Posted by: victanguera | September 1, 2009

Exercise #57

I hated shopping. All the creepy people, obnoxious people come out at night. Tonight’s attempt to get in, find a couple of shirts and a new pair of jeans should have gone smoothly, but it didn’t.

And this time not because of other shoppers.

Taking my three items to the till, I looked around for someone to help ring up my purchases. A young girl sorted through a pile of discarded items from the change room, slowly placing them on hangers and adding them to a rack.

“I’d like to pay for these.”

I held up my lonely three items when she looked like she didn’t understand what I meant.

“Oh, that’s not my job.” She picked up a rumpled shirt and carefully placed it on the hanger.

Wandering around the store, I couldn’t find any one else that looked like staff of any sort. Heading back to the girl, I tried to smile, thinking it might encourage her.

“I can’t find any one else working here. Are you sure you can’t ring these through?”

The girl blinked, almost as if she didn’t understand my question. Picking up another item from the table, she hung it up beside the first one. She’d really only managed to hang up one shirt while I’d searched the store? Unbelievable.

“Seriously, I don’t do the till.” She leaned closer to me as if she had a secret she needed to get off her chest. “I’m not allowed.”

“Well, that’s great,” I said, not sure what else to say. “So who can help me?”

“I don’t know. I think Amanda said she was going on break. And Tiffany isn’t working tonight.” She ran through a list of names, and possible locations, that mean nothing to me, folding over a finger for each one.

“Yeah, all right. So you are the only person here?” I tapped a foot on the floor, held up my items expectantly. “And you can just let me buy these and I’ll leave.”

“No.” She shook her head, picked up yet another item. “If you wait over there, I’m sure someone will come back soon.”

“Can I talk to your manager, then.” I didn’t say please.

“I told you, she’s on break. You’ll have to wait.” Another shirt, found its way on to another hanger.

“So you are working alone right now?”

When she nodded, I headed out the door with my three items. My conscience would bother me later, and I’d come back tomorrow and pay for them.

Providing the same girl wasn’t working again.

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