How would you respond to this comment from a show

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Forum topic by Betsy posted 08-22-2015 04:01 AM 3679 views 0 times favorited 73 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3391 posts in 4071 days

08-22-2015 04:01 AM

I’ve been thinking about this comment for a while now. I do an occasional show to try to recoup lumber money so I can build something else – for sure not a “I can make a living at this” just fun. I call it my “wood therapy.”

Anyway, a lady was eyeing one of my pieces and someone she was with, I’m assuming husband/boyfriend, told her “that’s so easy, I can do that.” He said it plenty loud so that everyone heard the comment. The lady looked at me with one of those “I’m embarrassed now” looks. If he had not said it so loudly that everyone heard I would have just acted like I also didn’t hear it and moved on. But, he was pretty loud. So this is basically what I said. “I’m sure you could – do you have a wood shop?” I thought that was pretty innocuous and not offensive. However, he did think it was. He made quite a show of being indignant as well.

I know that my social skills are less than stellar and that I can be brusk and short with people from time to time, but at shows I’m on my very best, don’t say anything silly or thoughtless, behavior.

So after thinking about this for a while and not coming up with anything better to say I thought I’d put it to my fellow Jocks to get your opinions. Did I say something offensive or was the guy simply blowing blustered talk to impress the lady? What would you have said?

These issues drive me nuts because I’m not a good diplomat so I would like to be prepared for this type of comment /situation in the future so your opinions are welcomed.


-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

73 replies so far

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1696 days

#1 posted 08-22-2015 04:11 AM

I’m with you, Betsy. I think your comment was totally innocuous. I can’t even imagine what he could have said in response in an indignant manner.

I would not worry about it one whit. You said nothing wrong. He was just being ignorant. Even his wife knew it.

View MarcRochkind's profile


12 posts in 1610 days

#2 posted 08-22-2015 04:13 AM

My thinking is that if you’re going to do shows, this is going to happen, so it’s probably best to not respond at all, as it isn’t a question. The problem is that any response (and yours was certainly on the mark) makes you look small. Another response would be to act like the comment was genuine. Something like, “Yes, for the maestros, like Maloof or Krenov or you, it would indeed be easy. For me, it was a challenge.”

View firefighterontheside's profile


19251 posts in 2032 days

#3 posted 08-22-2015 04:18 AM

Well, being a woodworker, I walk past stuff and thing, I can make that. I don’t say it out loud. I tell my wife later. What should he have done? He should have thought it and not said it. You probably should have done the same. Either way he wasn’t gonna buy anything. Maybe Monte will be along and comment. I know he’s been there.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 4071 days

#4 posted 08-22-2015 04:21 AM

I like your comment suggestion Marc. Now that you’ve mentioned it, I think I did view it as a question to be answered as opposed to a comment to be ignored.

Yonak – what he said is not repeatable without a lot of &95876^%&%&^. He was just not happy.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View TheFridge's profile


10502 posts in 1661 days

#5 posted 08-22-2015 04:40 AM

Eff him. He shouldn’t have opened his mouth.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View jgoeden's profile


23 posts in 2069 days

#6 posted 08-22-2015 04:47 AM

Say, “Oh, let me see some pics of your previous work!”

-- Never use a Lancelot woodcarver on an angle grinder. Pictures upon request.

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 4071 days

#7 posted 08-22-2015 04:56 AM

Eff him. He shouldn t have opened his mouth.

- TheFridge

Hum… what does “Eff” stand for I’ve not seen that abbreviation before.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 4071 days

#8 posted 08-22-2015 04:58 AM

Eff him. He shouldn t have opened his mouth.

- TheFridge

Hum… what does “Eff” stand for I ve not seen that abbreviation before.

- Betsy

Wait! is that the new “FU”?

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View jgoeden's profile


23 posts in 2069 days

#9 posted 08-22-2015 05:04 AM

It’s saying “uck him” poliltely on the internet without cussing. “F him”

I agree though.

Maybe he could have made it, but did he? And did he have the creativity to think of it? There’s a difference between creating something and replicating something.

-- Never use a Lancelot woodcarver on an angle grinder. Pictures upon request.

View BadJoints's profile


103 posts in 1264 days

#10 posted 08-22-2015 05:37 AM

Ignore him. Life’s too short to worry about other people’s ego. Make up one of those signs someone mentioned recently. “Yes, I’m sure your Husband/Brother/Uncle/Boyfriend COULD make you one of these, but WILL HE?”

-- Producing furniture grade firewood since 1984

View ColonelTravis's profile (online now)


1918 posts in 2069 days

#11 posted 08-22-2015 08:30 AM

Marc’s suggestion is hilarious, love it.

I think what you said was just fine. Here is what people like this rude guy don’t understand and what you should keep in mind so it doesn’t get to you, which can be hard to slough off, because a comment like that is not right and it’s obviously got you thinking about it – you’re the one out there who actually did it and is selling it. How many woodworkers can say the same? I know I can’t. You’re selling stuff, which takes effort and courage – not separating-Siamese-twins significance and courage – but most people on earth (not just woodworkers) never put their name, their work, their reputation out there for public scrutiny. You did, and I have respect for those who do. And now that I know the work involved, even if it’s just a spoon, I can appreciate it more.

Sometimes I think, I can do that. Then I think, but you haven’t done it yet, moron, so shut up. This guy didn’t have a built-in ego-puncher, maybe you could have asked him if he could build one of those.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4637 posts in 2484 days

#12 posted 08-22-2015 09:13 AM

I don’t know what I would have said but it would be different that what you said.

If someone is going to be an ass they deserve to be treated as one.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2583 days

#13 posted 08-22-2015 10:11 AM

You don’t say exactly what he was commenting on but I would have said…...”I bet you couldn’t.” If it was one of your cutting boards, he was seriously full of BS. Just showing off for his gal.

Or….....I would have said…”Thank God. I’m just running the booth here for my friend. Can you explain to me how these certain patterns are made, cut, and glued up? She won’t tell anyone!” His response would have given you a wealth of knowledge about him! LOL. Your response was harmless.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View laketrout36's profile


200 posts in 2202 days

#14 posted 08-22-2015 10:27 AM

Your reply in a public setting was just right. If you were to become sarcastic or confrontational and other customers were present they would’ve avoided your location. No one on a nice day wants to spend their time in a conflict unless it’s completely unavoidable.

Your response told him and his wife/girlfriend that you heard him and you were the one not shying away but engaging AND you posses socials skills similar to an artist that knows how to create. It’s similar to lowering your voice in a conflict and it usually causes the other party to do the same thing. Conflict resolution and being in control = Mature adult.

View upchuck's profile


540 posts in 1840 days

#15 posted 08-22-2015 11:13 AM

Maybe, “Do you have a portfolio of your work with you? Maybe a few cell phone shots we could look at?” If yes then I’d study the offered work and engage in conversation. It’s always possible that they are skilled and knowledgeable and it could be a learning experience for me. If no then your range of responses could range from silence (draw the silence out for as long as possible) to snide (“I thought not.”) depending on your mood and personality.
Or maybe just hand them a tool that is a little out of adjustment (a plane with the lateral adjustment out of wack or a dull chisel) and ask them for some advise on correcting the flaw. Tools in the hands of novices are held in their hands like foreign objects. Think of a commercial where the models are using guitars as props instead of a guitar in the hands of a guitar player. It’s the same way with firearms. Those who are familiar with weapons vs. those who learned how to handle weapons from watching TV.

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