Don’t be a three card trick


For the sake of since decency, today’s title has a bit of rhyming slang in it (hint: the last word). There’s a risk of going down the rabbit hole about my love of wordplay, but let’s skip that and stay on target, red leader ๐Ÿ˜‰

Not so long ago ShyBiker made a comment about good service and it made me wonder what it might be like on the other side of the counter. I’ve never worked in retail, well, unless you count operating the village tombola a few summer’s ago, but I’m not sure that really counts ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, if I’m shopping – be that in Lynn or Richard guise – I guess I have pretty much the same MO. Be nice, treat the seller as a person, and see where the conversation goes. If they want a chat, that’s cool, and if not, that’s okay too. We’re all different, right?

On that note, I was buying some clothes and a young lady was talking to her mum about a guy who’d walked up to her makeup counter. Said bloke had asked – in a not so pleasant tone – if they had a product in with “colour 32N” and, quite understandably, that wasn’t much to go on. Umm, brand? A photo of the goods if you’re not sure, or – shock news! – asking *nicely*.

For a mo, I wondered if this was one of our number, so I slowed as I perused the rail to hear the rest of the story. The bloke then gave the assistant a load of lip on how she didn’t know her stuff. But said assistant kept her cool and did her best to calm him down.

I remember going to buy some more Clinique foundation a few years ago and it turned out they’d stopped doing that product. So, I knew what I wanted, only that they didn’t sell it anymore. Oh. :- So, no photo or the very bottle itself is going to cut this mustard.

Okay, deep breath: “Righto. Given this colour and cover – is that the right term? – is there anything you’d recommend?” That seemed to do the trick and when I was asked if it was for me, I said yes – while inside my heart was thumping – and the assistant just nodded and carried on explaining the choices without issue.

So, how did Mr 32N do? He wasn’t very pleasant, didn’t prepare, and it took a few tries for the assistant to get him to listen about getting a photo of the old product. I guess, some folk just want the impossible, but, don’t be that cretin eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

How did Yours Truly manage? Well, I might not have got the exact same product, but I did get what I needed – new slap – and I learned a few things on the way.

Maybe that’s the thing: be kind, listen, and be prepared to do your homework. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Take care,


  1. Agreed Lynn, would that's how everyone behaved all the time with each other. Then again we are all different and sometimes we got out the wrong side, money, family, work worries encroach and our fuse shortens. Hey, it's the variety of life, lol. Love Linda

    1. Yes, it's easier said – written? – than done and for the reasons you've put. Plus, some folk are just seem to be annoying. ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm pretty sure I also fall into that category for some. It's just something that happens. I remember a lad a school and my presence to him, well, clearly something about me bugged him. There's probably a PhD in this in funding the personalities that get on and those that don't. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. That's like the possibly apocryphal story told by book sellers about the customer who comes in looking for a book someone's told them about, but can't recall the author, the title or publisher but "it had a blue cover….?"
    So I try to be nice, as some of them have (and need) the patience of a saint over a long day.
    Was it you, Lynn, who mentioned responding to a store for especially good or helpful service?

    I've never bought foundation over the counter, but the trick of asking what is closest to something you can name seems a good one. At the moment I've found one I like (L'Oreal Infallible) online, but other people have recommended Mac or DermaBlend and its really not possible to try and match colours on a PC monitor.

    1. I want to say: "My name? Yes. J R R Heartly." ๐Ÿ˜€ I feel that reference may be lost on overseas readers and those under 40. I'll get my coat… ๐Ÿ™‚

      The blue book story reminds me of a colleague in the early days of the Internet. A student stopped him and asked for help, stating "I don't know the address, but the page had a yellow background." I'm hoping he wasn't pulling my leg with a new take on the book story.

      Top marks if you're doing your best to help. Sometimes the book cover may be an they had to go on. Oh, and to answer your question about service: yes, if I get good service I do email the company with the staff member's name. On repeat visits I've had the person say that their boss got in touch to commend them.

      Well, the folk who staff the cosmetic counters seem very different to when I first started shopping. They are so helpful (comission or not) and the old stereotype of unaaproachable ice warrior seems to have gone.

      I've heard good things about L'Oreal and MAC have quite the following too. The latter having particularly fab lipsticks and eye palettes.

      Dermablend seems very good at hiding problem beard shadow and I will vouch for it's use to cover tattoos as well.

