can they ALL suck so very badly? oh but they do.


  3. Luckily someone else was paying for my fabric this time – wouldn’t have wanted to waste my own money to pay for that service. They almost forgot to give me my bag of fabric too!


  4. Hmmmm yup. YUP! I’d laugh if it was funny, but seriously I had exactically the same experiences in this delightful store. As Lovestitches points out, the minimumwage is a big factor, and I think they are trying to run the store with not nearly enough TRAINED and efficient staff… I arrived there once at opening hour and after 15 minutes there was a traffic jam at the fabric-cutting and paying counter…And yes the quilting fabric is the best quality, although the nice stuff is frightfully expensive in this place…Lies


  5. I also try and avoid it at all costs. Last time I was lured in with the promise of a big sale, gathered up my purchases and then queued for 30 minutes (yup – super slow staff again) before I left in disgust without buying anything. I swore never to darken their doors again.The new Nancy’s store has a good range of craft cottons now. And if you can make the hike, I like thimbles n threads in Upper Hutt – but their fabrics are mostly quilting ones so a bit more expensive.


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