Posted by u/SuddenlyHanabi
Reddit Link: https://redd.it/6m9v9z
Categories: I Don't Work Here, Lady (IDWHL)
This happened a few years ago. I was hanging out at the Guitar Center, salivating over their merchandise, when an old man walked up and told me he was looking to buy an instrument and needed help. I had on a solid Navy blue shirt tucked into khaki slacks and nice shoes--I was out enjoying myself that afternoon following a successful job interview, and had ditched the button down shirt and tie earlier--and realized he may have probably mistaken me for a clerk/guitar salesman. But I do know guitars fairly well, and their guys were helping other customers.
So I tell him "I'm not actually an employee here, but I have been playing for six years. I might be able to help."
"Great. So I'm looking at two of your guitars here, and I can't decide which one would be best for me..." And he proceeds to lead me over to the acoustics where we spend spend the next 15-20 minutes discussing the relative merits of the dreadnought and grand concert guitars he was considering.
Three times during my explanations I prefaced a statement with something like "I'm not as knowledgeable as the staff here, but I do think..." or "The clerks here probably know more than me, but in my opinion..." as I helped him pick out what he wanted. None of those caveats registered with him, because when we finally determined that the grand concert guitar with the really low, smooth action would probably be the best choice for him given his arthritis, he says "I think I should probably get a case for it; you guys have one that will fit this guitar, don't you?"
...screw it. I didn't work for Guitar Center but for that day, strictly on a volunteer basis, I now worked at Guitar Center. So I told him "Yes sure, we have a great variety of cases, I can find you one that will fit this body style. Now the major decision with buying a case is whether you want a hard case or a soft case, and that really depends on how much you want to spend and how much you'll be traveling with it." And we proceeded to pick out a soft case that would work for him while he told me about the band his son played in, and where they had performed.
He was actually a pretty nice guy. After we had him kitted out he thanked me and asked me if I could ring his purchases up for him. I apologized and told him I wasn't logged into the cash register (which was true. I wasn't and never would be) and let him know that my associate at the counter would be more than happy to get him checked out. Which was also true, as part of their pay is based on commissions and I'd just moved a couple-three hundred dollars of his inventory for him. I left as 'our' customer was on his way to the sales counter, thinking to myself that if the new job didn't work out I should keep guitar salesman in mind as a fallback since apparently I had a knack for it.