Saturday, April 02, 2011

Aptitude Test:

As most of you already know, Breda picked up a part-time gig as a Merchant of Death, allowing her to collect two out of three legs on the dreaded Triangle of Death!

It's important to find out if she's got what it takes, though. As a veteran of the industry, allow me to offer this handy Gun Sales Aptitude Test:

1. A professionally-dressed woman steps up to the counter. You should:
A. Wait for her husband to come in from parking the car so you can ask him what he needs.

B. Say "What you need here, li'l lady, is this here pink .38 with the pearl grips and gold trim. Ain't it purty?"

C. Keep talking to Cletus the Assistant Manager about that used bass boat you bought.

2. A customer asks "I notice you don't have the Blastomatic 2000x in stock. Can I special order one?" Your answer should be:
A. No.

B. No.

C. Keep talking to Cletus the Assistant Manager about that used bass boat you bought.

3. A customer is examining a used Remchester deer rifle. He looks like he might have a technical question. You immediately:
A. Interrupt him with a long and pointless tale about how you used one just like it as a SEAL sniper in Vietnam.

B. Inform him that those guns are junk and got all your buddies killed when you were a Marine sniper in Vietnam.

C. Keep talking to Cletus the Assistant Manager about that used bass boat you bought.

If Breda fails this test, she's just what the gun industry needs! Go, Breda!


Tarb said...

So Tam, how is your bass boat going?

The Jack said...

Yes, tell us more.

Is it one of those newfangled fiberglass hulls or the classic aluminum?

At least the fishing stories have a lower BS quotiont.

WV Billym. The guy you bought the boat from.

Marja said...

Is 'keep talking on the phone' an acceptable answer? Seems to be the preferred tactic of the guy who sells stuff in the local hunting goods store (been there a couple of times to look at bows - I like shooting at targets, but a gun is a bit expensive thing to buy solely for that, and since I live in Finland...).

Anonymous said...

My answers:

1. Ask what her husband sent her in to buy.

2. Proclaim that the Blastomatic 2000 is a piece of junk that "jams" and instead get the lil' woman a .25 and then sit on your stool and tell her "no" until she leaves in frustration, then mock her when she is gone.

3. Proclaim that the Remchester is "highly ackawrit" and it was the best gun you ever owned. Demonstrate your skills with the Remchester and manipulate the bolt with the stock at belt level while sticking your tongue out the side of your mouth.

I await my grade. I know I'll ace this test!

Shootin' Buddy

DirtCrashr said...

How is it possible to even fail such a test as this? ;-)
A. Run! It's the professionally dressed process-server!
B. Not in this state you can't.
C. Salient-factoid #1. The beer cooler on the bass boat is bigger than the boat itself.

I need a job, even part-time behind a gun-counter.

Murphy's Law said...

If it were the local shop here that I used to frequent, you would try to sell that young woman TWO .357 J-frames for her first handgun, and two cases of .357 ammunition. Then when she shoots them and decides with tears in her eyes that guns aren't for her, you buy them back at about half of what she'd just paid you for them.

Anonymous said...

ok, i gots to ask....
what f'd up world are you guys coming from?
are there really gun stores this backwards and stupid outside of california...?

Anonymous said...

"you would try to sell that young woman TWO .357 J-frames for her first handgun"

Very old but classic gun store trick. Gun bloggers, despite their free market leanings, always wonder why gun stores recommend snubnose .38s when the clerks no darn well that a J frame is an expert's gun--the profit motive.

I always get mad when I see gun stores doing that grift. Usually mad at myself for not saying something.

I'm currently kicking myself as I saw this grift being run at a well-known store in DFW, but it was a 12 gauge with deer slugs, and I didn't say anything. However, I was a damn Yankee and wasn't looking to start a fight . . . in a gun store.

"are there really gun stores this backwards and stupid outside of california...?"

You must be new to guns. Welcome to the gun culture.

Open the phone book, close your eyes, let your finger pick one at random and go to that gun store and report the multiple occasions of the incidents that we have described here. Extra points for every time you hear "little lady".

Shootin' Buddy

Bubblehead Les. said...

Anon 1:49 pm: A lot more than you think. There is no I.Q test required to set up and operate a Gun Store. You see, all you need (once you got the Lottery Winnings from the Wife's Office Pool) is to get your Cousin Justin Case Cletus to handle the legal paperwork, and your other Cousin Sheriff Buford T. Cletus to clear things on the Law Enforcement end with your Uncle Judge Roy Bean Cletus. Once the Batfeieio clears the Welding job of the Grill your Cousin Junior Bohnam Cletus, Junior did on the Windows and approves the Gun Safe you bought on Consignment from your buddy at the Gun Show, well, call the Distributer and have them ship a Dozen Judges, 25 High Points and 50 cases of Hornafeds new Critical Expansion Ranger Holler Pointy Headed Ammo, and as the Brits say .."Billy Bob's Your Uncle!"

