Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Customer Service with a French Man - Part 2 of 2.

"We want to know what happened when you went back to get your wood." my friend calls to remind me, a blog post was left hanging (from 13 October).
"Oh, yeah. I went back to get the wood and my shelf is now built."

There was silence from my friend.
"I built the shelf myself!" I added, somehow knowing my friend wanted to know more.

So here's the end of a long story of simply picking up some scrap wood, cut by an attractive French carpenter:

After having my wood pieces and measurement taken from my hands and refused customer service (promised only if I returned the next day), I left the store amazed at how smoothly the French carpenter convinced me to return to him the next day.

Walking home that evening, the fantasy of having the carpenter in my kitchen building a shelf and kitchen cabinets faded. I could clearly see his manipulation. Looking at the tools left near the sink with no wood project for the evening, I felt angry. "I could be building a shelf right now, but instead, it has to wait until tomorrow just because the carpenter would not cut the wood!"; "I'll show him. I won't return! I'll go to another store!" I fumed.

Not one to stay angry very long, the next afternoon, I headed back to the corner of the hardware store to pick up my wood pieces. Two new carpenters were standing behind the counter looking in my direction. Neither of them were the attractive carpenter from the night before.

Approaching the counter, I could see he was not there. The two men looked at me with friendly expressions, but not smiling. "Bonjour! Can I help you?" the one closest to the front asked me in French. I wondered how was I going to explain, in French, that a man who was there last night, cut some wood for me and I would like to pick it up?

So I began in broken French, "Bonjour, the man last night, here..." I said in French, "Uh..." my mind was blank as I tried to figure out how to perform impromptu charades.

"E has your vood from last night... and you vant to pick eat up." he finished my sentence in English!
They both looked at me and smiled as if they had just performed a flawless mind-reading trick.

"Yes!" I said shocked that he completed my sentence so precisely. How did he know? I wondered.

"His name is Sergio, he's upstairs." the man continued in English.

"I have to go upstairs?" I asked.

"Yes, you will find him upstairs." he replied.

As I walked up the stairs, I thought to myself, "Not only did the smooth carpenter get me to return, now he has me chasing him all over the store!"

There he was, upstairs, standing on a ladder explaining to an older man and an older woman the difference between a piece of equipment he was holding and another one on the top shelf. The man and woman were looking up at him, with their mouths open as if he were a God. I joined them as I looked first at his dirty shoes, wrinkled blue jeans, well defined thighs (my eyes almost stopped there), but I had to keep looking up further, to his bright red working jacket, then his arms, then his neck, his lips, nose and eyes. Eyes that were watching me.

"Sergio?" I asked, wanting him to know I knew his name.

He immediately came down the latter, finished his conversation quickly, almost shoving the small box into the older mans arms as the couple looked at me, smiled then quickly departed.

"Ah, You! Come with me." he said in English, as he folded the ladder, put it in a corner and walked downstairs.

Once again, I followed him.


French men flirt. Alot. He flirted, as he prepare to give me the wood pieces. He's friendly, but makes me uncomfortable, since I know I will return to the hardware store often. I don't want it to appear as if I am returning only to see Sergio rather than needing a mop head or screwdriver. (if I am returning just for a glimpse of Sergio, it will be my secret).

Cradling the wood in his arms, as if it were a newborn, he gently lays them in my arms, smiles and looks as if he wants to kiss me... right then and there. (or maybe it's just my imagination). I take the baby-uh, I mean wood pieces, look away quickly, and leave as I say Thank you!... in English.


  1. quite a short story!
    sergio wud do well to steady on a bit :P

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  2. Florence, remember the advice from the movie "Something New" - "let go, let flow". Hey, Sergio might be fun!