To all salespeople working today, here are my Top Ten Black Friday Customers to Avoid (assembled from many years serving terms in men’s clothing, grocery, garden and thrift store work).
- The “Do you work here?’’ greeters.
To whom I dream of answering back with, “No, I’m only wearing this bright purple shirt with my name tag on it because I’m auditioning for the next Barney.”
- People who walk around with squinty eyes and nose, often with mouths slightly ajar.
These are often the analyzer types, ones who’ll scrutinize the quality of a product and ask me six hundred questions a six-year-old could answer. They have the sense of humor of a six-year-old and always come in when you’re in a hurry.
- The “measurer.”
This is the person who comes armed with a tape measure and measures every item in the store to see if it will fit in their home. Despite the tape measure, and all my muscle, the piece of furniture they just bought will not fit in their car.
- Gum chewers.
Probably just more unattractive than dangerous, their odd unsociable habit is off-putting. If in public, I’d merely run away, but today I have to listen to what these people think is a sense of humor and their annoying bubble-popping.
- Women with fancy, jewel-studded glasses.
They’re usually vain and ask me to do something extra to make themselves feel pampered and served. Even ones with costume jewelry-studded glasses expect the same sales service since they think I’m too dumb to recognize costume jewelry. This goes for men who wear knock-off brands to look more Italian and bold.
- The “ponderer.”
This person, man or woman, stares at a sales item so long, it melts under the heated scrutiny. But I usually like “the ponderer” types. They need no help. Sometimes, however, they will ask to scrutinize all sales restrictions, layaway plan and refund policy and ruin everything. Beware.
- The old English Lady.
With slow speech, well thought-out words, and clean, conservative wardrobe, this woman intimidates me. Any helpful suggestions I make will get slammed back over the net as inaccurate and smacking of Yankee bias.
- The “Across the room yellers.”
These people begin every sales experience with, “Excuse me, excuse me?,” as in, “I want attention now because I’m the most important person on Earth.” Humor must be used in dealing with them. I often turn slowly around with evil eye and give them a big, “Ye-e-e-e-e-e-s-s-s-s-s-s-s?” They never think it’s funny, though.
- The constant “Bargainer” to get a lower price.
“The price on the tag is smeared and confusing.” “There’s no price at all, but last week it was two dollars.” “It’s dirty and was on the floor.” “But I just heard you give the customer before me a discount.” These are the same people who eventually pay with a hundred dollar bill or American Express card.
- People with spittle on their lips.
The average sales transaction between salesman and customer is two feet, eight inches. That’s way too close for comfort with these people.
Thank goodness Black Friday happens only once a year.
Good luck, salespeople.