During my time working at Softbank, I met quite a few different people. Most were just ordinary folks you wouldn't really remember, but there were some that stuck in my memory. Today, I'd like to introduce one such customer.
It was fairly early on in my time at the store - around the end of September, I believe - when the man I have since dubbed my "favourite customer" (I never learned his name) first spoke to me. He was a middle aged man of average height, wearing a grey coat and a wool hat. (He would always wear this hat every time he showed up in the store, for reasons which will be made clear in due time.)
He asked me: "What can you tell me about the iPhone 5?"
Something that will always ensure this man's place in my memory is the fact that he, despite being Japanese, spoke to me in perfect English, with only the slightest trace of an accent. I imagine he has live abroad for quite some time.
I, having little to no interest in phones and gadgets, and still being quite new at the job, did my best to explain some of the key features of the new model. I mentioned how it was faster, slimmer, had lots of new features compared to the older models, but he didn't seem very impressed. He took out his own phone, an older iPhone model, and asked me what model it was. Since I had no idea, I guessed randomly:
"An iPhone 4?" He shook his head.
"Ah, is it the first one then?"
Again he shook his head, and grinned.
"No. You've got it all wrong!"
By now, I was getting a strange feeling that this man was testing me. For some reason, I thought he may have been sent by Softbank to test new employees on their knowledge of the products we sold. Nonetheless, I instinctively bowed and apologized, to which he said:
"Don't bow to me. We are speaking English, so it is weird to bow."
"Sorry", I said. "It just comes naturally, with this kind of job."
"How long have you worked here?"
"Just a few weeks."
"So, you're going to be here for a long time?"
"I don't know. For a year, at least. Then we'll see."
"But you do not know much about cell phones." It was a statement, not a question.
It was true.
"No. But I'll just have to learn."
He looked at me and said, with a serious voice.
"Learning something that you don't know is a great thing." He nodded a few times, then continued:
"I think you will make a lot of money. Then, you can do whatever you want."
Then he said goodbye and left, just as suddenly as he had appeared.
This was my first meeting with my favourite customer. I was almost sure that he was some sort of instructor from Softbank at the time, but I would soon learn the true nature of this unusual man. And so will you, if you stick around to read it.
Have a good day!