Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Shop Girl HaHa

It’s my first day in the shop after three weeks away.
A customer comes in to buy a picture frame.
“I’m glad your back,” he says.
I can’t stop myself.
I’m not.”
I don’t know why he looks so surprised.
“You’re not?”
Of course I’m not, I think, I was on holiday!
“Well,” I say, feeling a bit ungracious, “it’s alright really.”
He laughs.
I laugh.
It reminds me of when my brother and I were little, how we’d watch the exchange between Mum and the customers and wonder why adults laughed at just about anything.
Do you need a light bulb?
Yes, haha, I do as it happens, haha
Haha, What watt?
What what?
I mean Watt, haha, what watt?
Oh haha, I see.

Now I know it’s because adults often feel awkward.
After he leaves, I set the timer to 15 minutes and start to clear the shop counter. Mum started this timer system. It almost guarantees you get something done because you’re not allowed to get distracted until the alarm bleeps.
It’s a good system when I’m all over the place.
Holidays have that effect on me.
I feel restless.
Part of me wants to go to Guatemala and the other half wants to settle down and have a nice house.
A couple come in to buy spot lights. They ask about bulbs.
I’m honest.
I tell them what they shouldn’t buy.
“How much is this one?”
They hold up a smart square spotlight.
“25 pounds down from 70.”
The woman curls her lip and gives me that familiar look.
“Is that the best price?”
“Can’t you do any better?” she whines. “I’m paying for it...”
Which has got to be the worst reason anyone’s ever given me to get a good price.
The top 3 most common reasons are:
1) I am a very good customer
2) I will come back and buy lots more when I finish building my house
3) I only have X amount on me.
But reduce it because I’m paying for it? That’s unheard of.
“Well, I’ve had to pay for it too,” I say.
They decide on a different spotlight. It’s the last one of the series and is on display.
“I’ll get it,” the man says, as I go up the ladder to unscrew it.
“That’s okay. I like being up ladders.”
One screw falls to the floor.
“I’ll get it,” the man says.
The other one slithers down my top.
“I’ll get it,” the man says.
Haha. We all laugh at that.
They’re a cheerful couple and after they’ve gone I feel more upbeat.
I set my alarm again and for fifteen minutes I don’t want to be anywhere else.

1 comment:

G. C. Burkin said...

Good to see you're back, Emily. Good luck with the ShopGirl book launch.