I mosey on into a clothes shop. Today, I will buy nothing, and nothing will deter me from my non-buying quest. This is to be a fact-gathering mission.
"And how has your day been-?"
Several times before, and just for the fun of it, I've actually told an astounded sales assistant, in excruciating detail about my day, starting off with getting out of bed, choosing an outfit, eating my cereal, waiting for the bus...
But, this time, I'm too tired for any of that-
"I'm just looking, thank you," I say. It's an old phrase taught to us by generations of ancestors.
"Those are lovely ear-rings you're wearing," the assistant gushes.
And just like that, the assistant and I bond. I tell her where I bought the ear-rings, how much they cost, how I love them.
I let myself get talked into buying a lovely summer jacket that I truly don't need in the middle of winter. I am assured, however, that it's "new summer stock, just come in". I have to buy it because the assistant and I are now ... friends?
I began to get suspicious about this bonding-with-shop-assistants-thingee when three assistants in three different shops over the space of two hours waxed deleriously over my various accessories, two of them loving my ear-rings (obviously a popular choice), and one my watch.
I guess, nowadays, retail shop managers believe in sending staff to "How to train your Customer 101". I can testify that this soft sell totally works. Darn-it.