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[spacer height=”10px”]Everybody loves mystery shopping, so why wouldn’t the world’s most famous “Consulting Detective” like to indulge in the occasional mystery visit once in a while? Lately a team of Oxford scholars have done research into the private life of Sherlock Holmes and discovered that he’s one of the most avid evaluators we work with. And, unsurprisingly, also one of the very best. What would Sherlock’s comments look like after visiting an apparel store in Baker Street, for instance?

[spacer height=”10px”]“When Watson and I entered the store we weren’t immediately greeted, even though there were at least three salespersons present. Two of them were sorting clothes and I noticed at once how they had been having words earlier today, as they were never really looking each other straight in the eye, avoiding as much contact as would professionally be allowed. They couldn’t have fallen out on the work floor, as the third salesperson, a redhead, seemed to be in a sincerely good mood. So either they are carpooling or they live together, but not as a couple. As for the former I could see that even at his still rather young age he was already disappointed in what life had had in store for him, resigned to the downward trajectory in both career and private life. I also sensed that his uncle, who was a stockbroker’s clerk, had died from an unsurprising coronary attack recently.

[spacer height=”10px”]The client who was helped out by the third salesperson would have rather been helped by a different salesperson, as she was manipulating the shopping bag of a different store in mild frustration. I think it must be a cocktail of the exaggerated cheerfulness of the salesperson combined with his, admittedly, rather annoying high-pitched voice.

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As soon as she had left, the red-headed salesperson expediently approached and greeted us in an extremely happy and friendly manner. He was wearing a very clean uniform despite the fact that his unkempt fingernails betrayed a below average standard of personal hygiene. I noticed, on the upper surface of the tip of each finger, very small pieces of clay had collected, which lead me to deduce that he was a sculptor of sorts in his free time. It is without a doubt his preferred hobby as it was exactly the type of expensive quality clay that is used by sculptors, rather than the common putty of children’s playthings. I can remember the distinct texture of the clay now.

[spacer height=”10px”]He asked us what kind of apparel we were looking for and I congratulated him with his birthday and asked him if last night’s party had been nice. He seemed to be slightly taken aback by the fact that I knew about this but he tried not to let on that there was anything unusual, which was the correct attitude, because there really wasn’t anything surprising about it. Anyone could see that the silver blazer he was wearing was brand new and smelled of a newly received perfume, which also explains the faint stain I could clearly distinguish. It was simplicity itself. The second stain was left by a type of chocolate cake that people only sell on the occasion of a birthday. I do believe they call them birthday cakes.

[spacer height=”10px”]The salesperson began offering me some types of jeans, and I was a bit astonished that he hadn’t immediately noticed that I was in want of a dark pair of jeans, of a speckled brand. Nonetheless, he found the perfect pair of trousers for me, which I immediately tried on in the fitting room. There was no one else present at that time, but there must have been, undoubtedly, a 43 year old recently divorced woman right before me, about 16 and a half minutes earlier. Come to think of it, we must have crossed her on the way to the store. I clearly remember her now. She had a twisted lip and she didn’t look very pleased either. Earlier, when I quickly observed her when passing by, I thought she was annoyed by something someone had said a few minutes earlier, but now it was by then obvious that she most dissatisfied with her purchase and was seriously considering going back to the store and making use of the return policy – a conclusion which was most elementary.

[spacer height=”10px”]I was readily assisted by the salesperson and both Watson and I quite convincingly felt like illustrious clients. I would gladly return to this store, and so would Watson, who seemed to be really interested in a dark blue sweater he had found in the store.”

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Author: Gert
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Gert’ specialties are any coffee-related projects as well as reports in Dutch, French and English. In his free time he writes novels, plays and poems, and performs spoken word all over Flanders and the Netherlands. He also loves travelling, listening to music and going to concerts. He has a Master in Applied Linguistics and one in Modern Literature.


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