So I'm always surprised, if I journey this Earth looking stuck up and unapproachable, why the Hell do so many people in stores approach me and ask,
"Do you work here?"
I am careful not to wear my name/photo badge when I shop. So I can only guess my being mistaken for store employees is from the way I float around the store. I worked retail about four lifetimes ago, and you get an eye for certain things. I tend to swoop around, hitting all the clearance racks, and while I'm sorting through for sizes, I will refold scattered stacks of jeans, regroup the shirts on the rack by color, and will hand a cashier random things I find on the floor, like popped-off security tags sticking up like a tack waiting to go through the bottom of someone's foot.
I will always leave your store in nicer shape than I found it.
I often don't have anything in my hands because shopping is OFTEN not fruitful for me. Or I might be wandering back from the dressing room to put the clothes away that I just tried on, annoyed and depressed. But I never leave things in the dressing room and really don't like leaving them on a generic rack outside the dressing room. If I got it out, I'll put it away. Which, I suppose normal people don't do. So I am mistaken for an employee any time I'm out and about without ToddlerBandit right at my side, up my butt and demanding payment in chicken nuggets and french fries for his time.
Today, twice in one store.
Two women were hovering around a rack of clearance dresses that I was rehanging my failed sizing attempts at.
"Do you work here?"
"Um, no...I mean, I did...like 25 years ago. But not now, why?"
"We need dresses for a wedding and they have to be silver and we're having a hard time. Where do they keep their fancy dresses?"
"OOooohhhh, Yeah. So their formal stuff is generally on these two racks but there might be a few on the clearance rack here. And Macy's has some but they're kind of just prom dresses but they do have ONE rack where they keep things that are returns from other stores, it's in the clearance area too."
"I like this one but they don't have my size and also it needs to be silver."
"You should look online to see if they have that style in another size or color."
"I don't have internet."
[*Gets phone out. Scrolls. Finds a dress.]
"You can have them order it in the back, but this way you'll know what to ask for. And since you don't live in town, just have them ship it to your house."
"Oh sweetie, thank you so much!"
So I left them to make one swath through the men's department to see whether they had any clearance fancy suit britches or shirts that I can spend my Sunday night ironing for Mr. Fix (they didn't) and got stopped by an older gentleman.
"Do you work here?"
I had noticed him just standing between two shelves of jeans. I thought he was waiting on someone else.
"Well, no. Not now anyway. I probably still know enough to help you though."
He was heading out of town on a work job and was utterly perplexed by the pre-shrunk or shrink-to fit sizing conversion and durability differences of Levi's 501s and needed help. This was something I could do in my sleep. I helped him get what he needed, let him know about Levi's quality guarantee and reminded him to keep his receipt and that he could probably take them back to the same store wherever he was heading if there was a problem.
"Gosh, thank you so much. I just so appreciate that. You've been such a big help. You say you used to work here?"
"Yeah, well it was a long time ago, but Levi's haven't changed."
"Well, you're sure nice to help me out. You have such a nice smile. I won't take up any more of your time, honey."
And then he gave me a card in case I need any construction or remodeling work done (when he gets back from his big out-of-town job, I guess).
And I left, empty handed (except for the business card). And when I get home the conversations will go more like this:
"Mom, do you know where my [fill in the blank here with anything from toothbrush to hockey stick to underwear to shoes] is? I can't find it."
"Oh.My.Gaaaaaaaaaaaah you guys. Seriously. Open your eyeballs. Jeebus H. Crisco. Are you going to do this all summer? Because if you're going to do this all summer I'm going across the street and telling the Superintendent that you would LOVE to come over and cut his lawn by hand with a pair of scissors all summer for free and pick up dog poop in Mrs. Byrer's yard."
And Mr. Fix will say, "What's wrong? You look mad."
And I'll say, "I'm not mad. That's just my face."