entering a shop in southern california, i know to expect most sales people will make a certain amount of friendly effort to engage me. many of them are highly trained, highly ambitious or highly caffeinated would-be stars-in-the-making, so they are able to deliver their "good morning" and similar dialog in such a way that one actually believes either they are true optimists who believe this morning is good, or (this one is really crazy) they actually want me to have a good one.
on this trip, i had spent sufficient time in other non-ny-y cities prior to landing in lax so that i could successfully switch gears and enter a more social mode myself. this enabled me to respond civilly (rather than suspiciously) to the big ultra-white toothy smiles and "have a great day!" imperatives that seem to come with so many retail transactions over here. so i thought i was in l.a. mode and couldn't be caught off guard by the cultural quirks of life in the sun, but something happened today that did surprise me - i actually believed a sales person's compliment. has the daily exposure to blue skies and tight clothing corroded my eastern shell? or am i losing perspective? before you answer yes to those questions, let me say that her flattery followed her correct identification of the not-widely-known label of what i was wearing based on the fabric/pattern. this was truly a knowledgeable individual. and for what it's worth, she did not segue into a sales pitch.
how often do you accept, at face value, a compliment you receive from a sales person?