• Member Since 4th May, 2013
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On the Sliding Scale Of Cynicism Vs. Idealism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon, Ko-Fi.)


There are a thousand reasons for not making a purchase at the Carousel Boutique. Some of them are legitimate. Many are excuses. The majority are lies. Falsehoods which Rarity has been listening to for years now, without the slightest touch of variety in the performances. Lies which, during the first week of Ponyville's summer tourist season. have escalated to the point where it feels like they're the only words being said at all.

So if nopony is going to buy anything no matter what Rarity does -- why not call them out on a few? Surely that couldn't do any harm, at least not more than what's already been done?


(A stand-alone, no prior-reading-necessary part of the Triptych Continuum, which has its own TVTropes page (with new Recap section) and FIMFiction group: new members and trope edits are welcome. )

Now with author Patreon page.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 166 )

That was fast. Didn't you just announce you were going to write this yesterday or this morning? :rainbowhuh:

several years, and i believe the vast majority of it will make you laugh.

hopefully you can see what's wrong:raritywink:

Nicely done not every sales person knows but a few do.

I don't know how to feel. My inner CSR is crying in vindication.

Eh, looks like a cute story. I'll put it on my Read-It-Later list...

crap does estee remember where i live maybe i shouldnt post thi

...freedom of speech included the freedom to take the consequences from those words.

Yes. Seems even ponies sometimes fail to consider that.

Also, enrapturing writing, as ever. It's so fulfilling but also very... rich.

I actually have difficulty reading too much of your writing in one sitting. It leaves my mind feeling... gorged, I suppose.
Undeniably satisfied, but stuffed.
Thank you for sharing.


The blog post where I said I was going to start on this one (and had just created the story page, plus short and long descriptions) has a time stamp. Overall, with interruptions and never-quite-final edits factored in, composition took something over six hours. But I've been subconsciously & actively considering the base idea since last Sunday, so it wasn't exactly completely spontaneous.




Possibly one of the best arguments for ignorance being bliss.


So -- ever say it, for your local value of "it"?

And if so, did your employment survive the experience?


Had to run? :pinkiecrazy:


...freedom of speech included the freedom to take the consequences from those words.

Yes. Seems even ponies sometimes fail to consider that.

Along with just about every news article comments section known to Internet.

There was a large amount of satisfaction in this.

Also, cat-based anti-non-customer defense systems should be more common.

So she's joining the sisterhood of venting when it's safe. Good to know.

(and that reminded her: she needed to renew the Canterlot Shopper Review Quarterly before any chance of missing an issue arose)

As the helpful little letter had reminded her, she only had a dozen issues left in her subscription.
(Okay, Rarity's smarter than that, but I couldn't resist going for the low-hanging fruit.)

The problem when your species still has a strong herd mentality lurking in the backs of their brains is that quite a few of them are blind followers. Anything that hasn't been tried and tested by at least a dozen others registers as far too risky, especially when it clashes with preconceptions of where it was found. The opposite of this principal explains how Barneigh's stays in business. (And humans don't even have the behavioral evolution excuse...)

Only those with something to fear would experience it.

The innocent have nothing to fear? If acting like Flitter wasn't a warning sign, that surely was.

Soon after I hit the reveal, I realized I was skimming. It hurt too much to watch Rarity's realization in full detail, and I mean that in the best way possible. Still, I made sure to go back and take in every word.

In all, a great statement about the nature of both retail work and art, and why Rarity is the Bearer of neither Honesty nor Laughter. Knowing when not to use something is an essential part of mastering it. Also, it's nice to know that there's at least some small part of Equestrian journalism that isn't irredeemably horrible.

And that ending was fantastic. After all, it's practically a cat's job to do what people only wish they could. Thank you for this, Estee.

eh, I didn't like the twist at the end. There's plenty of times when only one person who enters a store is looking for what that store sells

Rarity was in beautiful form - and wow, did she hang on to that denial to the nearly bitter end. I was tense for her all the way through, but this was fun. Excellent work.

