So being at my favorite place Ankh Creations, I was busy with experimenting with a new design of jewellery.. something simple, something everyday wear and I had a couple of designs in mind to make with my beautiful rose quartz gems that I had got… I had something building in my mind of Lapis Lazuli beads and so on… but the day was passing by fast… Attending to customers and then wanting some time to create…
Well as I was working through my beadaholic visions, there was this beautiful lady who entered the shop seeing the saree at the display window. She asked about the price and then came in wanting to look for more or so I thought…
I showed her the kind of saris that she liked… she kept on wanting to see something or the other and well I knew she would not buy anything… you just know with customers like this.. they just either waste your time, or well… I call them “simply walk ins”.. 🙂
But I kept my thought to myself and went on with working on what she liked… when she stopped me suddenly and asked me softly… “will my wrinkles go away ?”
Me : DUH … what ??? ( I did not think I heard correctly) you mean to say Maam, will my wrinkles go away.. ? I mean I love my wrinkles and am quiet happy with it… if I may say so… ? ( very gently)
Customer : No no… I want my face like you… so will my wrinkles go away.. ?
Me : Ahem…!! I dont see any wrinkles in your face…
Customer ( insistently, pointing to her forehead) : See I have wrinkles here.. ( there were three faint lines, but thats natural.. I guess, and she was beautiful)
Me ( Not wanting to offend her , yet waiting inside myself… zipping through my list of most favorable responses..) : Maam, you look beautiful as you are.
Customer : No, I want to know… if my wrinkles will go…
Me : ( with a sigh) …. struggling to figure out where this was going… and before I could say something to distract her…
Customer : what do you use for your face ??
Me ( Stumped) : Well… ( now I am a minimalist when it comes to make up or using anything for the face besides a facewash and a scrub ) ( i remembered what mom and my aunts used…) I use Ponds daily.. Ponds cream, ponds facewash, ponds blah and ponds blah…
Customer : (with an expression that I got her then ) : Ah ha !!! now you are talking… so ponds will give me the face that you have..
Me : HUH !! ( dear lord, what is it about the face), my face not so great, you are “tumba channagida”
She happily smiles : but my wrinkles…. you know the Doctor said that my face has rashes… so I cannot use anything, I am using medicine..
Me : smiles…. pauses… Uh huh… so Maam, do you like any of the saris that I showed you.. ( trying desperately to close this conversation )
She : So I will go ask my father for money and if he gives me money, I will buy saris from you.
Me : Ok (now sure that there was something wrong with this soul, as this lady looked to be in about late fifties and really well maintained in terms of beauty and age )
She : So what do you put for rashes ? and how will it go..
Me : hmmm… huhhh….
She : you put mehendi in your hair..
Me : No… see my gray hairs… its all natural… ( I was by now, wishing I was somewhere else)
She : So tell me what to put in my face.. my rashes will disturb me..
Me ( last ditch attempt at closing this) : you can put Chandan. Chandan ( sandalwood) is very good for face..
She ( with a wow look in her face which I was beginning to dread) : What is chandan ?
Me : you get in puja shops ( in broken Kannada explaining how to apply)
She : So I will put for a whole day… ??
Me : YES… NO NO NO… not whole day … 1 hour…. NO NO NO… 15 mins… NO ( sheesh this was like bad… I was again remembering my mom who used to religiously put chandan for my acne.. when I was a teen… ( how long was it ??) AH HA … again in broken kannada, till your skin dries up… and then wash.. .
She. : My doc … told me to take medicines…
Me : ask your doc before you put chandan…
She : ok…. I will put Ponds, DOVE and Chandan..
Me : and ask your doctor before you put anything… ( really hoping that she ignores all that I have said, in fact was praying that she forgets what she talked with me the moment she stepped out )
She : So show me gold chain and gold coin… your husband does not want to sell me gold..
Me ( throwing in my towel) : we are so sorry, we do not sell gold… 🙂 with my best toothy smile…
She : But I will put ponds…
Me : okok Maam, thank you…
All this while Rocky was watching me from outside blithely looking up at the sky not even bothering to help me out… later on telling me that she comes to the shop and asks for gold chain and coin.
And I hurriedly became busy and waved her a pleasant goodbye… praying that she gets help from the right person who will stop her from wandering here and there..
PHEW 🙂 I am thinking, how does one deal with customers like this.. how can we be gentle with them and yet not make them feel different.. Next time I shall be prepared… this time, with beads on my mind, i was totally flummoxed.. 🙂