Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Shop Girl Back to Reality

The funny thing is, barterers probably think I'm pleased to see them.
They come in looking so smug.
"Remember me?" they say.
How could I forget? I think. I'm still recovering.
They believe they're about to make my day.
I'm talking about the customers who reappear every few years, battle to the death over a price, pay by credit card then leave me feeling like I've been robbed.
Today a familiar unrelenting barterer reached a new low.
He tried to barter over my book.
"You know me," he said, as he flicked through it, "I like a good price."
I felt a chill run down my spine.
Oh no...
No, no, no...
"That book took me more than a year of blood, sweat and tears."
He looked unconvinced.
He turned to the last pages and started to read.
After a while he returned the book to the window display.
"I might come back."
The glamour of last week's book launch is truly over.
I'm back behind the counter, stringing beads together and apologising for goods that haven't arrived.
To be honest, they haven't arrived because they were ordered late because I've been too distracted.
You could say that lately I've been a bad shop girl.
It's difficult to take customers seriously sometimes.
Like the woman who pointed at a light this afternoon and said she'd need two when she moved house.
"When are you moving?" I asked.
"Maybe next year, maybe the one after... I don't know yet. Do you think you'll have them then?"
At the same time another woman was trying to describe the problem with her chandelier. Not one she'd bought from us but one that had been passed down through generations.
"I cleaned it and now it has a skin," she said.
"A skin?"
"Yes, like a skin."
"The plating has come off?"
"I've only got gold cleaner," I told her, "but that won't be any good."
I was obviously not helping but she just didn't want to leave.
"Like a skin," she kept saying.
I told her to call back next week when Mum was around.
After that I made a cup of tea.
You can always rely on tea to improve a situation.
I've also discovered a sense of commmunity does wonders too.
The Dress Shop Man bought my book today. He's going to display them in his shop as is Manze's, the famous pie n' mash shop.
Ah, pie n' mash... that's one off my list!
You'll know what I mean when you read the book.

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