It's like watching the career suicide of Phil Fish from the other side. :twilightoops:

I swear I've read parts of this before, like the "death words," I knew word for word, but other parts I don't recognize at all. The concept itself is also something I'm sure I've read. Am I just crazy?

>>she screamed and ranted at a prince in the middle f the Grand Galloping Gala and it didn't hurt her

:twistnerd: This doesn't look like a fire sale

:duck: I can guarantee it is

:twistnerd: yeah right

:raritywink: Spikey show her some hot deals

:moustache: as you wish my lady

6415652 the death words have been in other Estee stories

Customers are the worst. Do all your shopping online.

Okay, so I used to work in retail, but escaped. Unfortunately, I still need to deal with clients at my tech job so I have stories.

Anyway, cool story bro time:
This happened to me recently.
Our clients all seem to be in a rush to upgrade to Windows 10 for whatever reasons. We've warned them repeatedly to backup their databases before they upgrade in case something bad happens.

Got a guy who corrupted his database, can't be repaired. Completely hHosed. His backup is roughly 48 hours old. Not bad. Totally usable.
But apparently that is not good enough. He insists we repair the one already there. Not happening as I explain. Argument ensues. He is not taking no for an answer.

So I asked him politely if he had a Delorean I could borrow.

At that point, my boss took over.

"And you're acting like Flitter."

Ooo, them's fighting words...


I recall seeing the "death words" in another fic as well.

At any rate, that was a really great read, very well thought out, and a great theme.

I quite loved the final punchline.

Rarity imagined how many ponies would be making her smile tomorrow, and it was a warming thought.

This line... was so unsettling. It really forshadowed what was to come.

This was quite the interesting story to read. It started off giving contextual information, and setting the general idea. Then it had me laughing as Rarity absolutely tore into that first mare. And I kept laughing at the subsequent victims, until Pinkie entered the scene. That was such a quietly intense watershed moment, and it felt so real. Even the fact that Rarity kept arguing with her fit into the scene well, and transitioned into the next act as her arguments carried over internally. And the pit that grew in my stomach as I watched Rarity dig her own grave was so starkly in contrast with the amusement from just a minute before... That tonal shift is really clear.

I personally found this to be a really haunting and thoughtful story that anyone in retail or creative production can relate to. The characters felt real, the vocabulary and writing were great, and the way you controlled the mood made everything even more impactful. My only real nitpick is that the ending scene with Thirtee felt a bit odd, like it came and went a bit too fast compared to the rest of the story's slower pace. Overall, though, this is certainly a story I won't be forgetting anytime soon. ^-^ Wonderful work!

Except in some cases it wouldn't have mattered, one can speak the truth, one can toe the line, but if someone decides they want to slander you and your business it wouldn't have mattered if she held her tongue one bit.

One can be the friendliest, one can be as submissive as possible, and still discover that they chose to badmouth their establishment.

All this shows is that there's a chance for the other way instead.

I reviewed this story!

My review can be found here.

Thank you, after the day I just had, I needed to read this. Great story.

¡Bravo! ¡I wish I could do this to my customers!

Found it a pretty good read, gave it a thumb's up! Hoof's up? Good stuff.:rainbowdetermined2:

This deserves all of the awards.

I never worked in retail or anything , but it is close enough of actual accounts of friends who did to see how true this is.
In a weird sort of way , it makes me both question the validity of how I treat every person working these job , and how my own familly treat them sometimes. My mother tend to be the person pestering everyone if they are not fast enough for her , while my sister is the kind of person who doesn't buy anything but will criticize or complain if anything in the shop is not to her convenience (like , where the counter is situated) ... The worst of it being that when I call them out of it , I am the one in the wrong because "the customer is always right" and it apparently include the right to be insufferable.
My private policy as a customer is to always be frank as to why I didn't buy anything (and why I am there in the first place) , or to be silent if it would be too rude to say (For those case when someone try to scam me) . I will complain if my order is damaged or late sure , but I try to be patient enough (and don't call ten times...). (Unlike my mother who once pestered me to call for the guy when he was 3 min late on his scheduled return...).
I don't know if my conduct is the right one or not , but that's how I do things. :twilightsheepish:

Also , Rarity might want to thanks Ricci , because she just basically saved her life by being a decent young mare with enough brain to try to understand the matter.

