Doesn’t Quite Get The Prints-iple

, , , , | Right | March 22, 2019

(I’m busy working on a painting in the back of my art gallery when an older woman comes in. My painting area is obvious, in full view of the front, so anyone coming in can see what’s going on between the two extremely wide aisles. The woman is somewhat shabbily dressed, but I have no judgments because I’ve previously sold pieces to people in all kinds of clothes, clean or dirty. She’s looking at the paintings on the walls and after giving her a while to look around, as is customary, I walk towards the front to ask if she has any questions or needs help with anything. The woman does not look at me once during the following conversation. Zero eye contact.)

Me: “Welcome to [Name] gallery. Is there anything I can help with?”

Customer: “Not really, but these are very nice prints.”

Me: “Well, actually they’re original paintings, not prints. I do have a couple of print bins at the end of the middle aisle if you are looking for a print.”

Customer: “Well, they look like prints to me. I should know.”

Me: “No, they’re original paintings, all done with brush and paint.”

Customer: “Right.” *smiles sweetly* “Well, you don’t really know. You’re just an employee, after all.”

Me: “Actually, ma’am, I know for a fact because I own the gallery and those are my paintings you’re looking at.”

Customer: “Well, how would I know if they’re not reproductions and you’re just trying to rip people off?”

Me: *trying to be patient and educate her* “For one thing, if you look closely, there are built-up areas of paint in different spots. As well, I can show you the back of the painting if you’d like, so you can see where the paint is on the sides of the canvas and some is actually on the back as well. I only sell prints on paper, not canvas. My originals are always in frames. I never frame the prints, they’re always in the bins so it’s easy to flip through them.”

Customer: “Oh, only originals are in the frames. Okay.”

Me: “That’s right, but if you’re looking for prints, the print bins are at the end, just down there.”

Customer: “Hmm, no, I don’t want any prints. I only buy originals.”

(I watch her for a couple seconds more and then go back and keep working on the painting, but keep an eye on her. She never once goes to the bins to look at any of the prints or even glances my way while I’m obviously painting an original. As she’s leaving:)

Customer: “Well, thanks for the information. I really do like the prints you have up.”

Me: “… “

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