Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

“What?” “What the hell is she talking about now?” was all I could think.

I looked up from the glass shelf I was cleaning. The manager of the store was suddenly jumping up from the stool she was sitting on behind the register. She briskly walked to the front of the little boutique I was working in and stared out into the parking lot through the glass where the mannequins were modeling our latest fashions for the season.

Yes. There were black people approaching the store.

There were 6 of them.

It was an entire herd of black people heading for our front door!

Two other employees looked up and then at each other. None of us knew why the manager was in such a tizzy. Granted, she was a lot older than us and moved a bit slower, but now she was acting as if she was Scarlet O’Hara and had just spotted Yankees on the front porch of Tara. I’d never seen her move so fast.

“What’s wrong?” I asked. She was wringing her hands as she watched them come closer and closer.

She started to say something and then stopped. I still wasn’t sure I had heard her right.

“We need to keep an eye on them!” she whispered as the door opened and in they walked.

Black people. Right in front of me. At Stanford Shopping Center where all the “right” people shopped, including but not limited to celebrities, the wives and children of famous Stanford professors (who were some of the biggest shoplifters I had ever seen) and people who were too rich to shop so sent in their assistants to lower themselves to actually talk to the help, such as myself.

I said hello and smiled at them. There were 3 men and 3 women. They were dressed impeccably. They all smiled and walked over and each of them shook my hand.

“What can I do for you?” I asked as the manager gave them a tight smile and walked over and stood guard over the jewelry case.

“For Gods sake, it’s locked!” I thought.

“We are all going on a trip and since the ladies here love this store, we thought we would stop in here first and see what you have. They all need new clothes for the trip, so here we are,” said one of the men. The other two men nodded and rolled their eyes at their wives. The ladies were already looking around, pulling the clothes off the rack and commenting.

“OK, fair enough. Tell you guys what; sit down, be quiet and we’ll take care of them,” I said and started laughing.

“That’s what we’re afraid of,” one of them said and grinned. They did as they were told and soon we were all running in and out of the dressing rooms with clothes. Some were kept, some were discarded and some were put in a pile to be determined later.

It was one of the best afternoons could recall since working there. The shopping center was very prestigious, but to me it was just a job to make the money to pay my rent. I would leave every evening, walk across the expressway (in shoes that were amazing and I couldn’t afford but had to “look” the part) and sit in the dark and wait for the bus. I didn’t have a car and I had bills to pay. I learned how hard retail people work for the money they make.

I learned that too many people thought they were better than others because they made more money than them. I learned that people who don’t earn their money, don’t appreciate it or those who work hard for what they earn. I learned that some women thought themselves too good to have their delicate and precious bare feet touch the carpet in the dressing room and required that I find tissue to place on the floor for them to step on.

But these women had me in stitches. They were gracious and appreciative of all the hard work we were doing. They helped us haul the clothes in and out, place them back on the hangar and not throw them on the floor for us to pick-up. They hugged me, constantly thanked me and made all of us feel as if we were important.

The men sat quietly and waited. One nodded off but the manager never stopped watching them.

They were well aware of her and never said a word. They just smiled.

They were nicer than I would have been if the positions had been reversed.

By the end of the day, they had each purchased several outfits and many pieces of jewelry. The manager helped them with the jewelry. Her smile was false, her tone was clipped and she actually kept her glasses perched on her nose and looked down at them.

When it came time to pay, one of the gentlemen handed the manager his credit card. She checked it against the log (the Internet hadn’t arrived yet) and spent a long time checking and double checking his account. We all stood by and waited.

She asked him for some ID.

He smiled and handed it to her.

She inspected it for a few minutes and handed it back to him.

She asked for another piece of ID. He handed it to her and she again inspected it.

Our policy was to only ask for one valid form of ID. I looked at him. He smiled and shrugged and winked.

She hesitated as she handed it back to him. We had packed all of their clothes perfectly. We made sure they weren’t wrinkled. I asked them if they wanted hangars for a few of the pieces.

“No, we don’t give out hangars,” the manager said.

This was not true.

I looked at her for a moment. I wasn’t going to argue the point.

“We do now,” I said and began hanging up their clothes for them. The other employees pitched in. The manager glared at us and didn’t lift a finger to help.

I asked if they wanted help out to their car. They looked as if they had purchased the entire store.

“That would be great, but let me go get the car, OK?” one of the men asked. He left the store. We stood and chatted with them until he pulled up.

It was a gorgeous car. We all took an armful and placed everything in the trunk. They hugged us and waved as they drove away.

We walked back into the store. It looked like there had been a war, but it was fun. We started to clean-up and put things away. The women had offered but we wouldn’t let them. They had been kind enough.

“Why did you give them those hangars?” the manager asked me.

The room got quiet. I thought about it for a moment.

“Because I’m not a racist bitch like you,” I said. I figured I was about to get fired and couldn’t afford to lose my job, but the words just came out and there they were.

She turned around, grabbed her purse and left for the day.

I leaned against the counter. I felt sick and worried. The other employees came over and hugged me.

Three days later I got another job and quit. The manager never said a word to me when I gave her my notice.

One of the happiest moments of my life was when I walked out of there and never looked back.

Advertisements

Shoes I’ve worn once.

Posted: September 4, 2011 in funny stories
Tags: , , ,

Admit it. You have at least one pair of these, don’t you? Maybe you have more than one pair?

I am only willing to talk about one pair. Just one pair and I am NOT going to go through my closet and take pictures of the others. That would be pointless and would also make me feel a bit more foolish than I already do.

