And then I found $10

What a summer this has shaped up to be. I haven't shamed myself too much these past few months and after a nice celebratory trip home with my main squeeze Drew, I'm ready to get to business and put Eugene in the rear view. I realize I just used a colon in a post title for the first feels strange. I haven't been able to sit down and write in a while so I will now get back to basics and share a story from work.

My job is an interesting one. "Sales" as we call it is kind of like an exercise in primal instinct. Marks...I mean customers need to be courted and catered to, tracked and pursued. No matter which way you slice it selling things to people is a lot like hunting. I often see someone across the room poking at luggage and you might assume that depending on how close I am to my daily sales goal I am more or less interested in helping them. Because making this goal is never all that important to me I usually decide to go over based on how confused they look. I genuinely enjoy meeting and talking to people all day and commission takes all the fun out of it. During a recent sale we were having I sent tons of patrons to other registers because they would end up waiting for me. It was sad to see. So when it comes to "sales" my motive is a social one. I've already met a lot of interesting people and I hope the trend continues especially after one recent group of folks came through the store.

A family came in and I noticed them ambling towards me over the shirt I was folding so I stayed still to allow them to reach me before I went to put it back on it's shelf. The mother and grandmother seemed a tad lost and as I prepared to explain where the restrooms were (it's ALWAYS the restroom) one of the little cherubs they had in tow hit a hanger rack and hit the deck. The noise was abrupt and sharp but not overly loud and there wasn't any odd of fleshy thud so I was pretty sure he hadn't hit his head. Yet in true customer service fashion I got overly worried and asked right away if he was ok, when in fact for the most part, I did not care. His mom fussed at him as she stood holing who I assume to be his sister and G-Ma bent down to investigate.
What is remarkable about this is that the boy the entire time peered up at me from beneath the rack and stayed there, unflinching. He wasn't crying and he didn't seem hurt. I think for him this was just a chance to take a respite from being drug around the mall by this matriarchal duo. I actually had nothing but sympathy for him. I stand all day and watch men lose their souls as women drag them around the mall. My ex's for the most part have never wanted me to go with them to the mall. It's not like I have any sort of remarkable taste in women's clothing. (less is better ladies) Cha-Cha would always try to get me to go to Vicki's Secret with her but at 18 I had some weird aversion to it, so I always fought not to. Needless to say, I respected this kids gangsta.
Regardless, this young fellow was quite content to lay there and so after a few silent moments from him on the ground they finally got him to his feet and stomped off in the direction of what they actually wanted... A stroller. I guess they knew 5 minutes before they found me that this kid was in no shape to keep walking but I'd wager it had nothing to do with him being tired. If I recall this was on the prelunch side of my shift and a spry young man like himself could probably have run circles for 18 consecutive hours that day if it suited him. Instead he was being forced to shop and so in pure passive protest he simply lagged. Keep up the good fight guy, you'll make Ghandi himself proud with passive resistance like that.

This day was pretty good if I recall. I also gained a compliment. I don't actually care about them, but the source is very important. A man came in to buy an omelette pan and so I began to show him the individual pans we have in stock. Almost all are 9" or 12" inches and all are either non-stick or stainless. He wanted a non-stick pan in the 10" or higher range and so I began to uneasily show him the wares. At this point I knew little if anything about cookware and so I feared he would quiz me beyond my training. The questions were fairly rudimentary and I slowly walked him through each. He paused a moment to examine a rack of pans and for no reason at all I walked to grab the first pan we saw just so he could do a side by side comparison. Most folks in my line of work would start the upsale here, and consider my move a good way to really get the customer thinking. "Get the product in their hands" they'll tell you. I did this because we were hanging out and to be honest I felt I should be able to tell them apart because up til this point I could not.

He made a comment that he was glad I'd brought the first pan and then came the kicker. "Which pan would you recommend me?" I was in no position to say which I liked more not owning either and I didn't even know the price of this new one but I felt like the first pan we saw was just mediocre and if memory serves the reason I picked pan #2 was because it had an insulated grip. I hate picking up hot handles. A pause and then he says, "really, this one? even though it costs more than the other one?" Fuck, now he thinks I'm trying to upsell him on a more expensive piece when thats the last thing I want to do. I clinch up for a second reaching for a reason besides "rubberized handles that I can point to and then it hits me. The pan he's got now is non stick, and the one he wanted was nonstick. "Do yourself a favor, throw in the extra and get stainless, you won't be back to replace this. I promise."

I, right now have absolutely no idea if this guy makes pots and pans for a living but I just told him something which I know is at least 38% made up so it's hot under the collar to say the least. I'm sweating quite a bit under the black cashmere. Luckily for me and my self esteem he actually smiles and says "yea I was thinking that too, I'll take the stainless." We walk over and as I ring him up he asks me if I would believe that 60% of the execs atop Fortune 500 companies got their start in sales. I told him that I had no clue but I'd believe it. He said he knew it was true because he was one of them and then mentioned that I was a good salesman. So good in fact that he offered to hire me on the spot.

That was a lie. He didn't offer because he is retired now but we did talk for a second about sales and selling and he was very nice. I was for once able to take a compliment because the 90 seconds prior were so filled with tension that all I could feel was relief and say thank you. I guess I learned one more thing about selling that day too, it's about bullshitting as much as it is about hunting.

1 comment:

  1. I want a tat just like that chick has up there, with the massive fake boobs. I may even want some of those nice boobies one day too. But, for now.... the single initial tat is sexy. -k.r