It's the time of year where new merchandise pours in the door faster than I can get it displayed. That means that I'm on the floor much of the time armed with a variety of tools and normally have a tornadic mess in my wake. Can I tell you how much people are drawn to my mess? It seems as though people go into hunter-gatherer mode and like my lovely 5 year old, they truly get underfoot. Since I display during regular business hours (the time that I'm on schedule), I can see where I might be underfoot for them.
So my week of display also provided time of eavesdropping and customer conversation. Here's what I heard:
"I can make that! It would be easy!"
"Let me see that. You know, I'm going to go home and make this same thing."
"What is this? This is just dumb."
"Don't you dare buy that! You just go home and make that same thing."
"What are you going to drill into?" "The wall." "You mean there isn't enough hanging up around here already?!" "Well, it's what they pay me to do." [I'd lost my humor with the sarcastic bunch she was with long before and it was hovering around 5 PM. We close at 6 PM and I was tired.]
"Hello! Let us know if there is anything that we can help you with." "Well, [insert snotty tone] I AM HERE TO LOOK AT JEWELRY!" "Yes, well, when there is something that you need help with, let me know."
[A customer's daughter was returning something that she had purchased a few weeks earlier.] "What is the reason for return?" "Oh, my mom needs the money, I think. She really loved the bag and showed it to everyone then decided to take it back." Translation: She got the face time with the bag and returned it. No one knows about the return and thinks that she spent big money on a flashy bag.
"I was in about two years or so ago and was looking for these little birds that you had." "I'm sorry sir, we don't have those birds any longer." "But they were the perfect gift!" (I did tell him where I thought he could get them, but a gallery carrying the same things for years is somewhat rare.)
"Would you like to have this gift wrapped?" [Asking about a candle holder that a customer was purchasing.] "Yes, and include the ones that she is purchasing as well." "All right. What occasion should I wrap them for?" "Oh, they are her for her birthday." [The girl was purchasing two on her own and her friend was purchasing a single one. So, I was left wrapping the whole grouping as a gift to the girl when A. She knew what they were and B. She bought 2/3 of said gift for herself! What a waste of materials!]
So, I displayed piles of purses, a ton of teapots, a wall of cutting boards, aprons and other kitchenwares, garden stakes, mirrors, all the while eavesdropping on customers as they trotted through.
We're listening. Even though it looks like we're not, we are. Just know that!