by Rena Klingenberg.
Several years ago at an art show, a lady came by my jewelry booth (I’ll call her “Lady M”).
Lady M was a passionate follower of the arts – I often saw her at all sorts of art events in our area.
She also tended to be disorganized and flustered.
At this particular art show, Lady M purchased a couple of pieces of my finished jewelry, and also placed a custom jewelry order.
After getting out her credit card to pay for her purchases, she dug through her purse and scrabbled up a handful of pencils.
We then had this conversation:
She (waving her pencil collection): “Do you have a pencil sharpener?”
Me (packaging her jewelry): “I’m sorry, I don’t have one here with me.”
She (flustered and handing her pencil collection to me anyway): “Could you take these home and sharpen them for me?”
Me (too astonished at this bizarre request to think of a polite refusal): “Um – OK.”
So after the art show ended, I did take Lady M’s pencils home and sharpened them.
It appealed to my sense of silliness.
I don’t normally do odd jobs like that for jewelry customers. (In fact, none of my other customers have ever asked me to!)
About a week later I went to Lady M’s house to deliver her finished custom jewelry order.
I presented her with her new custom pendant, and she ooh’ed and aah’ed appreciatively over it.
Then I presented her with her freshly sharpened pencils . . . along with a package of two small pencil sharpeners – one for her purse and one for her home. 🙂
Cyndi L says:
That is hysterical! And it was also a very smart business decision 😉
That is funny. I love how you handled that situation! It definitely was an odd request but not a difficult one to fulfill so why not make her happy. The gift of pencil sharpeners was an extra sweet touch. Umm…I wonder what she’ll ask you for next time? Be prepared…lol!
hahahahaha love it.
That was a cute story! It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day and what she asked wasn’t that hard to fulfill. How sweet of you to not only fill her request but to go the extra mile and throw in the sharpeners. Job well done. 🙂
Beverly Holman says:
I love this story. Most of all, I loved how you handled it. The next time I get a strange or silly request or question, I will remember how you handled it with style and grace and hope that I will be able to do the same.
What a lovely story! I’d like to think I would have done something like that for her. She will be your customer forever, and maybe tell her friends.
That’s a kindness you would normally reserve for family or friends. Brava for you! Developing good clients sometimes comes from both your passion and from the heart. I enjoy hearing stories about your creative solutions, Rena.
Too funny!!! Love that you not only sharpened her pencils, but bought her some pencil sharpeners too. Loyal customers come in many flavours 🙂
That’s too funny Rena – I hope you made one of the sharpeners a pendant on a necklace so she could wear it on her neck, and won’t have to rummage around her purse looking for it!
Diane Smith says:
How funny is this!? Quick-thinking on your part, Rena, and it showed your outstanding customer-service attitude! ^_^
Marnie Ehlers says:
Rena, after buying your Ultimate Guide to a Profitable Jewelry Booth (which is fabulous by the way) and reading the list of “things to take to a show” which is quite extensive and has been my go-to list for every show I’ve done, I’m surprised that you didn’t have a pencil sharpener with you! Thanks for this laugh… I guess this just goes to show that even if you are extremely well prepared…you can’t bring everything!
Love this story! Good on you! 🙂
Oh my gosh, your stories are hilarious!!
The expression on the illustration of YOU is priceless.
Lisa Yang says:
What’s really scary about this scenario is that had it happened to me – I would have had the pencil sharpener in my (oversized) purse. It’s amazing the stuff that I carry!
Our reaction, when asked for a favour that takes us off guard, reveals a lot about our heart. If our heart is to serve people and sincerely be helpful, we’ll say yes if it is something we really do feel we can do for them. Others would immediately respond with something along the lines of “I don’t do that”. To fulfill her request, and then take it one step further, shows even more of your heart, as well as it being a wise move (she may have sought you out with her pencils every time she saw you afterwards).
This is what is called SERVICE. You did wonderful You bought this lady, while sharing a lot of laugh with us.
She is funny indeed. We need a psychologist to find why she did it but in the mean time I learned a very important lesson. You took care of her needs, whatever it is. She’ll probably remember you and tell good things about you to others since she loves to be in Art shows.
You are a darling person and a great business person too. Best of luck to all your shows. Dita
The way you handle that was really great!
I would have sharpened the pencils, but I would never have though of giving her sharpeners! Well done! 🙂
What a great story, I’m sure you had a load of good karma after that. Bless her heart! 😉
Mary Wong says:
You always surprise me with your “lemons to lemonade” twists. Very clever thinking / marketing / customer rapport. Thanks for your ideas.
Deborah C. Blake says:
This indeed brightened my day!!!!!
I love folks that make life interesting! Great story…I love the way you handled too. Blessings, D
Jicsi’s Jewellery says:
This is amazing.
I love the idea of casually asking someone to take my pencils home and sharpen them for me! I might ask someone next time I’m at a craft fair or show! Though I feel like I wouldn’t get the same lovely response that you gave!