Notes from the Proletariat

Stick Chick thought it high time the she joined the proletariat, so she placed herself squarely amid the seasonal workforce thinking it might fend off some of that white screen, blinking-cursor syndrome. The job consists of cashiering sprinkled with a smattering of clothing rack and dressing room organization that shopping masses disheveled.

After scant hours on the job, she shared a few observations:

  1. Retailers are scared and they staff accordingly.
  2. Shoppers are scary people.
  3. Women are more destructive than men. (She blames the manufacturers.)

Point #3 is worth expanding upon. If you believe that by nature, men are generally more aggressive, beware.

female

Scenario #1: Consider a set of boy’s thermal underwear for example. When shopping for her son or grandson, a woman selects the slinky, sweat-wicking kind that is as easy to hold as a handful of ectoplasmic goo.

Its makers package these two-piece ensembles wrapped in an inviting cardboard envelope with a Barbie-sized hanger protruding from the top and a “feel me here” opening at the bottom. A photo of children frolicking in the snow graces the front while a size chart  on the back breaks down the graduations from XS to XL by height and weight. In other words: it is completely useless.

Naturally, if the woman cannot hold up the undies in order to mentally gauge their fit, she is left with a single alternative. So she proceeds, at first unintentionally, to shred the package.

Secured by clear packaging tape, the tab that hold the contraption together when pulled serves to rip the cardboard sleeve. In an effort to assess proper size, the tiny hanger has fallen to the floor, hooked a dust bunny and something sticky which renders it impossible to reuse. She decides the one she chose cannot fit and anyway is too expensive and not what she came for. The display has only rods on which to hang them—not a shelf in sight. In frustration she places the jumble on the next available display table in a heap.

male

Scenario #2: A man approaches the same display rack. He looks at the picture on the package front, paying no attention to sleeve length or design details. The kid he has in mind is neither a dwarf nor a giant, so he chooses a medium. “That should be right,” he thinks to himself as he tosses on in the cart and heads for the checkout.

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