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Friday, March 03, 2006

How to Tell

I had a very interesting experience the other day. I was in an expensive little shop in this area -- very toni, very chic, very pricey. I noticed that I had received excellent customer service even when I was rather clear that I would not be purchasing anything. (This was research --- if I'm going to ride on the coattails of luxury, I need to know what it looks, feels, smells, sounds like.) A while later, some other women entered the store --- they did not received the same level of excellent service that I had experienced. In fact, the clerk remained attentive to me (the non-buying customer) rather than leave me to attend to them. I found this rather odd. So, being the natural researcher that I am, I asked about it (after the women had left, of course)
What the clerk told me was astounding to me. She said that she (and the others who work there) have learned to identify potential customers -- they invest their time with those people. Customers who do not pass their little identification test, don't warrant as much time investment. That part didn't surprise me -- but I would have assumed that I had "failed" once I made clear my complete lack of intent to purchase. She explained that she was confident that I would be returning and would purchase in the future, so I was a good sales investment. Her further explanation was that you could always tell the women with "real money" and class (ie. buying customers for her) by their hands. Women with class and money take care of their hands. They have manicures, not to create flashy effects, but to groom. These women have groomed nails and skin, pale or clear polish, clean nails, no hangnails etc. She indicated that the women who had recently left the store had long blood-red artificial nails that needed a fill. That clearly indicated to her that these women were "wannabes" and "posers" who were attempting to look glamourous because they really didn't have the money or the style.
I glanced down at my own hands --- I think I have working hands -- I do the dishes, garden, shovel snow and all the rest. These all leave evidence on your hands. The skin is not as soft. There are callouses. My nails are quite short so that I am able to work. I was wearing a coat of a very soft, pale pink polish. And, yes, I do moisturize my hands and keep them clean and groomed. Apparently even working hands pass as wealthy, elegant hands when they're well groomed and not flashy.