All of my Win to you sire!

Kind of disappointing as it ends with a lesson that puts Rarity right back where it started....

A slave to the dreadful, horrible myth of "The customer is always right." Even when they're clearly NOT right. Or not even really customers.

I can feel where her head-space is, though. I think deep down she was perfectly aware from customer #1 that she had probably just committed career suicide.... and that it was already too late to stop, so she might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb, as the saying goes.

(Speaking personally, I am a freelance cartoonist and illustrator, and I've had to deal with intractible individuals before--- and let my temper get the better of me. My experience is that regret is almost instantaneous. My reaction after unloading both barrels is, invariably, to quietly go off to curl up in a ball and hyperventilate in hysterics. Sort of what's missing from Rarity's initial reaction to her own audacity, there. What makes it worse is that apologizing or trying to mend fences makes you feel like an even bigger douche than the actual outburst.... like a weasel trying to save your meal ticket. You're a weasel if you let them walk all over you, you're a wretch if you unload on them like they probably really deserve, and you're a weasel if you apologize afterword. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.)

The irony? The frustrating real life irony? In creative fields, in the upper echelons, you get these types who do this kind of stuff, and it only makes them more famous and popular. Chef Gordon Ramsay, for instance. Simon Cowell, from American Idol. The entire cast of Jersey Shore... they transformed douchebaggery into a career path. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. Drama queen artists, musicians, writers, performers--- People who seem to only get BIGGER the worse they behave, even to their fans and their customer base.

6416001 Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

That was an amazing little story, very thought-provoking, a blast to read, and packed with food for thought.

It also turned out to be the third panel of the mini-shoot.

Aaand there's the reference to a triptych
Or am I reading too much into this?

I can't say that this matches with my general experience. Generally when I describe something as cute or adorable, I am about one minute away from buying it. Also, I like it when sales folk have a little bit of sass, but that might just be me.

This was brilliant. Excellent writing. :twilightsmile:

Absolutely wonderful.

Sometimes, Rarity's a special kind of scary, you know?

Many years ago, I used to be a chef in a casino in California. (Pechanga Casino, if any have heard of it). As a chef, I knew the best I could usually expect from a customer is that they wouldn't complain. No matter how much care I put into creating a meal, I rarely got a compliment, and that was just fine.

One day an older gentleman came in and ordered breakfast. It was nothing too elaborate, just a standard meal. He sent it back untouched. When I asked the waitress what was wrong, she replied, "he said he didn't like it." Okay. So I made him another meal. He did it again. That when I got angry.

I made him a third meal, and then walked out into the dining area with it, and told the waitress to point him out. There he was, wearing an oversize 'Uncle Sam' hat and generally doing everything he could around the poker table to draw attention to himself. I walked out with his meal in tow, and stood over him. He slowly looked up, and before he could say anything I placed the meal in front of him. Then I spoke.

"Is this meal satisfactory for you, sir?"

He blinked at me, then looked down at the plate. He must have read my expression for he quickly said, "Yes, yes it's fine!" Then he stuck out his hand and said, " I'm David."

I shook his hand, but I kept my eyes locked on his and said, "I'm Mark. Are you sure your meal is satisfactory? Maybe you should taste it first?"

"No, I can tell, it's good!"

I turned and left. I had no other problems with him. I could have gotten fired over that, but it felt good.

So yeah, I know.

For once a fic that really deserves to top the feature box and get read. I enjoyed it a lot. A few bits of the descriptions did verge on purple prose, but never crossing the line, which is very befitting of Rarity. I don't know what that bit about Flitter was, but it's probably a throwaway line to the larger continuity of your which I'm not familiar with. Didn't detract from the story, but didn't add to it either.

Well, according to sales logic, she has an exclusivity problem.

Simply tell these posers that they can't buy it unless they're a local. That will create a black market for fashion, making her dresses "valuable." I mean, if they weren't going to be customers for that price, or with that look...I guarantee that they'll buy it if they aren't allowed to have it! The fact that they were looking proves it.

