Working with the public on a daily basis brings up reminders of past jobs where I was also lucky enough to work with some of Pittsburgh’s finest.
I worked for about a year and a half at Victoria’s Secret. As you can imagine, working in a lingerie (and I use that term loosely) store is a goldmine for hilarity. The perverted phone calls, the young girls buying clothing way too mature for them, the mature ladies buying clothing way too young for them…it was pretty much endless blog fodder.
But alas, I was the stock boy. Working in the back opening boxes, I only got to hear these stories over the headset and very occasionally witness them.
In February of last year, our store underwent renovations. Since the closing left everyone but the managers jobless, the other stores would occasionally call us up and offer us some hours. Which is how I spent 2 months sporadically working at Ross Park.
And how I determined that I would never ever, under any circumstances work in a mall. Being secluded over in Shadyside we had a very specific clinetele. Namely older women and college students. Of course they were still annoying as hell, but we didn’t really get the tween crowd. Occasionally we’d get some guys shopping for their ladies, but typically they were wealthy businessmen.
Not so much at the mall. So as I said, I was a stock boy. But at Ross Park we were called in to pretty much to be bodies on the floor, so that’s what I did. I walked around and straightened things and pointed people in the right direction. (If they even noticed I worked there, which I didn’t go out of my way to advertise.) So one night I’m working and this older guy comes up to me.
“Hi, can I help you find anything?”
“Yea, I need a present for my lady.”
“Okay, what were you looking for?”
“Oh, I don’t know, I need something sexy.”
As I hold back a laugh, I look at my customer. A probably 55 year old man, dressed in light wash jeans and a muscle shirt. Very grandfather/construction worker.
“Okay, well we have lots of things that she’d probably like…” and I take him over to the Angels room, which is kind of a milder sexy, something I thought appropriate for what I’m assuming is a 50 year old woman.
“This is one of our newer pieces” I say, holding up something remotely sexy, “Do you know what size she is?”
“Uh…do you have anything sexier? Something in a thong?”
“Oh,” I say trying to hide my surprise, “Yea, I guess this is more of our everyday sleepwear, this other stuff might work better,” I say as I lead him out of the Angels room and into the (semi-aptly named) Very Sexy section.
“How about any of these?”
“Oh, I like this one,” he says as he holds up a teddy with a little skirt attached, “but I’d really like something in a thong, something A LOT sexier.”
I continue to rifle through things, looking for something skirted and in a thong.
“What size did you say she was again?”
“Oh, uh, I dunno. I have some pictures of her here on my phone…” he says as he pulls out his cellphone.
“Oh god oh god oh god.” I silently chant, scared to death exactly what sort of pictures Grandpa Construction is going to be showing me. He fumbles for a few minutes before settling on one.
“Here’s my girl!,” he says as he beams and shows me the photo.
I very hesitantly lean over and look, bordering on terrified. And I see an older woman standing in front of a Harley, fully clothed (THANK YOU FSM).
He flips through a few more photos showing Grandma Construction in front of a tree, on a bench, etc. The more photos he flips through the more nervous I get. She’s wearing a tank top and jeans in most of them, but I am terrified of what else is on that phone.
“Oh, she looks like she’d probably be a medium,” interrupting the slideshow and turning away, pointing him to the section of the rack with mediums.
At this point Elyse pops up laughing as she’s seen me lead this old man around the ENTIRE store, and let’s me know we’re done with our shifts.
Grandpa studies the teddy he’s holding and the photos on his phone and reconsiders, “Hey, you got anything…you know…without the crotch?”
I inform him that I must go but someone will be with him shortly, and pretty much run into the back room making a mental note to bleach my brain whenever I got home.