I have a warranty on my engagement and wedding rings that requires them to be inspected twice per year. Yesterday I knew I'd be near the store, so I decided to pop in for the inspection and get it out of the way. Not a big deal, usually in and out in under 10 minutes.
Upon entering the store, the following conversation ensued:
Me: Hi, I'm here for a warranty inspection on my rings.
I hand my rings to the saleswoman and she looks up the warranty information on the computer.
Salesperson 1: I'll get these inspected and back to you in a few minutes.
Meanwhile I'm just sort of wandering around the store (because what else is there to do in a small jewelry store?). I see a second salesperson approaching me.
Salesperson 2: There's still time to order a custom mother's ring and have it here in time for Mother's Day! You could pick out exactly what you want and take the paperwork home to your husband so he can order it. Then the kids could surprise you with it on Mother's Day.
At this point, I'm thinking that it's April freaking first, like six weeks from Mother's Day. What gives? I decided to educate (with a little bit of snark thrown in for good measure).
Me: Actually, Mother's Day doesn't apply to me so I won't need a mother's ring. Do you have any special promotions going on for National Infertility Awareness Week? It's coming up soon and applies to me.
Salesperson 2 looks at me like I have three heads and was completely speechless. I continue.
Me: Considering one in every seven couples struggles with infertility, it would be genius from a marketing standpoint. Nothing says "it sucks that we're having trouble making a small human" quite like a diamond necklace.
Salesperson 2 is still speechless when Salesperson 1 returns with my rings. I thank them both and leave the store. I quite enjoyed the awkward silence.
Sales is difficult, I get that. Their whole job is to sell things to people. If they don't sell things they don't get their commission, they have bills to pay, and that's pretty darn motivating to sell things. But it's not ok to assume that every thirty-something woman that wanders into a jewelry store is a mother. Maybe she is a mother. Or maybe she is trying like hell to be one. Or maybe she wants to be a mother so bad they can taste it, but hasn't found a suitable partner. Or maybe she has already closed the door on motherhood and is moving on. Or maybe she lost a child. Or maybe she have no desire to be a mother. I really hope that my response made her think twice before deploying the "mother's ring" sales strategy to the next thirty-something female who walked in.
Luckily I was in a good headspace on Saturday afternoon and my reaction was one of "are you kidding me" as opposed to her words being painful. A few years ago I don't think I would have handled it so well (or with so much sarcasm).