      If you do get chance to visit a counter bare faced, I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised.

    2. I use MAC's Total Cover. The downside is you have to buy it from the Pro shop in Manchester or Carnaby Street. (If you're a professional Make Up Artists you can also get it from the MAC Pro website, but you need to register and have credentials for that ๐Ÿ™

  3. I've been away so am just caching up with your blog, sweetie. Glad you got out to the shops a couple of weeks ago (nice legs!) and well done for interacting with the shop staff like an intelligent citizen. I've worked in shops and I could tell tales of imbeciles and jerks long into the night (the Farting Artist is a true tale of horror that would've kept even Egdar Allan Poe awake at night… probably laughing). Keep up the good work, hon. Are you keeping the pins shaved or are they really going Wookie? Sue x

    1. Nice to hear from you, Sue. I hope you're settling in nicely.

      Yes, the shopping outing went very well and certainly helped push the less than positive feelings back for a while. Getting out and, well, just being there made me feel more me. Plus, as you say, just being part of the world by interacting nicely with people, I hope that does a bit for trans visibility. I feel oddly guilty about not being more out, which may seem a bit odd.

      Thanks for the compliment re the pins. They are slowly returning to Wookie status, but it's going to be a while before I risk shorts. They're at that funny in-between state of too furry for tights, but not furry enough to pass as bloke level carpeting. Still, getting there, although I did love the proper look.

      You might need to share the tale of the Artist. That sounds a hoot – no pun intended ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Thanks, and so glad the shopping went well. No need to feel any guilt – it's not a competition.

      Well, if you really want to know the story…

      Once upon a time, in a magical land far far away, I worked in a shop that sold lovely things, really lovely things. And we used to frame pictures, too. And that was also lovely because you would spend time with the customers getting to know their exact needs and making helpful suggestions, and when they later came back to collect their framed picture they would often be very delighted with the result. Sometimes I even had people doing little dances of joy in the shop because their holiday snap or their watercolour or their heirloom was looking wonderful and ready to hang on their wall.

      Well, one day, a Big Bad Dragon walked in. Actually, it was an artist, and artists were always the worst customers because they had a very fine opinion of their own work and thought that we should feel ourselves privileged to be commissioned to frame their narcissistic splodges. So, this woman walks in, a posh sort to boot, and discusses mounts and frames with me and then announces that because she is an artist and therefore 'trade' she expects a very decent discount on the price. We do do small discounts of 10% for students or regulars but I have never seen her before and evidently she's too old, way too old, so so old, that she can't be a student. So she starts to get insistent and rather agitated but I, as a professional, keep my cool. Suddenly, she announces "just a moment" and marches to a spot hidden from view behind a rack of sample frames and rips a thunderous fart that rattles the samples, window panes and other loose fittings. I can't see you, dear, but that doesn't mean I can't hear you, you know! Besides, the enclosed space she ha chosen acts like an echo chamber and multiplies the horror! But I am a professional and I keep my cool. She returns to argue her demand for 50% off. But not for long as she swiftly returns to her den of shame and her next fiery dragon roar is heard echoing round her chosen lair.

      Having thus made her point, yet having failed to secure a stonking discount, she departs the shop in a huff.

      I dare say the indelible scorch marks are still on the walls as an eternal testament to this evil day.

      And they say women don't fart.

      Oddly enough, a year later, as a further blow, as it were, another arrogant artist walked in, dressed in what I took to be her pyjamas. That was less dramatic an event, but a similar request led to her also erupting with flatulent indignation. Frankly, jeans might have contained her fury better. And had she not had a face like slapped arse with flabby lips like a prolapsed sphincter I might have ignored the insult. Even more oddly, two days later I happened to be in the subway at Westminster Underground station and saw the very same woman entering the ladies' loos. Rather too late, in my opinion.

      So, there is the tale of persons who know no shame.

      Don't be like them.

      Sue x

    3. Tsk. All that money in charm school too ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for sharing. I'm both amused and appalled in equal measure. I'm not in the circle of artistes, so is this their official 'dis'?

      If so, do they fill up on beans and lashings of ginger beer ready for the occasion? Is it a case of pacing oneself to not – ahem – dispell too early a la an oil rig burning off? Do they need to stay away from naked flames and sharp objects just in case? ๐Ÿ™‚

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