Can’t Backtrack That Backpack Comment

, , , , | Right | April 28, 2019

I worked in a sporting goods store. I was in the camping department, but backpacking was really my expertise. One day, I got a call on the radio saying there was a customer looking for backpacking tents. I got all excited because I love sharing my passion with people.

He explained to me that he was going to hike the Pacific Crest Trail this fall. I was immediately concerned, mostly because that’s a three-month trip or longer and dangerous when done that late in the year. He informed me that he would need a four-season backpacking tent under three pounds for his lightweight pack. Our closest tent was a four-pound tent that was pretty much a 3.5-season. Its price tag was a whopping $550. He said he wouldn’t pay more than $200. I told him that a four-season tent under three pounds doesn’t exist, let alone under $200. He insisted that we had to have it, and I was insistent that I knew our inventory and we did not.

He then proceeded to tell me that I didn’t understand what he needed and I heard him mutter under his breath, “I bet he’s never been backpacking in his life.” He then told me that he wanted to talk to my manager, to which I responded with the fact that I probably knew more than he did about backpacking. He said, “There must be an expert I can talk to.” Of course, I responded with, “I am the expert.”

He walked away, and later I saw him asking someone else for help who immediately called me over. As I walked up, the other employee said: “There you are! I was just telling this customer about the two-month backpacking trip you were just on this last summer…”

That was pretty awesome.

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