I’m just too trusting. I’ve been told that’s actually a fault of mine. Who knew that trusting could be a fault, but apparently it is. Well, now, this pure white trusting soul of mine has some flecks of rotten yellow-green from my experience with you..
When you came with samples of your work, I thought it was wonderful, beautiful work. You were wanting space. We talked about it—about the registration fee and cost of monthly rental space. And then, because your stuff was so wonderful and original, I suggested that you start your tenure with a show for the month of January.
I scheduled you for a January 2nd move-in date. I rearranged the room to accommodate the display case you mentioned. I wrote you a wonderful article and sent it to all the local papers, including photos of your work from your internet pages, featured you on our website and created a page just for you.
Oh, but Saturday the 2nd, you didn’t make it in. Sick kids, sick you. And then the weather came in and we closed early one day. Finally, on THE day of your reception, you came in. We spent several hours working on your display, arranging your work. I dug up stuff from the closet, pulled stuff out of my scrapbooking supplies, helped you make it look just like you wanted it to look.
I mentioned to you the commission difference between members of the and non-members and strongly suggested that if you wanted to pay the lower commission, we should take care of your monthly space rental. And somehow, with the talk and the busy-ness of the afternoon, it didn’t get done. You asked me how you would get the money for your sales and I said our accountant would write you a check at the end of the month. You hesitated for a minute, explained that your sister would be there with a receipt book to handle all your sales, and could you just pay your members’ percentage of that. Now it was my turn to hesitate. Hmm. I thought, that’s not really how it’s done. Would it mess up the books? I called my business partner and spoke with our accountant. Both said that was fine, so I told you it was fine.
I left for awhile and came back, and when I got here, the reception was in full swing. People were coming in and looking—some bought, not as many as we had hoped, but okay considering the weather. Passed the time away talking to you, talking to others, talking to my partners. It was a long, fun and chatty evening.
The hour of 9 drew near and I came around the corner to say, “Let’s just leave this table up up for the month and take down this other one…” and, oh my gosh, you had packed everything up! I was surprised.
I said, “I thought you were here for the month.”
You said, “I have a show to do.”
You told me you sold $100 worth of stuff and you handed me a $10 bill, a member’s commission fee. I mentioned that your membership hadn’t been paid and you said you didn’t have your checkbook.
I get it.
But our agreement was…oh, that’s right, we didn’t have an agreement, did we? At least not on paper. It was just words…two women talking…one took the other for a ride and the other believed everything she said. Silly me.
$10. Please remind me, it’s not about the money. Please. $10 for the good faith effort I put into all the publicity I did for your show, for trusting you on your sales and your intention to become a member. $10 for you to come in and walk all over us and move on. And now here I am with a half empty room, and no monthly featured display, looking like a fool because I believe what people say. And although this negative piece won’t be read by NEAR as many people as the wonderful article praising your artistry, a few will read between the lines and they’ll know.
Come on. Tell me this isn’t what really happened. I’ll believe you still.