I was once present at an auction of a former university. There were more than one auctioneer, and they were working in separate rooms (otherwise the noise would be horrendous!). Each room had dozens, if not hundreds, of items to be auctioned, so they were moving slowly from room to room. Their clerks could tell you where the auctioneers were at any given moment, and where each team would head next, so you could go for a break,
I bought some yarn for a rug today, and I think this SS might have thought I was the one being SS. A lady was standing kind of close, so I asked her if I was in her way. She said no, so I continued to stand where I was as I decided what colors I wanted. I took the last skein of one particular color, and as I was walking away I heard her grumble, "Of course, she would take the last one..."Right. That's what reasonable people do. I looked at a piece of hand-dyed fabric at a quilt show once, went off to think about it, and when I went back it was gone. An SS would have thrown a fit that SHE wanted that fabric and they should have known it and saved it for her. I just scolded myself for snoozing and losing.
Well, how was I supposed to know she wanted that particular color? I had asked if she needed me to move, and she said no. If she'd said, "Excuse me," and taken the skein before I thought to take it myself, I wouldn't have cared. I would have just picked a different one.
One of the items up for sale was a loom. It was disassembled. Several other weavers and I went to the room it was in, as the auction team was approaching, to examine it and decide about bidding. I looked it over, and concluded that since I wasn't sure all the parts were there, and it wasn't a 'famous maker' brand, there was too much of a risk that I'd end up with missing parts that I couldn't buy replacements for. I told the other weavers that I'd decided not to bid for that reason. A couple agreed with me, and one gave me a Mona Lisa smile. I figured more power to her, if she knew how to get that loom into proper weaving condition, so to show that I wasn't just trying to game her, I walked off before the auction team got there.
At least a half-hour later, I was in line to pay for the auctions I'd won, and a woman came racing up. They had to void the sale on the loom! She'd left and they sold it while she wasn't looking! She'd promised her granddaughter that she'd buy that loom for her! The auction clerks told her that once the gavel falls, the sales are final, and the buyer had already paid for it, so there was no chance that she wouldn't pick it up and they'd re-sell it as abandoned. The SS Grandmother continued to shout, as the rest of us in the lines started to snicker.
Seriously, who doesn't know that you have to be there when the item you want is being sold?
Some extremely SS behavior I've seen at auctions/conventions over the years:
- My MIL went to a quilting convention with her quilters group. There's a silent auction and one of the women in her group (known for other SS behaviors) sees an item that she wants, puts a bid on the sheet and then hovers (literally hunching her body over the bid sheet) over it so other people can't bid. When people try to put a bid down, she barks that this item IS HERS and she doesn't want to pay any more than what she has already bid, so they just need to back off. Her behavior became scuttlebutt at the convention. My MIL was mortified.
- A woman at a standard auction who glared at anyone who bid on an item she was interested in, and mutter insults under her breath. When a woman outbid her for a beautiful big Christmas wreath, the glaring woman approached her at the collection table and said, "I hope you're happy with the wreath you STOLE from me."
- A woman at a convention who went from vendor table to table begging for items for free, because she had six kids at home, scrimped and saved so she could come to the convention, and spent all of her money on travel expenses so she couldn't afford to buy books and novelties.
-A woman at a comic convention who got upset when a guy bought some sort of superhero figurine that her 12-13 year old son wanted. And screamed that comic books are for CHILDREN not adults, and what was wrong with this man to go around stealing toys from children? She was eventually kicked out of the convention.
- A different woman at the same convention who from vendor table to table begging for free items because she was going to auction them off for such and such worthy cause. And when people declined to donate, she pitched a fit, "Don't you CARE about WORTHY CAUSE?" embarrassing the vendors until they donated. And when the convention organizers objected and asked her to stop, she pitched an even bigger fit.