with Christmas fast approaching, I was reminded tonight of a call I took from what turned out to be my youngest (and cutest) customers.
Back in the 90s, I worked for well known store that dated back to the 1800s and was especially known for their catalogues. The big one being the Wish Book put out every August for the upcoming Christmas season. When the Wish Book hit our desks, we knew calls would ramp up until we were breathless and hoarse from talking non stop to happy shoppers with seemingly endless lists of item numbers. Now, I worked for the Canadian division of the company serving Atlantic Canada so we often got customers who were content to talk about anything under the sun whilst placing their orders. We heard all about their husbands job, their kids hockey exploits even their dogs haha. Now one thing to remember, here , is since we were delivering to Atlantic Canada many pickup desks were located in – unusual – places. It might be at the back of a small town fix-it shop or even Myrtle’s kitchen table! Customers would place their orders and then trot down to their town pickup spot to pay and pick them up often staying for a cup of tea while they are there.
One night, just after supper, my headset beeped in and the following conversation took place with the youngest catalogue customers I am pretty sure the company had on record.
Me – Thank you for calling S—- Merry Christmas, how can I help you tonight?
Tiny voice – I want to buy Christmas presents!
Me – (melting inside cause – cuteness) You want to buy presents? Do you want to make an order from the Wish Book?
Tiny voice- yup! For Mummy and Daddy.
Me – (reading the info that auto -popped on the screen) Is your Mummy’s name (blah)?
Small person- yup! And Daddy is (blah)
(insert 2nd small voice here ) – cookies Tommy!
Me – is that your sister?
Tommy – yup , she is 6 , I am 11. She wants cookies but I gotta get Mum and Dad’s stuff first.
I was honestly amazed at how maturely that little guy was acting! Together, we made an order for gifts for his parents. A shirt for Dad and a set of jams and crackers for Mum. ( no idea why i remember that so well but there ya go lol) In between our conversation could be heard little sister saying urgently
Tommy – How much do that cost?
Me – (sneaking in a couple of coupon codes) tells him the total – like $16 and change .
small sister – Cookies, Tommy!
Tommy – we can get cookies! adding a package of shortbread cookies .
Small sister – YAY!
Tommy – How much now? (sounding worried)
Me – Tells him the total (something like $21)
Tommy – relieved sigh – I gots enough!
That little guy and his sister made my holiday that year, I tell ya. They were from a tiny town in Newfoundland that I am sure most people had never heard of. Young Tommy was by far the most polite customer I had ever had before or since. He even understood the process of where to go to pick his package up and paying for it. Every Christmas, I remember Cookies , Tommy! And I hope he and his baby sister are doing well.