A young English tourist came up to my register with a bracelet in his hand, “Someone must’ve dropped this on the floor,” he said.
I didn’t get a chance to respond, a middle-aged American woman standing opposite me looking at the scarf display said, “Oh goodness, it keeps falling off. I guess I’m not putting the clasp on properly. Thank you very much! ” There was no doubt the bracelet belonged to her, she had brown shoulder length hair, an elegantly tailored black skirt, light blue cashmere sweater, black leather boots, and, sorry but I have to use a cliche, she was covered with diamonds. Her diamond ring was one of the largest I’ve ever seen, as were her earrings, as was the necklace, and the bracelet? It must’ve cost more than I earn in a year: two rows of about 100 diamonds set closely together in a thick band of solid gold.
She offered a reward, to which the English guy said, “No really!” but after consulting with her husband, she gave him $50.
The next customer was a teenage boy on a school trip, “I want to buy my mother a gift for her birthday. What’s the most popular present in the store?” he said very confidently.
I wondered whether to suggest a coffee table art book, or an Italian picture frame, perhaps a necklace for $150, and matching earrings for $75, or a beautiful hand-blown Italian glass perfume bottle at $75, or the pure silk scarf based on one of our paintings which sells for $65 and is very popular this winter…
“What kind of budget are we talking about?” I said to the young man in his neatly pressed school uniform.
He took a wad of squashed bills out his pocket, “I have $13 here,” he said counting them out for me, “But I want to keep about $5 for myself, so that leaves about $5 for the gift, plus tax of course…”
Hah! Its not easy finding something for $5 in our store, but I did: a box of cards of one of our paintings marked down from $12 to $3,95.
He even got change from his $5.