Y’all, I was in shock when we exited Artwerx Alley, a gallery in San Antonio, leaving behind the items we had planned to purchase. I don’t believe I’ve ever had an experience where a shop owner was quite so rude.
We had been planning our visit all week to visit the shop and see the exhibit they had for El Dia de los Muertos. The moment I finished work, we drove through heavy traffic across town so that we could get there before they closed. When we walked in the door, I was ecstatic to see the amazing array of items on display.
Now, you know I wanted to blog about them, and I had my camera slung around my neck. But, I’m respectful enough to request permission before snapping pictures of an artist’s work … sometimes they don’t like it. Who can blame them? Some folks might take pictures and then “steal” the ideas.
When I asked permission, the woman eyed me skeptically and told me “no.” I was alright with that, and I never took the lens cap from my camera as we walked through the shop admiring, and choosing an item or two to purchase. Because I was wearing a dangling necklace, I held my camera away from my shirt as we shopped. I didn’t want my necklace to scratch the digital screen on the back.
I couldn’t help but notice that as we asked questions, the woman seemed to give us our answers grudgingly. I just figured she was having a bad day. But, when I smiled and told her I was ready to make my purchase, she glared at me.
“I don’t mean to be rude, ” she said (which is what people say when they mean to be exactly that), “but I told you not to take pictures. I saw you holding your camera and heard a clicking sound.”
Bewildered, my friend and I looked at each other and both exclaimed, “The lens cap is on the camera!” The woman stared at us grimly, as if we were lying, cheating, felons and made no move to apologize or back down from her assertion that I had been taking pictures in her shop. I was so shocked by her rudeness that I turned to walk out of the store without buying a thing.
That’s a shame for the artists who have their work in the shop … I’m sure that it affects sales if she takes that kind of attitude with customers on a regular basis. And, it’s a shame for any tourist to meet that kind of attitude, because it is NOT the normal treatment you get when you come to San Antonio.
Although we were disappointed, it turned out that leaving her shop led us to a happy accident: we found not one but two delightful shops in the same block where the sales clerks were courteous and helpful.
The Blanco Center Bazaar and Karolina’s were both chock full of delightful vintage goods, clothing, artwork, furniture and accessories. I’ll tell you more about them and show you some pictures, but right now I’m still recovering from the rude treatment at Artwerx Alley. You can bet your bottom dollar they won’t see my smiling face again!