Thursday, December 10, 2009

War Stories Part IX - What's the cubic capacity?

Continuing the sagas and stories of my working life, up to now anyway. If you want to read the preamble, click here to go to the first posting in the series, which contains a short version of my CV.

Early in my career in a major Plumbers Merchant, but before the company had been taken over and became part of a major chain, I worked in a branch in Hamilton which had a window display of showers, both electric and mixers. One day when I was working on the Trade Counter a little old Italian man came in looking to buy a new electric shower. I say little and I use the term advisedly. He was about five feet tall and five feet wide.

I took him into the window to show him what we could offer and use my newly acquired selling techniques to make sure we got the sale. The showers were non-working displays and had been basically nailed to the wall at random heights. I showed him the first one, describing in detail the power rating, water flow rate, and all the lovely features. He listened intently, then lifted the shower head off its holder and brought it down as far as the length of the hose would allow, then said "No, s'no good" (you have to imagine the Italian accent).

We moved on to the next one, and I launched into full flow, detailing all the benefits it could offer at a most reasonable price. Again he lifted the shower head down and looked as though he was trying to get it to stretch all the way to the floor, then he said "No, s'no good".

We moved to the third option and repeated the scenario, only this time, after telling me again it was no good, he leaned close to me, lowered his voice, and explained conspiratorially in his thick Italian accent

"it's for my wife, she like to spray it up her fanny!".

I'd love to claim that I had the presence of mind to enquire further about the fanny in question and ask the question which heads this story in order that I could furnish him with something with a suitable flow rate, but I was so taken aback (I was innocent in them days) that I let him leave without closing the sale. 

I don't know if his wife ever managed to partake in that simple pleasure with a new shower from somewhere else.

And no, I didn't think fast enough to suggest a longer hose.

Oh, and for our friends from beyond the pond, whereas in your country a fanny is the bit at the back, in ours it is a different bit, which is at the front, and only ladies have them, if you get my drift!

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