Actually, there IS a gun store that recently opened within a hour's drive of my house that pretty much followed that path. I knew the guy who did it from the Gun Show circuit, and trust me, this kid couldn't hook up a trolling motor to a Bass Boat if his life depended on it. But he's got his FFL and a Store and his 'Nam Vet Uncle behind the counter most days...

Sport Pilot said...

I'd say you hit that one right out of the ballpark Tam,you are a very savy lady.

Anonymous said...

When you get a customer who asks for those bullets with that thing that stick in the bone, you know those bone sticking bullets.

A. Hand him a box of HydroShocks

B. Say they are crap. When I was a D-Boy we only used S&B ammo. All operators use S&B.

C Keep talking to Cletus about the used bassboat.


Yes someone did asked me for bone sticking bullets

Charlie Foxtrot said...

Not surprisingly, the answer is education. Specifically, the NRA's Women on Target or First Shots courses.

And never, please gawd, believe anything you hear in a gunstore. ;^)'

og said...

I've never sold guns professionally, but I've installed, programmed, and repaired machinery in all of the major and several of the minor manufacturers of firearms in the US, can I get a triangle patch for my 5.11 vest?

wv: Himina. Himina..himina... POW! right to the MOON!

Joe in PNG said...

Ha- #3 is a trick question. The answer is:
D- Inform him him that the caliber is insufficent, and steer him to the brand new Remchester in that new .29784002 WRSSSOMGMXTBBQ Super Kewl Extra SuperShort Magnum that arrived just this morning.
Make sure to use the phrase "flat shooting" at least three times.

Anonymous said...

"are there really gun stores this backwards and stupid outside of california...?"

You must be new to guns. Welcome to the gun culture.

Open the phone book, close your eyes, let your finger pick one at random and go to that gun store and report the multiple occasions of the incidents that we have described here. Extra points for every time you hear "little lady".

well, now...
the reason i'm askin' here is, in
40+ years of being part of the 'gun culture' i have never encountered any billy bob joe rufus f'wittus III types like you describe who could get an FFL and hang on to it for more than a week without doing something to come to grief...
the most uncultured clod i ever met in my many years behind the counter (or in front of it) was a professional salesman who came to work for a discount store...
the idiots don't seem to last to long here in kali...
too much oversight and PC, and bad manners/stupidity doesn't keep the doors open...

Anonymous said...

Have not been in a gun shop in California since the '80s. I'd bet a new Les Baer that I can walk into any gun shop in California and I'd hear the same grifting and con jobs as I do in the other 49.

The major exception would be that in California they would be discussing flower arranging or antiquing instead of bass boats.

Shootin' Buddy

DirtCrashr said...

I've never seen a bass-boat in a gun shop or heard talk of them, but the gun shops I'm familiar with here in CA mostly have Big-Three mounts from Africa all around, Buffalo, lion, antelope, etc. next to the stand-up Grizz. We still make a lot of guns here, and the hunter-type shops still in business around sell a bunch of high-grade stuff and outfit guys heading overseas.
I never got into guns because they always seemed so damn expensive, and didn't realize until later that there were more gun-brands besides Weatherby. Now those Eastern rascals at S&W are selling in-state four different types of AR M&P15's with the "bullet-button" ALREADY installed, so the days of gray-market lowers and build-yourself rifles are fading already. You should be at the range some day when the "Atherton Militia" shows up in a blacked-out armored Mercedes 600-series stretch and the 6' tall blond 2nd (3rd?) wife fitness/trainer/model steps out in skin-tight cammo with Little Jimmy and Suzie in matching cammo (and game faces ON) in tow, and opens the trunk to pull out more kinds of exotic federal-grade HK stuff and unobtanium that small countries don't yet own and can't afford. Or Vera Koo shows up to do a little quality family-time training. HK my hates-us because we suck, but they lurves them some investment bankers who handle the accounts, even if they're Democrats.

Anonymous said...

We're pretty fortunate here in Sacramento to only have one Billy Bob Cletus gun store. Then again, with all the other crap we have to deal with, it isn't much of a deal.


Anonymous said...

WTF! Is Western PA the only place you can find "Tackdriving" rifles, pistols and yes, Shotguns?
Anything more expensive than a Hipower is invariably described as having tack-driving accuracy, especially the old, rusty, shot-out war surplus Russians and Krauts.

OldTexan said...

