I was at the new store yesterday for the second time.

Any time you are at a new job site, there are little things to negotiate. Perhaps you like progressive jazz and the other person in the space does not. Maybe one person likes a colder temperature than the other. It is easy to express these differences in a pleasant, self-deprecating way. You can do a little “It’s not you; it’s me” and work things out.

In this particular case, though, these straightforward courtesies will not work.

I tried to think of ways to say what I needed to say.

“Everyone has different levels of tolerance for untidiness….”
“I’m sorry, but I just can’t work in this…”
“Would you mind if I just tidied up a little here?”

Impossible. The truth is, we make tidiness into a sort of moral issue for women. Saying, “I can’t work in this mess” is the equivalent of saying, “You slut!”

The other workers have just complained under their breaths and said nothing. I can see why. Even just cleaning up for people carries an implication of criticism. They feel that they have to join in, or apologize, or perhaps say that they were just about to do that but haven’t had time. The cleaner-up feels caught and the messy one feels resentful.

Fortunately, the culprit — no, no, I mean, the person with a higher tolerance for mess — left early yesterday. I cleaned up. I won’t be back till next Friday, and by then things will have settled down. And possibly messed up again. We’ll see.

I have to confess that I took a couple of pictures. I was going to post them, since one of the things we do on blogs is tell our side of the story in confidence that our readers will probably validate our decisions, accept our version of things, and generally go along with us. You would have been appalled, and would have agreed with me that I had to do something about it.

My camera has mysteriously disappeared. This may be God’s way of pointing out that, in order for this to be an  honest post, I would have to show you pictures of areas of my life that are currently messy — my car, my pantry, and my sewing table would do for starters.

However, that means that I am heading off to today’s conference with no camera, which is unfortunate. I like to post these things on the store blog.

The other thing that happened yesterday is that a giant corporation called us — having found us on the internet — with a 16K order. There is many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip, and we are not counting our chickens before they hatch, but it makes me feel that my work has not been in vain. If they come through with this, I will shop with them at least once, in a celebratory fashion.

bijoux It is hard to know what today’s conference will be like, but I am anticipating that there will be quite a bit of down time while people are in sessions, so I am taking the Bijoux blouse along. I have completed the front and back, done the shoulder seams, and finished the neckband. I also picked up the stitches for the first sleeve, so I will be working on that sleeve in the interstices of the day.

I believe I like the neck band. I was not sure about it, but it is growing on me.

Enjoy your weekend!