I am a shoe maker! Ok, so I make clothes and accessories too, but I kind of like the sound of being a shoe maker more. Besides really loving the craft, it has a certain ring to it. Lol.
By a friend’s referral (God bless him), I got a request to make a few shoes and sandals. The price was far from right but I went on with it. I thought it’d be great to increase my customer base. Off to the market I went, with one of my partners. We had to buy some raw materials to kick off the production. I could categorically say that I was happy with my buy. Oops! I almost forgot to buy a chain accessory. One of the clients had specifically asked for his shoe to have a silver accessory. I made a quick dash to get it. In a hurry, I did not realize that the vendor had given me a plain one and another with an imprint on it. It came in pairs. That was obviously not a matching pair. I would need to go back to the market another day just in time to deliver on the order. I went back as expected with the mis-matched pair and asked the seller to kindly give me a replacement chain. “It doesn’t matter”, he said. “You can still use it like that”, he whispered. I was in shock. Since he would not change it, I bought another pair (made sure I was a lot more careful this time).
Back at my workshop, I asked one of the workers to apply polish on a specific part of the leather I wanted to use. It was apparent that he was distracted because he had put a little too much, that bit had become darker than the other parts. Thankfully, besides not having assembled the various parts yet, I still had extra materials to work with. We had to cut out another, sew, polish and assemble. I spoke of being grateful that we had more than enough materials to work with, else that would have been a bad production. “It doesn’t matter”, my staff said. “The client may not even notice if we sold it like that”, he added. In a fit of rage, I questioned what it is with us that would cause us to think the way we do. Then I remembered what a close friend of mine often said: “when people portray unacceptable behaviour or do not care about your set standards of excellence, see it as a coaching opportunity”. He had a lesson on attitude, excellence; the whole nine yards that day – much more than he’d ever have bargained for.