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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Adventures in Shopping the Cosmetic Counter

  A man told me the other day, he was packing up his well repair business and moving back to Mexico. He said he couldn't hire good help in this town, that no one wanted to work that hard. I hate to admit it but I know he is right. We are becoming a city full of abandoned buildings. New business' pop up now and then, build or remodel a massive building, only to leave a short time later. It's always the same excuse, mismanaged and lack of good help.
  I see it for myself all the time. Young girls come in to apply for a teller job, wearing shorts and flip flops. Banks have relaxed the dress code a little over the years. Most include jeans on Fridays, but at this point we are still wearing shoes. I have had them approach me while texting, barely look up from their phones and ask for an application. If I tell them we are not hiring, they ask to have an application anyway. I know then it is for their parents, parole officer or social worker. They are not serious about finding a job. Sometimes they even come through the motor bank asking. If they can't get out of the car, again, I know they are not serious. But the real tip off is, if you call them in for an interview and they bring their baby.
 In most cities, you can't walk through a department store without an all out assault from  sales people working the various makeup and perfume counters. In my town's one and only surviving department store, the sales people are invisible. I have stood around for ages waiting for one to appear, before I finally found , or out ran, an "associate".They all want to be called associates or team members these  days, and they call us guest, yet treat us like intruders. 
 Yesterday, I was in this store and happened to find a young girl standing behind the counter at the particular brand of cosmetics I was looking for. Actually, I was looking for spot remover. Buying makeup used to make me feel pretty and feminine. These days I buy primers and spot remover and I feel like I'm in a hardware store. I saw a new product the other day called spackling. It was for filling in lines. Anyway, I approached this girl and she looked terrified. She was wide eyed and breathing heavily, and I thought I could hear her heart beating. Our conversation went like this.
 Me: It's OK, I'm not here to hurt you. I just want to purchase one of your products.
 Sales girl: total silence.
 Me: I have seen the Spot Corrector on television and thought I might try it.
 Sales Girl: still, nothing to say.
 Me: You know, it's for removing brown spots from being in the sun too much.
 Sales Girl: What is it?
 Me: Look, I have both hands on the counter. Again, I am not going to hurt you. Turn around and you will see a very large sign. It says Clinique Even Better Spot Corrector. That is what I want to try.
 Sales Girl: Oh. What size?
 Me: What are the sizes?
 Sales Girl: Small and large.
 Me: How much do they cost?
 Sales Girl: Small is 43.00 and the large is 75.00.
 Me: Good Lord! Does it work?
 Sales Girl: I guess.
 Stupid Me: Here's my debit card. I'll take the small.
 Sales Girl, suddenly smiling: Would you like to apply for our in store credit card?
 Completely Baffled Me: No, I don't think I'll be back.

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A wife, mother, and spoiler of small dogs, I grew up in a small West Texas town, with my eyes full of sand, and my heart full of joy.


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