The Mother Of All Bad Customers, Part 2

, , , , , , | Right | September 27, 2019

(My mum and I are heading out of a large shopping centre when we walk past a small store that specialises in vacuum and steam cleaners. Something in the display window appears to catch her eye and she excitedly scuttles in. I trudge in after her, slightly confused, as my mum isn’t usually an impulse buyer and as far as I’d known she had no plans of purchasing any sort of vacuum or mop. She quickly catches the attention of the only employee working the shop floor: a young, eager fellow who seems to be in his twenties:)

Mum: “Excuse me. I’m interested in this vacuum here; how does it work?”

Employee: “Ah, this is a great choice and you would save a lot with the sale we have on today. This is an all-in-one cleaner; it has a vacuum function and it can also steam clean…”

(He goes into a short spiel about the product’s specifications.)

Mum: “How wonderful! Could you show me how it works?”

(The employee then takes the display product, plugs it in, and starts steam cleaning the floor in front of her. My mum asks a lot of questions, and the employee dutifully shows her how to use all the toggles and explains everything to her in detail.)

Mum: *eagerly* “That’s amazing. Yes, I’m very interested in purchasing it. Could you please show me how to assemble a new one?”

Employee: *after a slight hesitation* “Ah… Of course, ma’am. One moment.”

(He grabs a box off the shelf, opens it, takes out all the pieces, and shows her how everything is put together. It’s clear he is expecting to make a big sale, and from the way he is using his best salesperson tactics, he probably also earns a commission.)

Mum: “Ah, I see, I see. Thank you so much!”

Employee: “No problem, ma’am.” *takes everything apart and packs it back into the box* “Shall I go ring it up?”

(My mum, who up until this point has been nothing short of enthusiastic, suddenly seems no longer interested in making a purchase.)

Mum: *waving her hand dismissively* “Oh… Oh, no, that’s fine. Maybe tomorrow.”

(I am almost as surprised by this sudden change in demeanor as the poor employee is; he cannot hide his shock.)

Employee: “But… ma’am, today is the last day of the sale.” *points to the sale sign which proves his word* “If you come back tomorrow, it’ll go back up to [amount]!” 

Mum: *smiling politely, but already heading out the door* “Oh, that’s fine. Some other time maybe.”

(I know that if my mum wants something, she can NEVER resist a sale, so I am utterly confused myself. I shoot the employee an apologetic smile and follow my mum out of the shop. We continue our way out of the shopping centre.)

Me: “What the h*** was that all about? Weren’t you interested in that vacuum cleaner? If you come back some other time, the price will go up, like that guy said. Why didn’t you buy it?”

Mum: *smirking* “Oh, I already have one.”

Me: “What?”

Mum: “That vacuum cleaner!” *practically giggling* “I just got one as a gift yesterday from a friend, but I didn’t know how to use it. I didn’t want to have to look at the instructions. Now I know!” *giggles some more* 

Me: *shocked* “But… he opened a new box for you and everything!”

Mum: “I know! I got a free demonstration!” *laughing her head off*

Me: *speechless*

(I always felt bad for that employee, who wasted at least twenty minutes of his time on my mum on the expectation that he was going to make a big sale. My mum never did see anything wrong with getting the poor man’s hopes up.)

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The Mother Of All Bad Customers

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