A Retail Tale

Apparently the undies and bra department at the local department store usually have 5 staff, but this week when I went to get some new scaffolding, there were only two sales ladies working. One was on the phone having some sort of intense crisis with what I could only make out to be a juvenile delinquent offspring. I kind of hung around the counter, and she whispered “Sorry!” to me and I was all like, “We are good Gladys! No rush.”

Because I know what it is like to get a call from a wayward, hysterical child. It is not pleasant and always comes at the most inconvenient times.

Now, I freely admit that I had chosen this particular sales lady because she had an impressive set of boobs, therefore I figured she would know what it would be like cursed with large chesticles and would be able to advise me with her background knowledge of bad bras, sore backs, all the while trying to avoid those┬ádivots one sometimes gets in ones shoulders from wearing an ill-fitting bra. Gladys was trying to get off the phone, but I didn’t want her to feel pressured so I spied another sales lady, whom we shall refer to as Enid, rifling though the racks. She was very petite, but I took a punt.

“Excuse me,” I asked. “Are you good at fitting a big busted woman?”

Enid looked me in the eye, and reading her body language I just knew that she knew what she was doing.

“Been working here for fifteen years. I have seen all types of boobs. Come on, let’s have a look at what we are dealing with here.”

Enid led me to a changing room, and may I just add that this changing room was enormous. And then I realised that it was twice the size of a normal changing room, because it was a room built for two. Me, and Enid. I whipped off my top and faced her. She almost gasped.

“Oh dear girl! That is totally the wrong size for you….” The then went on to give her assessment of my cup size, which was so far down the alphabet, I had to count it on my fingers. JESUS H CHRIST. Then she suggested that my back size would be a 14, and I old her to stop flirting with me! For I am a solid 16 across the back.

“I’ll be back in a moment.”

And so I stood there in my nasty black bra that I had for YEARS. You know the ones. You have them too! The ones you have at the back of your undies draw that you only ever put on because all the rest of your bras are filthy and most of them only have one underwire anyway. I had a look at the mirror and did the thing you do with your stomach where you try to make it into a face and make it talk.

“Hello Mrs Woog… Nice to see you here…”

Enid appeared with a sensible beige bra. I rid myself of the evil old bra and slipped my arms thought the straps. Now, to me it was fine. Felt comfortable. All pretty painless at this point. Enid made me do a series of what could have been yoga poses, gave me a solid prod and poke before declaring that this bra was indeed, a disaster!

Then she left me standing there, nude from the waist up. I felt a little vulnerable at this stage.

She soon emerged with another contender, a black minimiser made by a lady called Simone Perele. Now, this Simone, she must have an engineering degree because as Enid boob wrangled me into it, the Archangels broke into song. The comfort. The fit! What the fuck had I been subjecting myself to!

Now it was at this point there was another knock on the door. Gladys had managed to get off the phone and wanted to make sure that we were ALL in agreeance. She prodded and poked a bit more, as the three of us stood there. It was then that Gladys apologised for not being able to serve me immediately and then went on to tell me that 3 staff members had called in sick, and Enid and her good self were feeling under a bit of pressure for being so understaffed.

They left me to get dressed and I went to the counter to complete my transaction. Gladys was back on the phone.

When she hung up, Enid asked if it was the management checking in on them. Apparently they do this, making sure that someone always answers the phone.

I then went into a rant about how outrageous that was, and how the devil are you suppose to answer the phone when you are down three staff, and you are in changing rooms with customers. And what an appalling lack of trust that showed on the managements behalf and that I bet their boss was a millennial with no experience in retail management and probably had some degree from an online university from Bolivia.

The both nodded, and then Gladys pointed out that their second cash register, computer thing had been broken for weeks!

Well, that just about sent me into orbit. “How can you work under these conditions! What a disgrace.!”

And at that moment, we had a moment. A solidarity to the sisterhood, and I paid homage to their professionalism and their skills in putting the right boobs into the right bras.

Then I left and ate some hot chips.