Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tales from the Trenches: Honey, Sweetie, Dear.

We had a rather affluent customer come into the store yesterday.  He had been on multiple trips throughout the past week, but I hadn't been in and didn't know his story.  He started at the store that I was at, plunking things down on the counter and moving on as if it were a timed shopping spree.

That is very good for us.

I found the price he needed to know, tracked him down, let him know and was involved  in helping him with more items.  We were outside, I was answering questions about prices, then he and his wife haul in with more items. 

That is very good for us.

"Dear, could you bring over the items that I placed on the other counter?"  He turns to his wife, "They wrap here, but they can't wrap over there."  Wanting to correct, but resisting the urge, I went and did as asked.

There were 4 items, two were rather large and required me to make separate trips.  It's all good.  I had no problem.  The one was feet in diameter and an item in weight that one of the guys should have hauled.  The gentleman and his wife had 6 coworkers involved in their transaction, so I had to lump it and haul it the best I could.  I propped the doors, regardless to the air being on, so that the kind customers that had been opening the doors for me before could continue shopping without being my assistants.  They didn't mind, but I hated to bother.

I finally got all of the items over and since all but one coworker was sucked into the spinning vortex of outgoing art, I started helping a customer that had been waiting.  Her item didn't need wrapped and frankly, her head was spinning from being witness to the flurry that was going on. 

Then he did it.  I was working with a customer and with complete disregard to the customer or me, he places a large piece on the counter next to my customer, then starts speaking over her.  He was literally standing behind her, disregarding the conversation that we were having, and speaking instructions over her as if she didn't exist.  She was an older woman who stood there and as I juggled her transaction and his instructions, was very patient.  I got her transaction handled, I assured him that the floor manager was in charge of his sale and I went back over to where I normally work.

Some time later, the woman that I had been helping was toodling on through my part of the store.  "See!  I told you that I didn't work over there.  I can help you over here, too!" 

"I promise not to call you Honey, Sweetie or Dear." 

"You know, it's all good.  I've certainly been called worse.  I was just speaking to my coworker, though.  I was telling her how badly I felt that you were being talked over."

"It wasn't your fault.  I just couldn't believe how he kept calling you and the rest of the people Honey, Sweetie or Dear.  I thought it was rude."

I left it as it was and fluffed on by.  We had talked about the big item that needed to be gift wrapped and I explained to her that it was just a part of our job.  I gave an example of something that was a bit more challenging to wrap and told her, "At least wrapping difficult things keeps us out of trouble."  All she could do was laugh.

She was right, though.  The Honey, Sweetie and Dear wasn't terms of endearment.  They were in use as a Master/Slave situation.  I know it.  Believe me, I didn't care for it.  Sometimes it happens, though. I was so surprised that an older woman was so incredibly bothered by it.  Usually, the kindly older ladies have the equally kindly older husbands who do the Honey, Sweetie and Dear, but in a very grandfatherly kind of way. 

We got on to talking about it with the gallery owner later that evening and all he could do was chuckle.  "Well, when he's laying out money like he was," said Mr. Man Owner, I followed up with, "You just lump it and go with it."  He nodded his head and laughed some more.  We all know that the Honey, Sweetie, Dear gentleman was rather a blessing in an economic time where people hem-haw over $6.00 candles and $3.00 do-dads. 

What are your thoughts? 

Smiles in my day:
-  Hubs, K- and I were able to walk for the first evening in a while.  The humidity and temperature were of a human level.  It was grand!
-  It rained buckets yesterday.  It is wonderful, as my rain barrel was beginning to get to the low of lows, the perennials got a good, healthy drink and I think it was enough to knock the dust off the outside of my car.  On the other hand, the floor manager and I had to go out in the torrential rain to deliver the very large piece of wrapped art to Honey, Sweetie, Dear.  Thank goodness, a coworker knew of a garbage bag size that fit the piece perfectly.  It was only about a minute and a half, but L- and I were soaked when we got back in.  I looked like a drowned rat, but it was warm rain and it felt good to help finish out the transaction and move on to other things.

Have a great day!

1 comment:

Rach said...

It definitely depends on the context. I've been known to call students "sweetie", "sweetheart", "love", "darlin'" and such before. Typically it's when a baby I haven't had the pleasure of meeting says "hi" to me and I have NO IDEA what their name is.

When used in the context Daddy Warbucks did, I would find it rather insulting. I always get peeved with the way the Gotrockses of the world treat the peons. Life at WA taught me all about that. Those that were also peons at one time were better about it, though.