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Still Wary About Who Won’t Be Civil

, , , , , | Right | June 15, 2022

As I’m starting to set up stock lists, I notice two men browsing the area I’m stocking, which is a quiet nook that holds the baking supplies. They seem to be having trouble but don’t have anything that indicates they might be working on a new recipe, which normally means they’re browsing for ideas. As a stockist, I take pride in knowing a lot of the more unusual items, so I always like to offer help.

Me: “Hey there. Were you finding everything you needed today?”

Customer #1: “Oh, kind of? We’re looking for ideas…”

Me: “For anything special? We have a few bits and pieces of other stock in some of our other areas. I can also just leave you be to browse, too.”

They exchange a small look.

Customer #1: “For an engagement party.”

At this point, I realise why they might be so shy about it. “Civil unions” (legally recognised same-sex partnerships) have only recently been legalised in New Zealand.

Me: “Oh, how lovely! Who for? If there’s a theme, or anything?”

Customer #2: “It’s… ours.”

Me: *Beaming* “Congratulations! That means you’d know better than anyone what theme you’d like!”

Customer #1: *Starting to grin* “Very true.”

I spent the next five or ten minutes chatting with them about different thoughts and good ways to get good results on a small budget, including a few tips from my sister’s recent marriage — like buying cheap-as-chips lacy curtain fabric and cutting it into fancy-looking tablecloths.

I was overjoyed to encourage them into thinking about what made THEM happy and what THEY wanted in the party, not what anyone else demanded of them. I think they spent a good hour looking through that tiny room after I left them and then going to check the other departments mentioned to see the other decorations.

They started out nervous, obviously not knowing how a stranger would react, but they left full of the same joy I would hope to impart to any potential couple.

Question of the Week

Tell us about a bad customer who received the most satisfying comeuppance.

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