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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Common traits: Maternity & child expos

I've ever only worked in a regular office and a restaurant as a waitress, as well as a part-timer at expos and/or warehouse sales that sell baby products. The company that hires me when they need me often only need my role as a promoter, and nothing else.


I worked my first day of December at the 4th Maternity and Children Expo 2012 (day 2) at the exhibition hall at Mid Valley Megamall. Including the previous time I worked, I was to man the towels and blankets bin, which is right next to the apparel bin (I do not like being responsible for that bin).


So basically all I had to do was to replenish stock, inform the "division manager" when on-hand stock was running low, keep rearranging everything every 10 seconds because everyone throws everything everywhere, answer everyone's questions, and keep reminding everyone who comes by my bin that there are samples available, hence there is no need to open every damn thing to "feel what a towel feels like".


Despite everything sounding so frustrating, I was bored (or tired) enough to notice a lot of things, especially the general characteristics of the customers. I shall categorize them into a few, and these apply to those people whom I have observed only. Don't bash me for insulting pregnant women. =P


The people might just have one characteristic to them, or a combination of a few, even from the same subtitle, which shall be quite interesting... I have also come to realize that the stupidest thing that you could give a kid (regardless of age)  at an expo with thousands of people is a balloon on a stick. Dangerous, that stuff...

Travel Style

  • Solo - doing everything alone, while the spouse is looking at something else; or maybe they're just here alone
  • The Typical Couple #1 - looks homey, loving, and usually a bit lost-ish at what to get for a new baby, or what to look for in general
  • The Typical Couple #2 - from the looks of it, they just got off work, and both look bloody professional and stylish (most of the time). They will ask the same questions as #1, but would ask less and do more discussions among each other
  • Threesome - the couple brought their mother/mother-in-law/sister/sister-in-law/aunt, or whoever who has experience in looking after babies
  • The entire nucleus family - the couple brought each others' parents and siblings to join in the shopping fun
  • The ancestry - grandparents, nieces, nephews, each others' extended family... you get the gist
  • Swift - arrives, scans, locks target, gets rid of doubts, deal done
  • Indecisive - arrives, scans, scans again, locks on multiple targets, uses multiple strategies to get rid of doubts (not very effective), scans again, locks on targets (less than first attempt), deal done gingerly

The Ladies

  • "Look! I'm botox free!" - they have their eyebrows halfway up their forehead... and they're usually very weirdly shaped
  • "I shall fan away the rainclouds with my lashes" - it looks like they took 3-4 pairs of those super thick lashes, then glued them on their already heavily mascara-ed lashes
  • "Imma part time clown!" - 3 inches of foundation in the wrong shade, 3 tablespoons of black crayon for the eyebrows, unintentional super goth panda eyes, and those kissable rouged lips. and don't forget the clown blush!
  • "I ran out of make-up, so I used my calligraphy ink" - I dunno what's going on, but I remember than my overly diluted chinese calligraphy ink looked like that on my skin
  • "I've never used a towel in my life" - opens every single packaging to "feel the fabric"
  • "I MUST show everyone my brand new bag!" - yeah, by shoving it into everyone's body
  • "I just finished performing for a burlesque gig" - super heavy ... everything - think Christina Aguilera in Burlesque, or on The Voice
  • "I couldn't find my brushes, so I used shadow stickers" - a patch of unblended eye shadow on each eye. Usually monocolor, shimmery, and typically purple, for some reason. Very rarely, you see two tones of the same color.

The Gentlemen

  • "Kill me now" - somehow, he got dragged to this hell of boredom
  • "Whatever you like, honey" - is there to accompany the wife, but when she asks him about purchases...
  • "Hmm... Yes... That's nice" - almost like "whatever you like, honey", but is more attentive to his phone/device than to his wife
  • "I look so cool wearing sunglasses indoors with a giant Mickey Mouse T-shirt" - personally, I find these just... not cool
  • "I'm a proud daddy!" - helpful, interested, enthusiastic, and will bomb his wife with a stream of muttered suggestions
  • "WHERE DO I GET *INSERT NAME OF PRODUCT HERE*?!" - will determine what his wife wants, and demand it in a friendly way from the promoters
  • "I'll be here if you need me" - sincerely wants to help, but somehow become a source of congestion due to the basket and the bags

FAQ

  • *referring to polyester fleece blanket* Is this a towel or a blanket?
  • Are these 100% cotton?
  • Are these suitable for babies? (epic fail)
  • *has the sample right in front of them* Can I open this? I wanna feel the quality.
  • What is the towel for? [to cook and eat]
  • How do I use the blanket? [you cut it up and stir-fry it]
  • Only one piece in there (sealed plastic packaging)? [no, we can somehow fit 10 of them in that flat bag]
  • *giant price tag on the item* How much is this?
  • *over 20 items of the same design in front of them* What colors do you have?
  • *has been fiddling with sample for 10 minutes* How big is this?
  • Where do I pay? *I point toward the cashiers.* Oh, is it where the big "cashiers" sign is? [oh, no, you are mistaken, it's behind the big cashier sign]
  • *points to large bath towel* Is this a bath towel? [no, it's a handkerchief]

Frequently happened scenarios

  • I get down on my knees to access the stock, thinking solely on replenishing the display stock. As it is, it was awkward to be bending down to everyone's butt level, while being sandwiched by distracted people, but someone (many times) just had to hit me in the head with something - a pouch, a bag, or worst - a shopping basket.
  • A lady will argue with me that the ragged sample's fabric is not the same as the one in the package. Dear lady, that poor piece of crap has been abused for over two whole days, by unforgiving hands.
  • *hears sound of package opening* I say: "I'm sorry, you're not allowed to open that. Here's a sample." That's different, they say. then continues molesting the fabric. Usually doesn't make the purchase.
  • Same as previous, but push the 'repeat button' 3 times. On three different products. And each time they just smiled sweetly at me, as if to say that a sweet smile can compensate for the potential infection that a baby might get if they used that molested blanket.
  • Some people have their bags swinging around, especially those with chains, buckles, or any ornaments that dangle around. Many times, they have almost ripped out my piercing.
  • Insist on bringing their large stroller, a few bags for everything and everyone, and insist on letting their children handle the balloons, then use the stick to whack the crap out of everyone.

Alright, alright. A lot of that is actually exaggerations to some point, but still true. And I don't mean to discriminate, really, but it's just what I noticed.


There were, of course, some very nice people - sweet couples, cute kids, friendly family members. Overall, it's an experience. And it's work~

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