By The Husband
Let me take you on a journey through the inner workings of a fictitious high-end store selling leather goods as well as silk products.
As not to risk a libel suit (the store would be able to hire some top lawyers just using the money spent on scarves by me, whereas I could only supply an army of lawyers with silk scarves instead of paying them) we will call this store “Mercurius”.
My dear wife and I have made it a point to visit every Mercurius store in any city we visited together as a kind of sport.
In 2014, those cities were Paris (5 locations plus 2 airport stores) and New York City (3 locations plus one airport store).
At first I wasn’t too into it and didn’t pay as much attention as I should have, but after a few visits a distinct pattern began to emerge.
You may think it is pure coincidence who will walk up to you and try to lure you into spending a ridiculous amount of money for yet another piece of cloth – well made and nice to look at, I admit, but in all honesty, how many necks do you have to keep warm – but I assure you it is not.
There are 4 types of sales assistants in the Mercurius stores:
a) The older well dressed female SA.
b) The young female SA, who is just as well dressed, but would probably look just as stunning in a costume from Les Misèrables.
c) The gay male well dressed SA.
d) The straight male well dressed SA.
When you walk into the store, the decision on who will talk to you must be made in an instant judging the following criteria:
a) Your gender.
b) Your age.
c) Your sexual orientation and last but not least:
d) Your willingness to buy, judged by Mercurius items you are already wearing.
As this vetting process may be hard to understand at first I have created a flow chart to familiarize you with the way Mercurius works.
*1 customer will buy no matter what and wants to spend time with a peer
*2 customer needs a mother-figure to tell her what looks good and what to buy
*3 customer will buy no matter what and wants to spend time with a peer
*4 customer needs a non-competition friend to tell her what looks good and what to buy
*5 not that there’s anything wrong with it
*6 it would be a miracle if nothing was sold
*7 it would be a miracle if nothing was sold
*8 the sale is made to him, he’s used to buying
*9 the sale is made to her – hence see *2
*10 the sale is made to him, but the SA is no competition for the female
*11 the sale is made to her, but the SA is no competition to anybody
*12 there’s no competition, just good taste
*13 there’s no competition, just good taste
*14 selling fancy usb-sticks
Now that you have studied the flowchart you have the opportunity to shop with the SA you like or avoid any type of SA you do not like. (Disclaimer: some necessary measures may be drastic and may include change of age, gender and sexual orientation).
In case I am wrong and it is all just coincidence, and you, good people of Mercurius, read this, just give it a try. And if it works, you can always send a few tokens of your appreciation (preferably
bacon and donuts silk and leather (Ed. Note) ).