Saturday, May 16, 2009

Retreat Post - Fabric Thief?

Up until this point, I hadn't mentioned winning any raffle prizes. I won on Friday night and throughout the day on Saturday and while I got some really great prizes, I also shared with my peeps who weren't winning. I tried to make sure that everyone in my group went home with something extra and I divvied up my prizes among the peeps who hadn't won anything. And while I was so happy to share my prizes with my peeps, there was apparently someone who felt entitled to help herself to one of my prizes.

To help with this story, I am going to call this person FT.

After lunch on Saturday, more raffle prizes were given away. The peeps’ names were being pulled fairly regularly and we had a good time seeing what everyone was getting. Then, they pulled the name for the 33 pound box of fabric.


They let Jane pull the name and she pulled my name! I know Jane from some other retreats that I have been to and she was so excited to pull my name and I ran up and she gave me a big hug and we jumped around a little and then she asked if she could have some of the 30’s fabric. I said, “Of course!” I took the box of fabric to the steps by our tables and called Cindy and both Reginas over to look through the box because they liked the 30’s fabric, too. I told them that I will put up the fabric on the wall that I didn’t really want and they could take what they wanted.

Seems easy enough, right? Hmph!

Everything started out well enough, but then FT, a lady who was not in our group and who I don’t know, came over and starting pawing through the fabric. She kept picking up pieces and holding them in one hand off to the side. After she had about 4 pieces in her hand, I just kept watching her as she loaded up. I even smacked Regina the I’s hand (sorry, Reg!!) because she kept passing fabric to the lady that matched what she had in her hand. And once FT figured that she got her fill of my fabric, or that she was pushing her luck with her thievery, she walked away. Apparently, she about knocked Sherry over when she fled. She didn’t apologize to Sherry or thank me for the fabric or ask if she could have some or anything. I was shocked! Poor Sherry - she was so upset that she didn’t even come over to the box to take any fabric for herself!

Now don’t get my wrong here – I was more than happy to share my winnings with my peeps or those who were invited. But FT was NOT invited. I don’t even know what her name is! And she wasn’t even pleasant about it.

As soon as she walked away, I apologized to my peeps and put the box away in my room. I told the rest of the peeps that they were welcome to dig through what was left, but I wasn’t going to leave the box out in the open for obvious reasons. And FT took the fabric that she swiped to the ironing board less than 2 feet from me and ironed it.

I tried to not let it bother me, but it really ticked me off that this lady was so ballsy that she just walked right up to the box that was practically in my lap and took fabric right out from under my nose. After we made our block butlers, it was basically just peeps left in the gym and we started talking about FT.

I said that while her actions angered me, that if I just took the fabric back like everyone said I should it would look very fishy since she had packed it in a bag by now. So what? Well, if she went to one of the other co-ordinators, are they going to make it out that I am petty that I am concerned about what would add up to less than a yard of fabric? Can they afford to lose another 3 attendees for next year? (FYI - it has already been decided that we are going to put on a Peeps' Retreat next year for our group of bloggers and we won't be going back to this retreat.) Someone told me that FT hadn't just swiped a yard of fabric - her loot had to be AT LEAST 3 yards.

At this point, Linda made a well thought out statement for me to repeat to FT, but I knew that I wouldn't be able to do it because if I repeated this speech to FT and she said, "So what?" I would probably get ticked and yell at her. I decided that Linda should be the one to talk to FT. She didn't agree with that and I'm not quite sure why....

Finally, I had a brain storm!!! On Thursday, Sherry had relayed a story of how she went ballistic after her 2 $10 Obama signs were stolen from her lawn before the election. When she went to the Republican Regional office demanding that they reimburse her for the signs, they just offered to give her McCain signs which didn't help calm her down at all. She admits that it wasn't her proudest moment with her grandson watching from the car. My brain storm was to tell Sherry that not only had FT almost knocked her over, but she stole this fabric and I saw that she had defaced Democratic signs in her trunk! I thought that we were sure to have the fabric back in no time!

Our last ditch effort was to have someone casually mention it at a meal the next day if they were lucky enough (or unlucky enough depending on how you looked at it) to have to dine with FT. With that decided, I went to bed.

The next morning, it just so happened that Jen and Jen V sat with FT, FT's friends and my good friend Mary that I used to work with. It was a perfect set up. And at this point, I am going to let Jen take over with what happened next.

"Jill sets the scene in which she's nominated a napping AWW (Sherry) to sit at FT's table for breakfast and bring up the stolen fabric...she's angry at the woman but afraid to say anything. The Jen's get to breakfast late and ironically end up sitting with said woman...and Mary who unknowingly sets up the conversation perfectly.

Fade In..

