In the years that I’ve been smoking, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting quite a few tobacco stores throughout the country. It is a joy for me to go into a new brick and mortar to see how they have things arranged, peruse their selection of handmade cigars and enjoy the comforts of the surroundings. I specifically enjoy, as you might assume, being able to relax in a nice leather chair while smoking my purchase(s). It is especially fun to talk to the staff and get their suggestions on what to smoke. Many, dare I say most, of the employees I encounter there are very knowledgeable in the craft of cigars, but there are two types of tobacco store employees that tend to really get on my nerves: the ardent and the apathetic.
The ardent tobacco store employee is, by definition, passionate about cigars. That’s not what bugs me. What bugs me is their determination to impress me with unnecessary facts or drop names of cigar industry big wigs they’ve had the pleasure of meeting. They talk so much that our “conversation” sounds a little more like a well rehearsed speech. Any time I try to interject an opinion or a comment, I’m cut off with more information! How are you ever going to know what I prefer if you don’t stop to listen? So my advice to you, ardent tobacco enthusiast, is to back off the coffee a little bit, take a deep breath and listen to your customers. Your store depends on your customers and always remember: the best salesmen are great listeners.
The apathetic tobacco store employee is just as annoying, but for the exact opposite reason: they don’t talk at all. You’re kind. You’re cordial. You try to pick their brain about a brand you’ve never heard of and you get a bland, uninformed response. My advice to you, apathetic tobacco store employee, is to actually show some interest in your job. Try out different cigars. Try out different types of tobaccos. Form opinions. Discover why you like what you like. Take an interest in the art of socializing.
These are just some pet peeves of mine. I suppose if I could add a quick third pet peeve, it would be the tobacco store employee that doesn’t (at least) greet me or walk into the humidor after me asking if I need any help. Is there a type of tobacco store employee that grates on your nerves? Leave a comment and let me know!