There was a shuffling of feet...then a nervous cough...then a hesitant voice spoke.
Crap! It was a customer.
I glanced up nervously. There was a man standing in the doorway. He looked as uncomfortable as I felt.
“Hi there,” I called out, in what I hoped was a welcoming tone. “Can I help you?”
“Well...ummm” he mumbled, still finding the carpet fascinating. The poor chap looked uncomfortable, so I meandered over to his side to help him feel more at ease.
Now I was closer to him I could get a good look. Phew. He was obviously not one of the obnoxious Estate Agents from over the road; there was no overpowering stench of cologne and not a shiny suit or loud tie in sight. This guy was dressed casually in worn jeans and a nondescript black tee shirt. He didn’t seem to be wearing a coat and his clothes were clinging damply to him. I couldn’t see his face as he didn’t seem to want to look up at me but I couldn’t miss the shock of messy hair atop his head. It was an odd colour, not ginger but not brown either. I couldn’t quite put a label on it. He was tall too, although he seemed slightly stooped with his gawky, awkward posture.
“Can I help?” I repeated, speaking softly now I was closer to him. He seemed so ill at ease and I didn’t want to spook the guy any further.
How bizarre was this? I managed to find someone just as socially awkward as me?
Then he looked up at me.