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  1. #1
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    Mad Students vending in class behind my back!

    Hey everyone!
    Here's a new one......I teach a successful class at the YMCA. I have over 30 women in each of my classes and I get to use a gorgeous big studio. I LOVE teaching these classes! They don't pay well because it is the Y so I have been supplementing my income by selling hip scarves and veils. I have been doing this for years and I think my prices are pretty reasonable. So recently I have a had a student from the middle east who apparently has a hip scarf supplier and she has been selling hip scarves in my class off in the corner when I'm not looking after class. I was wondering why everyone had new scarves all the time! When I told my girls that I would be bringing in new scarves and veils next week one of them said "oh so-and-so sells them". I am so ticked off! I think it is incredibly unprofessional and just plain rude to vend in your teacher's class. I was shocked! I am not sure what the most tactful way to go about this is. Any ideas!?

  2. #2
    V.I.P. Yasmine Bint Al Nubia's Avatar
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    I'd be pissed too if I were in your situation!!! Although your student 'competitor' may be unaware of your need to supplement your income.
    I'm from the school of 'getting it out in the open', discuss your concerns with the student in a civil manner thus allowing a dialogue to flow. Are her prices lower than yours? Better quality? Your other students probably don't know that this is a problem for you so you don't let it to spill over into their learning environment.
    Yasmine

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Vending, etc.

    Dear Eshta Amar,
    I agree with Yasmine and feel that you need to address the class in general and her in particular and state that you would prefer that people discuss it with you before bringing items for sale. If they have something for sale, they might be allowed to bring flyers or whatever, but that you do not want students bringing items for sale without your permission.
    If you feel that you need a reason, although you do not since it is, after all, YOUR class, you can say something about sales on YMCA property and the technicalities and legalities that maust be addressed, sales tax, need to see state and federal tax numbers in order not to be in violation of sales tax laws, etc. You could make it really complicated if you so choose!! I have to admit I just prefer the blunt, honest method, where you just tell her to stop selling stuff in your class. It's less complicated.
    Or, if you felt like being TOTALLY snotty, you could inform her that you want a cut since you are the one who has the responsbility for the venue at that time. ( God, I occasionally amze myself at just how awful I could be if I felt like it!!)
    Regards,
    A'isha

  4. #4
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    Yeah, talk to her -- she probably isn't aware that what she's doing hurts you! Most people are pretty self-centered (you have to be, to a certain extent!) and sometimes fail to take into account that other people are affected by their actions.

  5. #5
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    Default Business competition

    I understand you feeling upset. You should try talking to her, but also remember she does have a right to do what she is doing legally. I think morally what she is doing is wrong and I hope she would have a moral heart and listen to you. However, if she is doing this in the corner when you are not looking, it seems to me that she knows exactly what she is doing and is trying to start her own business and give you competition. Unfortunately, in the world of business there will always be competition. Try to find out the price of her scarves and whatever else you can to help compete back.

    Or maybe you two can work together to invest into starting a new business together that could become huge. Look into business loans, but be careful and make sure that you two can pay these loans off monthly. This might be a big oppurtunity for you two.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Azeeza's Avatar
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    Oooh, that is not right to do to the teacher.

    I wonder if you could talk to the student and ask her not to sell her wares in the classroom. She can sell her things privately on her own time and in her own place, but not in your class or at the Y.

    You have a contract with the Y and she doesn't.

    Azeeza

  7. #7
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Vending student, etc.

    Dear M&MBelly,
    I think it might be speaking too soon to say that she has a "Legal" right to sell anything at the Y. There would be the question of getting the Y's permission, arranging for the proper licenses to sell goods inside the Y, makign sure of what the Y's licenses cover and do not cover as far as veding permissions from state and city, arranging a tax number, state and federal sales taxes when applicable, city business license, etc. If she does not have all of those things, she is probably not legal.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  8. #8
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    Sad

    well I talked to her and she was crazy upset. She said she'd been doing it for over a year and that the other teachers let her. She didn't care what my feelings were about it and went off to the Y director crying and then telling my students all about it. So basically she is just a strong willed you-know-what. So I had to have this meeting with the director and because she raised such a stink that now no one is allowed to sell materials in class. Now they have to be sold at the front counter and I have to fill out a w-9 and the Y gets a cut apparently. Plus they are allowing her to sell her stuff alongside mine.
    Now she acts pissy all the time and come to class 45 minutes late, shoulders her way to the front and then gets upset when she can't follow the steps because she was late. Then she goes in the back of the class and sits on the floor and starts talking very loudly to the students in the back row. She judges what they are doing and makes comments about how they should dance.
    She thinks that because she comes from the Middle East she is some kind of expert on teaching belly dance! So it is hard for me to deal with her sulky bad attitude. I just try to ignore her completely. What a mess!
    I have experience such a pain in the butt student!

  9. #9
    Moderator Yshka's Avatar
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    My god, Eshta, that is awful. Maybe you could ask her kindly first not to stir up class so much, and then if she continues exclude her from the class if that is possible (or tell her she's not welcome anymore if she keeps disrupting, etc.)

  10. #10
    V.I.P. da Sage's Avatar
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    I doubt that the other teachers gave her permission to vend in their classes, if they are also vendors! She knew she was wrong to begin with, otherwise she would have asked first.

    I think it's OK to hand out cards, talk up your business, or sell personal items in class...but actual vending should only be done with the teacher's permission.

    I wish I had seen this earlier...even if she had stopped vending in class, she probably still would have sold her stuff out of the trunk of her car after class. You can also do that (if you're not on Y property) to sidestep the Y's cut, but be sure that you have all your financial/tax ducks in a row in case someone calls the IRS.

    She will probably quit your class eventually (or start her own), but if she continues to come in and disrupt the class, you should consider talking to the Y about it. It is not OK for her to continually disrupt the class.

    Maybe you could start a regular bellydance showcase, with yourself as the only vendor? Get a rental agreement from the venue that specifies that vending can only happen inside, and only you (or people with written permission from you for that date...could be lucrative) can vend at that event. That way, if she crashes your event and vends inside, or in the parking lot, you can make her leave.

    I'm so sorry this happened. I hope you can still make vending work for you.

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