I have walked out of several gun stores with cash in my pocket because I was treated like crap. I wasn't one of the regulars and they either talked down to me or ignored me and kept talking to their buddies behind the counter after thrown a gun out for me to look at.

Since I worked in stores and sold and worked on guns in high school and during college I had an idea how a gun buyer man or woman should be treated and there are a lot of places that treat folks like crap.

Owning four Beretta shotguns, after being given the cold shoulder when I went in to pick up a repaired Beretta at the Beretta Store in Dallas, I walked out with my gun and with my mental engine light running on red and my brain boiling over.

It isn't just the mom and pop good old boys that treat folks like crap. I average about two gun purchases a year and the places I spend my money have to be just a little nice to me to keep my business.

And I sure don't like to see experts sell people stuff they don't want or need and I don't give a crap about war stories until I actually know and have a relationship with a person.

Guys who were super-secret, long-range recon, extra special forces sniper and talk about it in the first two minutes ain't for real and most of us know that.

I have been on skeet teams with some very fine women who were knowledgeable gun people and I have heard some of their stories about getting the 'little lady' treatment, women have money and brains and they like to buy guns.

So, gun sellers, be nice, listen to your customer, use your experience to make a sale that builds a relationship and you might make more sales.

Anonymous said...

They're all trick questions, Breda. The answers to 1, 2, and 3; rat out Cletus' useless ass and get him fired...any asst. manager worth his name tag would step in because he should know:

1. That well-dressed lady and her hubby in the car are prob'ly Bloomberg operatives setting you up for a strawman charge. He should be all over her with, "yes ma'am what can I do for YOU today, what are YOUR needs and preferences? I suggest reviewing and completing the required paperwork and placing a $50 deposit to start the handgun cool-off period and I can give you a voucher for free range time so you can try out several platforms and find out what suits YOU best."

2. And the Blasomatic 2000x fanboi? "No sir, we are a stocking dealer for the Bustomatic 5000 Plus which we believe is superior because -yadayadayada- but the 2000x is a fine weapon too, and if you prefer it, we can order one today if you'd like to review and complete the required paperwork and place a $50 deposit to begin the handgun cool-off period, so that when we receive your order you can take it home the same day! You say you saw it in the Shotgun News for $50 less? No problem, you can have that FFL ship it to us and we will handle the transfer for $50..."

3. And that used Winington? "Those have a great reliability record and everything appears functional and in good shape, however it is a used gun and I'd suggest you have your own adviser or gunsmith stop in with you to check it out, as used firearms are sold as-is. But, you are right, it's a great deal so I suggest you put down a $50 deposit so it doesn't get away until you get your guy in here...if he doesn't give the green light we'll gladly refund your deposit."

Please note that 1,2, and 3 all involve actively pursuing an actual transaction and money changing hands, because, you know, IT'S AN F'N RETAIL STORE AND CLETUS AND BREDA ARE SALESPEOPLE! They are NOT trainers/instructors, they are NOT familiar with every POS gun ever made, and they are sure as hell NOT gunsmiths.

Oh, and Breda should start campaigning for that Asst. Mgr. position immediately, armed as it were, with the knowledge that it is the CUSTOMER'S job to know or find out what he wants with guidance as requested, and that the CUSTOMER accepts responsibility and liability for HIS OWN CHOICES!

Oh, and always bonus points for the manager who recognizes a bloviating black kettle whenever he hears the terms "grifter
" and that dirty "profit motive" thingie, and jacks up the price by $50. And if that costs a sale, it probably saved a headache.

Welcome to retail,'s the same as any other retail with a few important legalities added, and for the most part more fun than say, working the front desk down at the homeless shelter...I mean liberry. Just know your product and your pricepoints, give pleasant service, and let the customer be the expert if he insists.

But ALWAYS try to create a transaction, or take a deposit, or at least loan a catalog that has to be returned to you later...MAKE A SALE!

Because if you don't, and none of that nasty "profit" flows, you'll be hard on Cletus' heels out the door.


Tam said...

Gosh, AT, thanks for that. I've never worked in a goddam gun store before, but if I had, I wouldn't have lost my fucking sense of humor.

og said...

"but if I had, I wouldn't have lost my fucking sense of humor."

roflmao. It takes something to get you to F-bomb, but it's worth it when you do.

loren said...

While awaiting the paperwork getting done in order to buy a few boxes of trap loads in the one and only gun store here in OZ (city pop. 1.5 mil), I overheard the lady next to me having a conservation with the expert behind the counter. She had a bullet shaving problem on a Ruger 22 mag.and wanted the "forcing Cone" reamed out. Guess they figured the bullet would circle the drain before going down the pipe. Not being able to resist, I mentioned I had the same problem with the same gun and suggest the cases were not seated all the way in the cylinder and a little cleaning would solve the problem.
She being the expert, after firing a partial box, didn't want a second opinion. Go girl!

