As you regular RHU'ers know, my stories have highlighted the more stupid and exasperating end of the custy spectrum. But, I've gotta tell 'ya, working at J.J. Legume has shown me a whole new world of really decent people. My co-workers are a hoot; they even got my scrawny Irish ass into a kayak for an extended trip up and down a local river!
Since Legume's is a specialty store, I haven't had to deal with the thugs ripping off high-end designer clothes. Custys generally know what they want. Some even bring the catalog in with them. They know and respect our brand and play by the rules. What a concept!
I recently made the acquaintance of an elderly customer who was in the market for some new shoes. We talked about this model and that and their respective features. He chose a pair of our popular canvas deck shoes and went on his way. Imagine my surprise when, the following week, a letter arrived at work in which he praised me to the sky! He said in part: "[Joe] had a professional manner that did NOT go unnoticed...[He] maintained the gold standard you have set for your sales assistants." Going even further, he had sent a copy of the letter to the CEO of the company asking that it be put in my personnel file!
To say I was positively flabbergasted would be putting it mildly. Everybody likes an attaboy every now and then, but holy smokes! My managers posted the CEO's response in the front of the store and in the break room.
Now y'all know I couldn't let you go without some tales from the weird side, so here goes...
The other day, a kinda skeevy-looking dude was wandering around the shop. How skeevy you ask? How about a ripped, stained and foul-smelling wife-beater shirt, bright orange booty shorts, a two-week old growth of beard, flip-flops that were too small for his feet, and a tattoo on his left bicep that read, "FUCK YOU". Yeah, THAT skeevy! Anyway, the conversation went like this:
Me: "Good morning! How can I help you?"
Dude: "Uh, yeah, Y'all got kayaks?"
(It should be noted at this point that not only do we carry kayaks and canoes, but we have several attached to the OUTSIDE of the store, the pillars INSIDE the store, and HANGING from the CEILING of the store!)
Me: "Yes sir, we do. What kind were you interested in?"
Dude: "Seal skin."
Me: "Excuse me?"
Dude: "SEAL SKIN! Do y'all have seal skin kayaks?"
Me: "No sir, we don't."
Dude: "Well, why NOT?"
Me: "Well sir, for one thing, the cost would be prohibitive. For another, I believe it's illegal here in the U.S. for anyone other than the Inuit people to catch and butcher seals."
Dude: "Well you don't know SHIT!"
And he walked out muttering to himself.
Story Number Two:
A 20-something couple came into the footwear department. The guy was interested in some moccasins. The girlfriend obviously wanted to be somewhere else: "Why can't you get them LATER?" "Why is it called a shoeHORN? That's STUPID!" "Why don't you just buy some flip-flops?" "They're probably not even real LEATHER!" "Let's GO! I'm BORED!"
But her constant whining wasn't the first thing I noticed about her: girlfriend had the BIGGEST boobs with the DEEPEST cleavage on the smallest frame I've ever seen! Her motto must have been "When You've Got It, Flaunt It!" because the "girls" were encased in a black-and-white, horizontal stripe tube top that was holding on for dear life!
After they left to go wandering in the womens department, I was in the stock room shaking my head when a female co-worker asked what was wrong. I told her what happened.
Me: "Y'know, I almost broke my NECK trying to maintain eye contact with her! I kept thinking "DON'T LOOK DOWN!"
Co-worker: (laughing) "Joe, you're just a dirty old man!"
Me: "Yeah, I know. Sorry!"
About ten minutes later, the co-worker called over the walkie-talkies we all carry.
"Come in, Joe."
"Yeah, go ahead."
"I've seen 'em. You're forgiven!"