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Nothing Gold Can Stay

, , , | Right | CREDIT: notthatplainjane | February 16, 2022

I work at a pretty small hardware store. I work best in mixing paint, and I also have a background in art so I’m pretty good with colors. I usually love helping customers with picking a color because most of the time, my customers respect my input and come back happy with the result.

Customer: “Can you make me a gold color like this?”

She holds up a can of metallic paint, which is very shiny and not flat at all.

Me: “I’m sorry, miss, but we only do flat colors; we just are unable to mix any metallics in the wall paints. “

Customer: “I didn’t say I wanted metallic! I just want a gold color!”

Me: *Taken aback* “Uh, well, you can look at our color samples and see what’s closest to that gold?”

Customer: “I want you to help me find a color close to it because it’s your job.”

I just want to get the color made and boot her to the register, so I start looking at colors and suggesting some for her. She shoots every one down.

Me: “I think this is the closest I can find to the can you showed me.”

Customer: “I don’t want what the can is! I want gold!”

Me: *Confused* “Okay… So, you want something a bit more on the warm yellowish side?”

Customer: “I’ve already said I wanted gold a million times!”

Me: *Visibly frustrated* “Can you show me roughly what you mean when you say you want gold?”

She picks out a very yellow shade and flicks it at me.

Me: “Is this the color you want, then?”

Customer: “Yes, it’s the closest thing you have to gold.”

It really isn’t, but art is subjective, so whatever.

I make her the sample as she watches closely. She sees me put in literally the exact name and sample she handed me. I put a dot of paint on top of the can and hand it to her.

Me: “Anything else I can help you with?”

She inspects the top of the can for ten seconds.

Customer: “This is not gold.”

Me: “Ma’am, you chose that color yourself.”

Customer: “Yes, but this is not gold.”

Me: “But the paint is going to look exactly the same as the sample you provided.”

Customer: “I don’t care that it’s the same! It’s the wrong color!”

Me: “Well, you’re the one who picked it, so it’s not my fault if you don’t think you picked the right color. I will make you another one if you can find a sample you are sure you want.”

The woman scoffs and looks at the colors a little bit longer before handing me a slightly darker sample.

Me: “Are you sure this is the color you want? The paint is going to be exactly the same color and sheen of this sample.”

Customer: “Yes, yes, I’m sure. Just make my paint so I can get out of here already.”

I complete the same process and the sample is done. The woman inspects it again.

Customer: “This isn’t the right color.”

Me: *Finally snapping* “Ma’am, I asked you if this is the color you wanted and you said yes, twice. I told you the color will look exactly like the sample. What on earth could possibly be wrong with this sample?”

Customer: “It’s not the same as the sample. It’s too yellow!”

I open the can, dot the sample paper with the paint, and dry it, right in front of her. It blends in perfectly as it should.

She is silent.

Me: “I’m not wasting any more paint or time. Either take the paint or leave.”

She grumbled and paid for the paint up front. This entire battle was over a $5 pint of paint.

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