I KNEW it when I bought them that I would never wear them much but because they were so cool and on sale, I went ahead and got them. But since I am being honest here, the fact that they were on sale had absolutely nothing to do with my decision. I tell myself that to justify buying shoes I don’t need with money I don’t have. Hey, it works for me, OK?

I also justified it by telling myself I had so many outfits they would go with and I would wear these all the time. Besides, I have to look nice for work and somewhere during my twisted little thought process, I actually convinced myself that buying and wearing these shoes would help increase the income of my business. At the time, it made perfect sense to me but right now, I cannot even imagine how I spun that around but I know that I did.

They hurt my feet when I tried them on, but again, I told myself in great detail that the shoes would “give” the more I wore them and it would be OK. Sure, it might take a few days, but it would be fine and I really needed these shoes today and passing them up would mean the end of my career.

Again, at the time, it all made so much sense.

It also made sense that even though I found them difficult to walk in as they are at least 4” high, I would figure it out in a very short period of time and I just needed to get used to them and all would be right with the world once again. This is logical. This makes sense and this is the right way to think.

I bought them and brought them home. On my way back from the store, I mentally calculated all the things I could do without the coming week in order to afford them. I could forego paying my electric bill until next month unless the utility company got bitchy about it. I also didn’t need to fill up my gas tank at the station and could maybe survive on half a tank of gas unless there was an emergency and I had to hit the road suddenly. Yeah, that would work along with adding water to the bottle of shampoo in my shower and using that for another week rather than buying a new bottle.

I am not good at math, but for some reason, I felt like Einstein as I drove home with the amazing trajectories I was able to do.  It was rocket science and I was scary brilliant.

So I bought them and I came home with them and put them on. Sure, I was wearing my baggy jeans and a T-shirt I’ve owned for over 25 years, but I still looked good. I knew I was right because these shoes went with everything! They pinched my toes and I could feel the blood stop moving to my feet, BUT I LOOKED SO DAMN GOOD!

I mentally patted myself on the back for being such a good shopper and then I tried to walk in them. On a hard wood floor with feet I could no longer feel. On a floor that is tilted and uneven because I live in a converted garage. Yes I do and that’s a topic for another post but come to find out, when a landlord converts a garage into a studio apartment, they’re just looking to make money and aren’t too concerned about the minor details such as when you walk into the bathroom, you have to place your hand on the wall to steady yourself so you don’t crash into the closet. Just a minor detail that is annoying at 3:00 in the morning.

Suddenly I was headed for the dreaded closet and I couldn’t stop myself because the bottom of the shoes were slick and now I was rollerblading with my arms going all over the place as I tried to balance myself and find something to grab. My closet doesn’t have a door on them because that would have also cut into the landlords expense in remodeling a garage, so I crashed into the back wall of said closet but did manage to grab the rod that my clothes hang on. Fortunately the rod was strong enough to hold me, so I swung there for a moment and then let go and crashed onto the closet floor because I still couldn’t get feel my feet. I landed square on my butt and avoided the shoe rack. I don’t even want to think about that.

One would think that a normal and somewhat sane person would have immediately grabbed the shoes and the pretty box they came in and gone back to the store and returned them.

Of course I didn’t. I loved these shoes and I was on the brink of giving up FOOD for a week just to own them, so I realized that the actual problem was the floor and not the shoes and everything would be fine because we had carpeting at work.

I wore them the next day, but I didn’t put them on my feet until I got out to my car. It has carpet and when I got to work, I very carefully walked through the parking lot and up the stairs without incident. I shudder to think what I must have looked like walking but as long as I looked good, I was willing to pay such a small price.

All day my feet hurt but I refused to take my shoes off. I was right in my decision damn it! My staff is composed only of men – again, a whole other post coming up on that – so they of course don’t notice anything like my shoes, though one of them asked me if I had hurt my back from the way I was walking. I blew him off, told him not to worry and to get back to work.

Everything was going fine until I had been sitting at my desk for a while. I would wiggle my toes to make sure I still had them. Someone called me, so when I turned my chair around and started to get up, I hadn’t put my foot down exactly right and the next thing I knew, I fell flat on my ass. The chair I had been sitting in crashed into the glass door behind me and then bounced off of that and smacked me on the back of my head which then caused me to scream.

The next thing I know I have 3 men standing in my doorway, looking down at me with very worried faces. Then, as if they were in a herd, all scrambled to help me up but since there was only a narrow passage between my desk and a credenza, they couldn’t get through and began to shove and push each other, which made it only worse. It was classic slapstick and the more they tried to get to me, the further back they pushed each other.

I started laughing and told them I was fine but that I needed someone to take my shoes off. Suddenly they were silent with blank looks on their faces. The two married men weren’t too scared but the young single man was, so he silently slowly backed away as he shook his head. One of them came forward, sat down on the floor and took my shoes off with no questions asked. He had been married a long time.

I finally was able to stand up and grab my chair and sit down. I could feel the blood rushing to my feet again. I thanked him, told them I was fine and had just tripped. They wouldn’t leave my office until they were convinced I was fine. I went barefoot the rest of the day and no one said a word or asked one question. It was just “Susan is doing what Susan does” for the rest of the day. Just another normal day.

So here they are:

And I can’t give them to Goodwill like I do with all my clothes that I’ll never wear again. These shoes are cursed and dangerous and I don’t want to inflict them on another woman.

I can’t throw them away because I only wore them once, so maybe you know someone I should send them to. The woman who slept with your husband or maybe a woman who stabbed you in the back and pretended to be your friend and then betrayed you.

They are a size 8.