Most people in Lancashire know that antique balloon backed dining chairs and cigarette smoke don’t mix, but one job applicant was enraged when, after stubbing her cigarette out on the doorstep of antiques TV expert David Harper, she was told that the post advertised in the window was for non-smokers only.
David Harper is familiar from his appearances on TV shows like Bargain Hunt, Antiques Road Trip and Cash in the Attic. For the past 15 years he has also run a successful antique brokerage and valuation business from Grade II-listed premises in County Durham.
Recently, Harper placed a hand-written card in his window, asking for a part-time assistant to perform cleaning and washing-up duties in both the antiques and newly-opened café areas. He made no secret of the fact that the applicant should be fit enough to run up and down four flights of stairs on a frequent basis – or that it was essential they were a non-smoker. Therefore, when a cigarette-smoking woman read the card, then came inside, Harper thought it was on behalf of somebody else. He said:
“She stubbed [the cigarette] out on the floor and came in to inquire about the job vacancy.
“I told her what it entailed and when I said we didn’t want a smoker, she accused me of discriminating against smokers, stormed out and slammed the door.”
Many antique desks and Victorian dining chairs in Lancashire show signs of their previous owners’ smoking habits, but antique dealers go to great lengths to ensure no further damage is done in the present day.
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