Anonymous said...

"...I wouldn't have lost my fucking sense of humor."

You might if you owned one.

But I've got mine back now because I don't do that shit any more, and I actually thought my little ramble was quite humorous. :)

Depends on your angle, I guess.


Robin said...

Question: If someone tells you that they own a Spanish Star in 9mm Largo, do you:

A) Hand them a box of .38 Super and say that its close enough.

B) Hand them a box of 9x19 and say that its close enough.

C) Keep talking to Cletus the Asst Manager.

Breda said...

When in doubt, pick C.

Anonymous said...

Life would only suck more if my last name was Hyman.

- Cletis

Anonymous said...

"You might if you owned one."

"Goddam gun store", that is.

As for humor, your superlative and (almost) unfailing sense of it is why I hang around. AT

Kristopher said...


Then why do you hang around here?

Start your own blog, and show us all how it is done.

Tam said...


Hey, I'm human, too. ;)

Anonymous said...

Understood, Tam...that was kind of my point about the view from behind the counter, too. :)

Kristopher, dude get a sense of irony will ya? Or go quote yourself, again.


Anonymous said...

1) speaking as a person who works retail for a living (shoes, nothing to do with guns)--I've always seen my job as helping the customer to spend his/her money. And preferably, to keep coming back to spend that money with us.

"Say "What you need here, li'l lady, is this here pink .38 with the pearl grips and gold trim. Ain't it purty?""

Purely tangential--but on the drive home today from work the radio DJ was reciting a news item about a woman who successfully ventilated a would be home invader--IIRC, two to the chest, one to the head, and one to the knee--with a pink pistol. DJ's closing comment: wouldn't you hate to be the guy terminated with a pink gun?


Will said...

which range would that be?

The number of shops with counter guys that would be sure to drive away new shooters/females far outnumbered good ones, judging by the observations I made on a cross-country trip back in '99. I was astounded by what I heard as I visited as many shops as I could find. I spent about a month driving East to West, and concluded that their own management was the worst business threat a gun store faced.

Various encounters over the years leads me to believe nothing much has changed, in stores and ranges, in that regard. As Pogo said: "we has met the enemy, and he is us".

Gewehr98 said...

Wouldn't that actually be 1 1/2 out of 3 legs on the Triangle of Death, since Breda is one of them there cyborgs? :-)

Roberta X said...

No, she's from around Cleveland. Cyberg is way farther East.

dr mac said...

Elect Breda to Congress and completer the Triangle.

DirtCrashr said...

The Los Altos Rod and Gun Club range up on Hwy 35., from which you can see the Pacific ocean! It's purty up there. :-) It might have been the "Los Gatos Militia" given the proximity.
We have a new store for which I'm grateful, but the old, hunter-based ones can be awful early Zumbo, or so damn Copariffic they need their shoelaces loosened to breathe right.

zeeke42 said...

There's a reason that I buy everything without a serial number online and guns/receivers come to a FFL with an 8x8 shop 95% of whose business is doing transfers.

Will said...

Ah, the Los Altos range. Wish I had bought a share back in the late 80's when it was around $1300.
At least the RO's have improved some. The old group thought nothing of voicing threats of physical mayhem if they felt slighted. (Always thought someone had to be pretty stupid to make threats to people with guns handy.)
They were good at driving future customer business away. Part of the problem is they can't turn a profit, so no incentive to provide good customer service.

Spent many a weekend riding a Norton or Guzzi on Skyline(35) and the surrounding roads. Oh, and my sister's RD350. Used to think I was pretty fast. Until I took my racing onto the track, and found out just how slow we were on the road. BIG difference.

Ian Argent said...

File off the serial numbers and apply a new coat of paint, and that's a questionnaire for employment at any niche-hobby store. Tabletop gaming, embroidery, model railroad - the differences are mainly in the expensive hobby-related object Cletus/Cleta is currently wasting his/her store profits on, and the misinformation handed out to non-demographically-conforming customers.

(There's less 'Nam stories outside of gunstores, but some of the TINS you get in RPG hobby stores are scary - both in and out of character).

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Makes me wonder about my guidance and if I'd ever steered anyone wrong.

Suppose I've got too much of a conscience to be a *really* successful salesman. Didn't even really consider myself one at the shop, figured more on 'consultant' but I was more than happy to sell you what you actually needed.

And I turned more than a few folks away with their cash intact. Ah well. Not in the game anymore, very happy devoting every moment of my 'work time' to playing internet cop.