Saturday, 14 November 2009

The Compliant Ones.

Anything left for this? (flashes a leaflet in my face.)

Sure, how many is it for please?

Four, if you've got them. Wherever you think best.

OK. Do you prefer the stalls or would you like to go upstairs, I have good seats in both areas? ( I show them the seating plan.)

(He mops his large bold head which is dripping profusely onto the counter top. His wife smiles benevolently. Neither have any intention of committing.)

Wherever you think will give us a good view, you know best. Don't worry, we won't come looking for you, just give us some decent seats. (They both laugh in an affected relaxed manner.)

I can see where this is heading but find at least three options of seating to show them which they study. They look at each other and then back at me. She is still smiling in a -'We are determined not to be any trouble.' - kind of way.

Yeah, any of those. Wherever you would be happy sitting is fine.

Perhaps they really don't mind and it's time to close this sale.

I usually sit downstairs, these are a bit off- centre but you will see the artist's faces very clearly. OK?

They both nod and he shrugs his shoulders totally non-plussed. I begin the process of booking still not entirely convinced. As I'm typing I see her out of the corner of my eye squinting at the seating plan, her index finger travelling over the seats I am about to book. She traces an imaginary eye line from the seats to the stage. She looks at him, he's busy soaking up the perspiration which shows no sign of abating. I wonder at this unpleasant affliction imagining the extent of their weekly laundry. Pillow cases, in particular, must be a nightmare. In my head I begin to count. 10...she tries to nudge him discreetly 9...he catches her eye and she raises her eyebrows 8...

Postcode please? 7...

He's suddenly caught between trying to understand her silent gesticulations and answering me. She's pointing at various seats which I have already shown them, 6...

And the name on the card please? 5...

The computer screen flips onto confirmation of booking and my finger is poised for authorisation of credit card. 4...3...2...

How much further back would we need to go for central seats?


  1. Don't you just love those type of customers ? They live on a steady diet of please, with a side order of thank-you's until the very last second...then one of them grows wings and wants to fly. I bet you spent another 10 minutes trying to close the sale. I love the "traces an imaginary eye line from seats to stage" part. I bet you could smell the smoke burning. I don't miss working retail one bit !

  2. Were you a fly on my box office wall Patrick? Punter's eh, don't you just love 'em?

    Brad: I will be arrested for attempted murder which will probably make the BBC 10'clock news. People will shake their heads and sell stories about me to trashy newspapers.

  3. Hey, thanks for the inspiration. I just posted a blog about some of my retail nightmares. I mentioned your site, I hope you don't mind. C-ya...

  4. Not at all Patrick and I was very impressed by your experience with diamonds - let's face it, what girl wouldn't be!

  5. I love these captured moments that you do. Great to have you back and looking forward to a call....)

  6. Thanks Sarah. Actually I had a lovely chat with our mutual friend Steve C.L. today and thought of you. Will try and catch up over the next few days.


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