I'll preface this post by writing that I'm all for equal opportunity employment. Regardless of how much of a lie that is, I feel it needs to be stated for obscure legal purposes. Still, it is a nice, warm feeling to know that somewhere in this country, a below average citizen is making his/her mark in either the food service or retail industry. Provided, of course, that their level of involvement is kept to doling out pleasantries, making sure all the antifreeze is facing front, and staying away from the normals. It's when this last task is ignored that problems arise. When I go shopping, which is rare, I don't like being nagged by the staff. To extrapolate from there, I don't like being nagged by retarded staff. It's bad enough to have some disinterested teen who just flunked Earth Science recommend a cute blazer for the summer, but to have someone with a crippling disease encouraging you to try on a pair of slacks while they're in the throes of whatever havoc their horrible flesh-eating hair cancer is inflicting on their bodies does NOT make me want to buy things.
Just before I traveled to Munich, I went to the Gap on the corner near where I work to stock up on clothes because I dress like an Irish potato farmer. They had recently hired a woman who clearly has Parkinson's Disease. Well, initially I suspected she was just excited about clothes. Who wouldn't be? But her quaking continued to the point where I started to feel uncomfortable. Now, here's where most people argue "well, that's your problem, sir. You have an issue with her terrifying disease." And my response is yes, you're goddamned right. I do, in fact, recognize that it's entirely in my head that the situation is uncomfortable. And as I see it, the Gap has done this to me. I spent $250 that day because I couldn't say no to this quivering old woman, admittedly because I am chock full of guilt and fear. Did I think she'd have a major episode if I didn't buy the blazer? No. But I did suspect that her manager privately beats her with the ol' switch in the employee break room when she's not playing up her malady to sell Polos. "Make it shake, Suzy. Or no bonus."
All I'm saying is when have you EVER heard of ANYONE talk about wanting or needing store staff to assist them in a clothing purchase? Besides specialty places like sporting goods shops or dildo emporiums? Never. People like to be left alone. In fact, I can't imagine asking an employee at the Gap anything that could possibly help me decide on a garment. Except maybe:
"Can this shirt be used to strangle a medium-sized person, roughly your weight and build?"
"Do these pants come in a size you?"
"I like snuff films. Will these t-shirts go with that?"
"I'd like to wear what you're wearing right now."
"What are a 'clothes?'"
"Why don't you drop dead?"
And even when someone has been helpful, they dissolve the entire illusion by bringing you up to the counter, like a freshly caught salmon, in order to mark you as their commission. The friendship's over, baby. I want my money. In fact, I'll be damned if I didn't see the Parkinson's lady get eerily still after the sale was made. I suppose it could be a trick of the light. Or a conspiracy. In the Gap. What am I talking about?