Some people are just made for their professions, and love their jobs. They can do their job with passion, intensity, love and always have a smile on their faces. Of course, they also have enough patience to endure the tough and the mean.
Selling, is never an easy job. There was a fancy store near my house called, ‘Mari Fancy Store’. It was run by two/ three brothers and I have seen their father, join in as well.
Me and my brother were very young back then. Like all kids, we were impatient, had no idea what we wanted and were always looking for something fun to do. We have gone to so many shops, but kept pressurizing our parents to go back home. We hated those shopping sessions!
But this shop was different.
We used to go here mostly with our grandfather. Generally, we had no idea of what we wanted to buy. Whenever we went in, all the brothers would smile. And we would join.
Then they’ll start, ‘So, what do you kids want today?’. We’ll say, ‘Something’. Then they’ll start tempting us with little toys/ stamps/ sports items and everything else to probe to see what is liked by kids like us! I guess we were their testing ground to see how much interest a product meant for a kid, generates in a kid!
This will go on for half an hour. Since there were always two or three brothers selling, other customers will not be kept in waiting while someone was giving their undivided attention to us.
I have seen rude shop keepers. Some of them have no idea why they became a shop-keeper. They just want to make a quick buck by selling the first item that comes to our glance. I mean, they just don’t have the patience!
Contrast that to these people. They knew that we would spend only 10-25 rupees each time, but still they used to spend half an hour talking to us! I mean, imagine talking patiently to undecided kids for half an hour. Many of us might not do that at home, with our own kids!
Of course, we mostly ended up buying some toy or something else but I don’t remember going to that shop to buy any particular thing (Of course, at times we did). It was more about the experience of talking to the shop keepers and the temptations that were thrown at us, which excited us the most! I don’t recall even a single bad experience or a single incident when we were shooed away. We might have had to wait at times, but we did that happily.
Once, when Coca cola was (re)introduced in India, they advertised in newspaper and whoever took a news paper cutting of that ad to any shop, would be given a free coke! Obviously, everyone did and shops were running out of coke bottles. We went straight to this shop, and they saved two bottles just for us! 🙂 Ah, the benefits of being regular customers 🙂
Later on, a new (larger) shop with much more varieties was introduced right opposite to this shop and the whole area suddenly became a busy market place. So, the cost of maintaining a shop should have gone up, I guess and they moved their business to somewhere else.
I remember going to this shop during my 11th Standard (for the last time), and was glad to see the same enthusiasm (and smile) in their faces. They said they were moving, but didn’t say where. If we knew that, we would have continued to be their regular customers.
They say that a business is built on relationships. I don’t know about others, but this one was definitely so. I wish other shopkeepers made shopping half as pleasurable as they did, once upon a time! Wishing you brothers the best in your trade, where ever you are and what ever you are doing.