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For The Umpteenth Time, USE YOUR WORDS

, , | Working | CREDIT: centroid_of_the_mech | September 18, 2021

I work in a locally owned fabric and sewing machine sales/repair shop. Many of our customers are women who bring along their husbands, and some husbands choose to sit in the machine demo section and wait.

I have a lady walk up to my desk and ask where to leave her cart while she uses the restroom. Right behind her is an elderly gentleman. He loiters a few seconds, presumably to wait for his wife to return from the restroom, before I point to the chair at my desk for customers.

Me: “Feel free to sit while you wait.”

I go back to my paperwork. He sits casually, not expectantly, rotating the chair to face the store, not me. A few minutes later, the gentleman announces loudly:

Gentleman: “Just WHAT do I have to do around here to get some service?”

I jump.

Me: “Oh, were you waiting for help? I’m sorry, I thought you were waiting for your wife. What can I do?”

He needed his wife’s sewing machine picked up from service — in fact, no relation to restroom lady at all. He found no amusement at all in the little misunderstanding, just anger that I might make him late to the bus stop.

I sorely wish I could have said, “Asking for help is usually a good way to get service!”