When You Need Gallons Of Restraint

, , , | Right | November 26, 2020

I work in the paint department of a hardware store. A customer starts with the generic “Which one is the best stain?” question and gets impatient when I can’t immediately point at a product, as it really depends what you want the finished product to look like. He then questions every single facet of what I try to tell him, to the point of reading product information off the cans to try and find out the exact information I just gave him. I’m proven right every time, but he’s getting more and more agitated.

I’ve finally got him settled on a product.

Customer: “How much will this cover?”

Me: “Usually 350 to 400 square feet per can, depending on your wood.”

Customer: “What the heck? I’m going to need like $800 worth of this crap. I’m not paying that!”

This product is about $60 a can, so this really surprises me.

Me: “Really? How big of an area are you doing?”

Customer: “I’ve got a big deck, it’s probably twenty by twenty-five. And there’s another area that’s eight by twelve. Christ, I thought I’d only need two cans for this.”

He turns away from me and starts muttering. For the next part of the conversation, it’s pretty clear he’s not actually listening to what I’m saying.

Me: “So you have two decks?”

Customer: “No! Just one!” *Muttering*

Me: “Is there a fence?”

Customer: “No, I’m not paying that much for this crap. What a rip off.”

Me: “Because… if that’s all you’re doing, you’re only looking at about two gallons.”

Customer: “That’s what I was hoping, but there’s no way I’m going to cover the deck with that.”

Me: “Well, a twenty-by-twenty-five section is about 500 square feet, and an eight-by-twelve is about a hundred, so—”

Customer: “No. What a rip off.”

Me: “What?”

He starts muttering, which I can’t hear but later figure out is him trying to section his deck out to get approximate measurements, because the next thing he says to me that I can clearly make out is:

Customer: “Five by ten is 500—”

Me: “What? No! Five by ten is fifty.”

Customer: “So I’ll need four sections of that across, which is eight gallons—”

Me: “No! Five by ten is fif-ty.”

He pauses, pulls his phone out, and calculates it out on a calculator. He then immediately calms down like I’ve thrown some kind of switch.

Customer: “Oh, you’re right. So, you say I’ll need about two gallons of this?”

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