Just run Derpy and Flitter as the middle-mares, and the whole shebang goes off without a hitch. Flitter needs the pocket change, anyways, and Derpy...well, if you want something delivered in a way that really stands out and makes an entrance, there's no better pony to depend on.

I know. Fuckin' hell, do I know.

Thank Celestia that people can't really window shop at a mechanics shop! If I know they're a not-customer, I give them a scary price right off the bat and they can either take it, or fuck off into the sunset. Usually if I'm handling them that way, it's the latter option. There are on rare occasions the not-customers that I treat like shit. But like any social interaction in life, you get what you give. If they're being an asshole (like walking into a dress shop and immediately and loudly denouncing the wares as cheap), they get treated like one. Mercifully, 90% of the liars are not (complete) assholes, and being rid of them is a simple and polite affair: Here's my price, there's the door. But I'm definitely with Rarity on this one, ponies people talking is not a lot to worry about. At least not when you're fairly established. My logic is just like her's, if a not-customer tells all their not-customer friends bad things, what do you lose? Nothing, really. Because if you're any good at what you do, the same does work in reverse: most actual customers will tell their maybe-customer friends about you. I'd say 80% of my regular customers come from recommendations and word of mouth.

And let's face it, if a snobby Canterlotian denounces your dress shop to all her snobby Canterlotian friends... well, odds are good that none of them were going to be customers, anyway.

Although they do say that a disgruntled customer will tell 10 people bad things about your business, while a happy customer will only tell one person good things about it. :unsuresweetie:

Probably one of the best/worst lies I've ever had:
Me: "Where did you buy this car, sir?"
Customer: "A private party." (Car has public auction sticker on window.)
Me: "Are you using this car for personal use?"
Customer: "Yes, just for me." (Car is littered with this man's livery company business cards.)

Have you ever been to http://notalwaysright.com ?:eeyup:

A truly nostalgic story, it reminds me of my days as a Sommelier. I once had a nasty little nouveau riche baboon try to tell me that you should drink red wine with fish. Wouldn't know a good chateau from cat's water (chat-eau). :pinkiehappy:

This was just fantastic. I'm not familiar with the continuity in which this story is placed, but the level of detail and intricate design makes me nothing less than dangerously curious! No lies; I am very happy to have clicked this story.

I'd like to attempt a reading of it, if you'd allow me the privilege. My voice-acting is sure to be dismal (perhaps I can get some old friends to help in that area), but I'd like to try all the same. If for no other reason than to read this again.

Needless to say, I relate to Rarity's plight. I work in retail as well - not as the creator, but merely the seller - and I've had to deal with my fair share of bullshit. Doubtless, I'll have to deal with even more as the days slog by. So reading this tale gave me a good deal of stress relief. Several times, in fact. Oh, if only I could express myself in the same way!

Once again, fantastic work. Display Case worthy, and a well-deserved 10/10 from me. (For what my opinion is worth, at any rate...) Thank you for sharing your work!

Well, for six hours writing (I don't ever count the random thoughts coming together before you start the writing) that was pretty good.


That was a hard read.
Not that it was poorly written, the writing was great it was just... too real.

I worry that "too real" might be a trite phrase, but to me it has the right feel; it's what you might say when, rather than having been touched by a story you've been punched by it.

When Pinkie tells Rarity to close the shop and Rarity just... keeps it open.

I've had my own brush with this myself, though I was both more and less lucky than Rarity here was.

I'm not familiar with more than the basics of Estee's universe, so I went looking for other things that might connect Rarity and Flitter.
Turns out they have the same voice actress... In Romanian.

...Somehow I don't think that's the reason for Flitter's mention.

A great introduction to Rarity month that the TV series, My Little Best Pony will be providing us for the rest of September :pinkiehappy:

Having worked in a clothing store for the past seven months, this story speaks to me on a level few can possibly fathom.

Started out cute (the death word!), became deep, ended as an educational slice of life. Came in having somehow misread the tags, expecting a comedy. Instead went on quite a ride.

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