On being engaged

Carol PlumridgeThoughts

I recently went shopping in Bath, I was looking forward to being able to go into shops, be around people have a look at stuff. In three shops I experienced really quite poor service; in one it was so bad that I decided against my purchase. Had the assistant even made eye contact with me I would have bought the item. It has been on my mind for nearly two weeks now, why?
On the same trip I went into Mr B’s bookshop https://mrbsemporium.com what a different happy experience. The staff were wildly enthusiastic about my book choices; went out of their way to find what I wanted, told me how much they had enjoyed said books. Three of us also had an animated discussion about the best way to pack books in the bag. I came away buzzing, excited and happy and have told everyone.

What is the difference? Engagement. 

We are social beings and particularly now after such a long confinement we are hungry to reconnect with the world. Even us introverts! Which is why when you don’t get the connection with someone it feels like a slap and it made me reject what I thought I would buy. Because what I wanted was someone to share my pleasure and excitement to engage and be part the process.

 I have been pondering what to do about this and I think I have come up with a solution. I don’t know if you have heard about Craftivism? It is activism using craft; you have to be clear about what you want to change. It is more about the activism than the craft, but it is trying to make a point in a gentle considered way. So that your point might have impact and behaviour may change.

I am going to write (in my best handwriting) to all of the shops, using cards that I have made and in one case thank them for the great service. For the others I am going to try and express (without being blamey and judgemental) how important connection is to everyone. I will put a name but no contact details because I don’t want anything back, that isn’t the point. In order that shops survive they need customers who are raving fans. 

I don’t want to shop online I want contact and interest.

This also runs into everyday life, take an interest think beyond what people are saying to you. Engage in both directions listen to people and talk to them and your life will be all the richer for it.
If you are interested in Craftivism have a look at this website and hear Sarah Corbett’s story.