Sunday, 4 March 2012

Grace and warmth

I visited a 'posh' establishment today.  I haven't turned into a millionaire overnight. But I do sometimes like to go to 'posh' shops and look at nice things. It could have been my imagination, but I'm almost sure I sensed an extra bit of 'snobbitude' in the well made up, smartly dressed shop assistants.

In the hand bag section, I was soon approached by a scarlet lipped lady with her hands clasped together, blue lidded eyes fluttering almost shut, who asked breathlessly, 'May I help you today?' I clarified immediately that I was only looking. She raised her left super arched eyebrow so high it almost joined her hairline, smirked and turned away to talk to another equally resplendent colleague. Later when I asked to see a few more things she rolled her eyes in a manner enough to make anyone feel unwanted.

At the end of the day I happened to board the same bus, at the same time, as the rather haughty hand bag 'consultant' who I interacted with at the store. She glided into the bus, in her own little bubble, clutching her employee-discounted designer bag close, making her way home like the rest of us.

Does working in a high end, luxury establishment demand a hint of coolness and an air of superiority in some of the people working there? Or is that a misplaced assumption that all wealthy folk who visit these places behave in a certain fashion, and would like to be served by people 'like them'. I would love to be a fly on the wall in one of the training sessions there. Is it the management asking for a certain demeanour? Or is the demeanour a result of the aspirations of a working class person.

I don't know. What I do know, is that it doesn't take long for life to turn the tables. Today's window shopping housewife could be tomorrow's hand bag collecting millionaire, and vice-versa. Well, something like that anyway. Whether we are in turbulent times economically or not, forgetting to interact with people, whoever they are, with grace and warmth is surely not the right way forward. 

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