Attack Of The Mansplainer

, , , , , | Right | August 12, 2018

(For several years, my dad and I have been running a booth at a local annual comic book convention where we sell pieces of our comic book collections and some comic book-related artwork. My dad and I are both collectors; he’s been collecting for 60+ years and raised me on comics. This year, my dad is unable to help man the booth due to a work conflict, so I’m working the table on my own. During a lull in business, an older gentleman approaches the booth and begins looking through a box of $1 comics.)

Me: “Hi there! Is there anything in particular you’re looking for?”

Customer: *glancing at me briefly with a sigh* “Are these yours?”

Me: “Yup.”

(He suddenly snatches a comic book from the box and shoves it toward me.)

Customer: “This is priced incorrectly.”

Me: *thinking that he means it’s overpriced* “Oh, the comics in that box are actually only $1.”

Customer: “That’s not what I mean! It’s way under-priced. This comic is worth much more than $1.”

Me: “Well, I know it’s worth a little more, but we’ve got multiple copies of that issue, and we’ve had some trouble selling it, so we marked it down. Think of it like a clearance item. It’s a pretty good bargain.”

Customer: “You really need to charge more for it. Trust me; I know comics. It’s worth more.”

(I glance at the comic and recognize the title. I’m certain that the issue is really only worth about $5, but don’t want to embarrass him by correcting him.)

Me: “We’re really just trying to unload it. It’s hard to sell that issue for more than $1.”

Customer: “Where’s the owner of this booth? I think I should talk to him about how you’re pricing his comics.”

Me: “I’m the owner of this booth, sir.”

Customer: “These aren’t your comics.”

Me: “Actually, they are.”

Customer: “Who paid for the booth? Whose comics are these? That’s the guy I want to talk to. You obviously aren’t familiar with comic books if you think that this is worth only $1. You’re really screwing over the guy who owns it.”

Me: “I paid for the booth, and the comics in that box belong to me. I’m very familiar with comics, which is why I’m working here… at a comic book booth, at a comic book convention.”

Customer: “Then you’d know that this comic isn’t worth $1.”

Me: “That issue is worth only about $5. But if you really want to pay more for it, I can charge you more. What do you think it’s worth?”

Customer: “I don’t want to buy it; I just think you need to do more research before you try to come out here and pretend that you know anything about comic books. You’ll just end up embarrassing yourself. You know, not everyone is as polite as I am, sweetie.”

Me: *obviously insulted, but really just wanting him to leave at this point* “Noted. Is there anything else you want to buy?”

Customer: “Well, let me finish looking!”

(I shut my mouth and sat quietly as he finished rifling through the box. He finished, finding nothing else he wanted, and then walked away without a word. About thirty minutes later, I spotted him at a booth a few yards away, giving grief to another young vendor and lecturing her about how much he knew about comic books and how “annoying” it was to have to deal with so many “fake” female comic book vendors who under-priced their comics. I had never seen anyone so angry about being asked to pay LESS for a product!)

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