Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dishonesty and taking responsibility

This past weekend I was a vendor at a sisters event. I was actually contacted by the organizer to come because she has been given my henna business card. I was told that it was a 6 hour event promoting sisters businesses. There would be a tele link with a woman in Saudi and a fashion show. I asked her how many people usually came, and she was sort of vague, but it sounded ok so I agreed to do it and send via paypal my booth fee.

A week later I emailed her asking how many other vendors where going to be there. She wrote back and told me that another henna vendor would be there. So I called her and said if that is the case perhaps I should just not come, because I can't imagine there will be enough business for the two of us. At that point she assured me that last year there were 2 henna vendors and they had lines all day. So, I still went.

Well let me tell you... it was not anything like I expected. There were 10 total vendors there including me. No one showed up until 1 pm (it started at noon). When it was time for the tele-link the organizer MADE us leave our booth and go to another room to hear the lecture. We sat there for almost an hour and heard nothing because they got the time wrong. At that point I was not a happy girl. We went back to the vending area only to have everyone pulled out again for the fashion show. Now we were not forced to go to this, but it only really benefited the sisters selling clothes and all of the sisters attending (perhaps 30 at best) were gone for another 40 minutes watching that. Finally about an hour later we were all FORCED to go back to listen to a lecture by a brother they must have called to fill in for the tele link. There goes another 30 minutes. So all total I might have been able to vend for 4 broken up hours. I did 4 kids and 2 adults. I make $30.

This event was a 3 hour drive from my house. I was gone from 7Am to 10PM. When I wrote to the sister to express my disappointment she ignored me. At the event she told me it was the will of Allah that the event went the way it did. Yes I can accept that, but it was her words that convinced me that I should go. I've written to her twice and she has not responded. I tried to dispute part of my booth fee in paypal but they don't deal with disputes on non item payments. Of course she responded to that right away.

I'm not only disappointed that I wasted my time and money, but I'm really disappointed that sometimes you can't trust other Muslims to own up to what they said and did and make it right. This was supposed to be a very 'salafi' event, and now I can see why some people have a problem with that term. Some people really give it a bad name. That is really sad. The Salaf would never have acted like this.

So, I have to let this go and just move on. I'm grumpy about it, but I'll ask Allah to forgive me for any bad feelings I have about it and leave it behind. May Allah guide us all to be honest and accountable for ourselves.


Stacy aka Fahiima said...

I hate it when people use "The will of Allah" as an excuse for their laziness and dishonesty. I'm sorry that your event went so badly, but I hope it doesn't make you less likely to trust another sister in the future.

I hope that you were at least able to network with some nice people at the event.

Next time will be better inshaAllah.

Lazeena Umm Yusuf said...

Wow, that sucks! I've been seeing fliers for these sisters only events for years now but never went. However, all the salafi organized events I've been to in this area (where you were) have been excellent. It really puzzles me why this one went the way it did and why she was so vague in her dealings with you subhanAllah. That really sucks! something similar happened to me too with my little business as well subhanAllah. They begged me to sell at the local fair only to set up the vendors tables on the soccer field in the MUD! my table sunk halfway into the group after 2 or 3 hours! it was ridiculous. no one wanted to go on the mud to look for items to buy. 1 sister spent $250 in tables and spent 3 hours setting up only to make $40. I felt soo bad for her. They told us we would be inside the air conditioned building. Some other sisters were selling chocolate.. it was puddled chocolate in packets by the end of the day. It upsets me when they don't lie, but they don't tell the truth either.. they just kind of leave things in the air or lead you into a direction where you think things will go well.

Jamilah said...

Asalamu Alaikum Fahiima

I did meet some really nice people and even did some dawah with a non muslim that came to see her sister. Most of the people were great, it just soured the experience to have to deal with such nonsense.

Asalamu Alaikum Lazeena

Wow,sounds like you know what I mean too. Most of the salafi events here are good... the conference every July in NJ is excellent.

I feel bad for that sister too that spent the $250 and sold $40.. but that is the kind of thing that should have been addressed... I mean how can they tell you that you are going to be inside and then stick you in the mud?

Inshallah I will put this all in the past and learn from it. I will NOT do that event again and I'll warn other against it. And as for the sister, she has to answer to Allah for her actions.

Anonymous said...

it might have sucked but you never know what benefit or little seeds you may have planted. Inshakhair.

DOn't be grumpy about it sister! Being grumpy can delay our going forwards.

Asiya said...

Sorry u had to go thru that sis Jamilah :( You have a good attitude about it though mashaa Allaah, so I highly commend you on that!

I admire your seriousness about your business too mashaa Allaah. May Allaah bless it with prosperity, ameen.

Anonymous said...

As Salaamu Alaikum:

I hate that you had to go through that. The sad truth is that many events are disorganized and it even shows to those people who come out to support and spend their monies with the Muslims. I pray your next event is successful allahumma ameen.

Muslimah Sukhnah