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Factory store

April 21, 2011

There are stores where it pays of to tell the clerk exactly what you are looking for, even if you are a rugged, self-taught DIY type like me. In the era of underpaid, unmotivated and dispensable workforce, whose main know-how boils down to hiding from customers, or if ambushed, to direct you to a different section or department, I have become increasingly weary of asking clerks for help. Because the real problem begins if they for some unexplained reason do decide to try to help you.

But there are stores where it pays of. Or stores where you are really left with no other option. And this was the situation I was in yesterday. After snooping around the place filled with large rolls of felt for about two minutes, I confessed. The store, a tiny sectioned of part of the warehouse,  was packed with large rolls of felt in different grades and colours and I was the only person snooping around the place. So I simply »confessed«.

»I’m looking for some felt to use as background for pictures.«
His eyebrows raised. »You want to paint on it??«
»No, no, I need it as a background for taking photographs. Something like this, in white.«

»Ah,« he said, as the black lines above his eyes returned to their neutral position. »For that, you need something more like…. this one. The guys who were buying this before said that the other one glitters under flash. We no longer have the one they took but this is very similar. And it won’t shine back.«

I muttered a surprised »mhhm«, feeling the fabric with my fingers.

»This s the best I have«.
Ahh, the »I«. Something I noticed is that the competent clerks adopt the owner attitude, even if they are merely employees. So when you hear »I have« in stead of »we have« around here, you are on the good way.  It is the »I« from » I who know the goods«, »I, an expert.«

»How much is it?«
»How much do you need?«
»About 4 or 5 meters.«

Followed by a true Turkish moment, which often comes with the »I« clerk, a hint of bargaining, a slight discount, an extra offer…
»I will give you a good price for it, if you take the whole roll.«
»The whole roll? Hmm, how much is on it?«
»About 18 meters.«

I bought the whole roll – for 5,10€.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2011 1:59 pm


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