four days of helping at a craft fair.
Most of it has been fun and most of the customers have been friendly, genuinely enthusiastic about what is on display, interested in what others have to tell them and generally co-operative and understanding.
Not so one customer yesterday. I could see trouble coming. She would want something we did not have or would complain about something we did have. She would say the price was too high or that she could get it cheaper somewhere else.
It turned out she wanted something we did not have but, in a new twist, she tried to demand it was ordered in especially for her. She was sure we could do it.
I tried, gently, to point out that it was not something the person I am working for deals with and that there were other places where she might be able to get it. Each suggestion I made was met with a negative. No, she did not have access to the internet. No, she did not know anybody who had access to the internet. No, she did not belong to a library (where she could access the internet). No, she did not have access to any knitting magazines which might tell her where she could write for information. No, she could not do an overseas transaction of any sort. No, nobody else in Downunder would do it for her. It had to be us.
I eventually managed extricate myself from the conversation - which was growing rather one sidedly heated by then - because someone else really needed help, or I thought she did. Madam Difficult stormed off. The other woman smiled at me and said,
"You were being so patient I just had to interfere. She has tried that on several stall holders today. Each time she wants something different. Even if you did have what she claimed she wanted I don't think she would buy it."
I had wondered about that myself.
"Is there something I can help you with?" I asked with a relieved smile.
"Oh, yes. I want one of those rug kits but I am wondering - would it be too much trouble to make it up in really bright colours? Do you have time? The person I am giving it to would like...."
It was no trouble at all. A substantial sale was made - and she gave me a wink as she left. Some people can be very nice indeed.