We have one regular customer, we'll call her Linda. Well, regular "customer" might be a stretch; the only thing she's bought to date and not returned was a bag of treats.
Anyways, Linda comes in every Sunday when I'm working and returns the item(s) that she's purchased that week. One day she returned a rasp, explaining that she had forgotten about the one she already had.
Linda phones one Saturday in July while we happened to be very busy at the store. I ask (knowing she's a tad off her rocker) if it's an urgent question, and if not could I please call her back when we're not terribly busy. She says it's just a quick question about grazing muzzles. Long story short, I was on the phone for at least 15 minutes, telling her exactly the feel of the material, how big the holes were, what shape the holes were, if I thought the rubber would rub on her horse's face or not... lots of terribly painful questions that really were not urgent. She thanks me for my time and hangs up.
She calls back at the end of the day (we were busy again) and asks if we have any halter padding that she could stick on her horse's halter, because it's rubbing. I tell her we only stock halter tubes. Nope, she wants stick-on padding. I tell her to try Fabricland.
Sunday she calls back, asking the exact same questions as she did the day before. I interrupt her halfway through and said "I'm sure I talked to you yesterday Linda, perhaps you should just come in and see the muzzle for yourself." She agrees... then calls back a half hour later to ask about halter padding.
Monday rolls around, and she comes into the store, grabs a muzzle, and measure everything there is possible to measure on a muzzle. Heights, diameters, widths, thicknesses, hole size, padding size, halter size... all with her own handy dandy tape measure!
She leaves the muzzle on the counter, thanks me for my time and walks out.
Tuesday she comes in wanting to know if we have any muzzles that don't have an attached halter. I say no, and our suppliers are actually completely out of them as well, so there would be no way of me ordering one in either. She asks to see a picture. I show her, reminding her that I cannot get one in for her. She asks if the closures are velcro or snaps. I say they look like snaps, but I can't tell and it really doesn't matter in the long run because I cannot get them in. She says she'd like to order one in a horse size. I tell her again that my suppliers are out, but we do have one horse size muzzle with a halter attachment in stock right now if she'd like. She asks about the closures again and walks out the door.
Wednesday she comes in and asks to see the picture again, she'd like to buy one. She also informs me that she's actually contacted my supplier and informs me that they have one horse size muzzle in stock (!!! What?! Non-employees are 1- not supposed to have suppliers' numbers, and 2- suppliers always ask for your name and the company you are inquiring for, so she lied and said she was working for my store) so could I please call them right now and ship it to the store? I call, they are once again sold out. Linda gets mad and walks out the door.
Thursday Linda comes in with her tape measure and re-measures everything on the muzzle with a halter. She again inquires about the snaps on the detachable muzzle.
Friday I wasn't working, but my coworker (who has been a part of this thing from the get-go) says Linda came in and bought the muzzle with the attached halter.
Saturday (again not working) Linda comes back with a hideously spray-painted muzzle that has had the hole in the bottom made bigger, "because the horse was getting annoyed." She accidentally made the hole too big and now the horse may as well not be wearing it. She wants to buy another and not cut the hole larger. Ironically, we were completely sold out of any muzzles at that point.
Today a lady come in (let's call her Kate) that I had helped last weekend. She's a re-rider, but definitely a novice still. She just bought an OTTB. She wanted a tie-down and a pretty severe bit, because he "tosses his head around a lot."
I educated her about the many reasons a horse might be tossing its head and putting equipment on was only masking the problem.
She came in today wanting to buy a double offset twisted wire snaffle and a tie down. She had been borrowing a cowboy friend's set and while using this bit and having his head tied down, he "no longer tosses his head!!"
So I once again explained to her the basics. I really hope I got through to her.