Has She Been Sniffing Paint?

, , | Right | July 17, 2019

(As I pass by the paint desk, I see my coworker talking to a woman who doesn’t seem to be very happy. She’s giving him a hard time and making a face at him like she doesn’t believe a single word out of his mouth, but I’ve been asked to help a customer in the next aisle and I know he knows what he’s doing, so I leave. Several minutes later, I’m headed back to the paint desk. As I pass, I see that there’s a can of paint sitting on the counter, and the same woman is approaching with a cart, still with a very sour look on her face. As I usually do, I greet her and ask her if everything looks right with her paint order.)

Customer: *gives a big, put-upon huff, and says* “I don’t think your guy knew what he was talking about.”

Me: “I’m sorry. Can I help you out?”

Customer: “I’m looking for [Brand #1]’s cabinet and furniture paint. I know I’ve bought it here before.”

(I’ve never heard of that specific paint before, but something clicks; several months ago I came across a mention of a [Brand #1] line that I’d never heard of before, and discovered it wasn’t sold in my country. I put this together and try to sound confident.)

Me: “They don’t sell that in Canada. I think [Brand #1] has a paint labelled for cabinets, but I’ve never seen it; most of the stuff from that line is only sold in the States. This is what we normally recommend for cabinets.”

(I brace myself for an unpleasant confrontation as I say this. Usually, when we have to tell someone that something is States-only, we get anger and disbelief, and I have actually zero knowledge of the product she’s looking for. For this customer, it’s like a switch has been flipped. The sour expression completely disappears from her face, and she actually laughs. I’m looking at her face and there’s no moment of confusion or sudden realization; one second she’s sour, the next she’s laughing and says:)

Customer: “That’s right. I bought it in the States!”

(She was then super pleasant and left with a smile on her face. Apparently, I passed a test of some sort?)

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