There were a lot of things I loved about working in a bicycle shop. I was constantly surrounded by bikes, parts and tools, for instance. I got to see new products before the civilians did. I got a sweet discount on bikes and parts.
My favorite thing, though, was dealing with customers. I particularly like the customers who made it possible for me to be the "knight in shining armor". They had a problem, and no idea how to fix it. They came to us for help. Then...Jon to the rescue!
And, I liked the customers who joked around and/or were flirty. I'm a fairly gregarious person, and I thought of the shop as my clubhouse, and everyone who came through as my fellow members.
Occasionally, though, some of the other members weren't as fond of me as I was of them.
One day, a lady came in asking about bike fit, clipless pedals, cleat adjustments and gearing choices. As I answered her questions, it seemed that she had done everything right, on the first try. Her bike was a good fit, the seat was at the right height, her pedal cleats were installed on her shoes correctly, etc.
Finally, after looking her equipment over and answering all of her questions, I asked her a question.
"Why are we checking all of this?" I queried. "Are you having some kind of problem with the bike?"
"Well," she said, "I have been having pain in my left knee, and I was trying to figure out what is causing it."
"Maybe," I said, with what I though was a sly grin on my face (many people, however, apparently consider this to be "smirking"), "Maybe it's orthopedic."
I was prepared for a laugh, maybe a playful punch on the arm.
"I am not that old!" she said, rather loudly, as she started gathering her stuff up. Ten seconds later, she was gone.
Not the reaction I was expecting, obviously.
Oh, well. Lesson learned: Make no age-related jokes about customers. At least...not where they can hear you.