20 December 2013

'Tis the Season: Hey, she's a girl...

I haven't had that many whacktacular customer encounters this season, but I had one on Monday that nearly had me in stitches (when I wasn't steamed).

I was near the front of the store, madly stickering books for the big display there when one of the merch managers came up with a customer (male, mid-50s).
Merch Manager: Well, a lot of women buy this.
And he handed the customer a copy of the new Nicholas Sparks novel.
Customer:  They do, huh?
Merch Manager: Yep.
Customer (points at me): Hey, she's a girl, why don't we ask her?
Me (immediately, and with a touch of the "oh hell no" in my voice): I wouldn't read that.
Customer: You wouldn't?
Me: Nope. Who are you shopping for?
Merch Manager: His wife.
Customer: She's in her fifties, sort of religious but not really, and she's a librarian.
Me: Does she normally like maudlin, weepy romances?
Customer: Oh, no!  No, she wouldn't like that.
Me (HA!):  Well, let me see...Ok, what sorts of things does she like to do?  Does she like outdoorsy things, like camping or sports?
Customer:  She's a girl.
Me (would like to kick him in the shins right about now): Oh now, just because you're a girl doesn't mean you can't like those things....do you think she'd like something quiet and reflective, maybe not religious per se?
Customer: Sure.
And this is how I hand-sold two volumes of Alice Munro short stories (Dear Life and Too Much Happiness - unfortunately, I was out of Hateship Friendship Loveship Courtship Marriage, which is my favorite) on the off-chance that she hadn't jumped into short fiction (he actually wasn't much help beyond the description he had already given me).  Take that, sexism.

No comments:

Post a Comment