Mary:My gosh, your group has sure won a lot of the raffles.
Jen: Well, our 16 people is 1/3 of the entire group, we're winning based on dollar amounts donated across all of our people. There's just a lot of tickets out there.
Mary:That's true, its too bad people don't realize that instead of complaining about how unfair it is.
Jen: Speaking of unfair, Jill won a box of fabric yesterday and while Jill and a few others were taking a look through it a woman we don't know came over, pulled out fabric, stood there and ironed it and walked away with it while everyone looked on in shock. No 'please', no 'thank you', no nothing.
Jen: I wish I was.
Mary: Who is she?
Jen: I don't even know, I was on the other side of the room when it happened.

FT looks away.

FT's Friend speaks: I'm sure there's a misunderstanding.
Jen: What's to misunderstand? Raffle win or fabric that was brought to retreat - who just walks up to a box of fabric and takes it without asking or saying thank you? It takes guts to do that.


Mary: I'm just shocked that someone HERE at charity event could be so rude.
Jen: It takes all kinds.

... Fade out."

Now, after breakfast, there was plenty of time for FT to approach me or to leave the fabric at my table, but she did neither. A peep told me that she walked by her and she was measuring the fabric and putting it into a separate bag. I would probably have let her take it anyway, but it was just the principal of the whole situation. Seriously - who steals fabric at a charity retreat??? I hope she enjoys it. But man, I do not want that karma!

And poor Regina the I can't make the quilt for Project Linus because she didn't have enough fabric because FT took it.

So, here is what I was left with after the rest of the peeps had a look through the box. Some great scraps to work with and a bolt of a nice fabric for backings.



Jamie said...

It is amazing how some people can be! I guess maybe it is a good thing I wasn't there, me and her would have had words. I can not stand people that are rude and inconsiderate like that.

BitnByAQuiltingBug said...

I think some people just don't have a clue about stuff. I just want to thank you again for sharing with US! You're a sweetie and just be proud of that! Have a great weekend!

Linda and Piwacket said...

Thank you for sharing your winnings! The retreat was wonderful despite this.

Brenda said...

this was a story worth reading. For many reasons, but one being that it was written so well.
I honestly can't say that I could do that!! I have trouble asking for the scraps someone is throwing in the garbage - yes, I ask for those!! I don't want to have to explain why I am in your garbage can!! But to come over and stick my paw into your pile and grab what I wanted.... yeah, Karma. Reminds me of a kids story, where grandpa wakes up to find he's being robbed and then goes about to help the robber get the best stuff!! "Are you sure you don't need this???? Oh, this is perfect for you" and at the end of the story even gives him his robe!! "Because he obviously needs it more than I do." Think of this, that way. I loved the FT, took my just waking up brain a second to put that one together!! lol!
You handled it very well. You have alot of class. And yes, I would be a little ticked too, for all kinds of reasons, one being, like you said "who does that??!?" Thanks for the story. And it does take all kinds.
Treat others how you want to be treated, so does that mean, if you see her at a reatreat again, you can shop her stash??? And just take what you want?? hmmm, I know you wouldn't but if she thinks it's okay to shop your winnings..... hmmmmm ;-)

Have a great long weekend. Enjoy some sunshine. And I am glad you did have fun at the retreat dispite some people there......

Myra said...

Oh my Jill! That was ballsey of FT! I wonder what else went missing of other's now... I guess you find one of those gals every so often no matter what kind of group you are with...

I've heard of a gal taking out a much anticipated quilting book out from the library home, only to find half of the pages were neatly removed, and the book nicely fixed up to look like nothing was missing... Apparently when the gal reported it she was told that they have a few quilting books there like that... Wondering why they would borrow them out still, and why not look for who the culprit may have been through the records of who has borrowed them... Whatever!?!

Pretty sad that some people feel that they can just help themselves to whatever they want......

Going to a retreat it is automatic that you trust everyone will respect your workspace when you are not around, and visa versa... but for things to walk away when you are around... that takes balls!

Sandi said...

Incredible story...I am impressed with Jen's conversation because it was a good way to clue her in that what she did was noticed. It gave her the opportunity to step up to the plate and be accountable for what she did. At that point she could have even been sneaky and just put it where you would find it. Yet she did nothing in my book that says loads about someone. I am glad that no one let this impact the great time that you all had together at the retreat.

piecesofpatti said...

Thanks so much for sharing with us. I am new to the group and I was so impressed with how nice everyone was. You all made me feel welcome! I did not know about what happened until later and I felt very bad. You are very generous and you all worked hard to make it a fun time. The peeps are GREAT!

Jen said...

i'm still shocked that i had the guts to even start that conversation. The funny thing of all this wait how long to post about winning prizes...and you're the prize queen. I get someone trashing me on my blog when I'm not even blogging much less about prizes. Sigh. It really does take all kinds.