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|Occupation||Cosmetics sales director|
|First appearance||11th January 1971|
|Last appearance||13th January 1971|
|Number of appearances||2|
|Played by||Barbara Mitchell|
Dawn Painter was the North West divisional director of Charm Cosmetics. She had begun her career selling from door-to-door and had risen successfully through the ranks. Elsie Howard had worked for the company since September 1970, supervising a patch of saleswomen and in the following February Mrs Painter summoned her to her Manchester office for a chat. Chain smoking and speaking in something of a drawling supercilious tone, she told Elsie that she had been going through her returns for December and one woman, Mavis Sidlow, had not sold anything. Elsie replied that she had been to her house four times but was unable to get a reply. Mrs Painter ordered her to get on top of matters and find out what was wrong.
Elsie asked Mrs Sidlow to come to 11 Coronation Street where she told her that she had not been feeling too well and her widowed mother who lived just outside of Liverpool had also been ill. She had then had her own breakdown after her husband left her six weeks before. She asked for a couple of weeks to sort herself out and a sympathetic Elsie agreed.
Mrs Painter cared less Mavis's problems, saying that Head Office didn’t supply time and Mrs Sidlow wanted two weeks. She was short with Elsie who was late because the traffic in Manchester's Market Street was bad and curtly showed her out of the office as she had a meeting with the executives, telling her she would just have to come back later. When the meeting reconvened, she showed Elsie her figures for the beginning of the year which showed a poor start. Elsie tried to say how difficult selling cosmetics post-Christmas was and Mrs Painter said she knew as she’d done it herself and been successful. She also told her to keep an eye on Doreen Lindsey, a new person, and go on a round with her. Elsie wanted to do the same with Mavis but Painter refused as she felt she should know the job by now. Elsie accused her of pressure selling and Painter replied that Elsie must have done the same previously at Miami Modes. She grew tired of talking about Mavis's problems and told Elsie to sack her immediately. When she promptly refused, Elsie was herself fired.
Later on that day, Elsie was furious to find that Mavis's story was a near-fiction and she threw her out of the house with a threat of violence if she didn't go.