(What Would Mrs. Slocombe Do?)

I don’t know what kind of training this particular salesperson received, but I’d like to slap her trainer upside the head. In what universe is it good for sales to interrupt a customer during a phone conversation? Would you do it if the customer were conversing with another person in the store? (If the answer is yes, I’d like to slap you upside the head, too.) I mean, is it not obvious, if I’m holding a little black object to my ear and not looking at you, that I’m preoccupied and wish to browse a bit?

To top it off, she then verbalized her dismay at my rebuff. Excuse me, you blonde robot, but I’m still right here and other people can see you acting like a five-year-old. You exist, during your shift, to attend to the customer, not the other way around. If you are so lacking in social skills that you cannot tell when to approach another person with your inane chirping, get a different job.

And if I am still on the phone on my way out, kindly refrain from parroting the closing lines of your script in my direction. Try preying on the other people in the store; I notice you said nothing to them the whole time I was there. Did I look rich today or something? I realize my hairdresser’s a genius, but I didn’t know she could turn me into a big spender.

I’ve been in sales before–telesales, which is infinitely less forgiving. I understand pressure. I also understand that sales is a delicate field. It requires a deft touch on the part of the vendor, not a sledgehammer to the customer’s head. The best salesperson is the one who is available but not too keen.

Alas, since I was on the phone, I couldn’t ask for the manager. I may mention it next time I’m there, however, and pray that this isn’t some godawful new social norm.


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