Posts Tagged ‘fat’

Justifying Obesity

September 23, 2011

“This is the United States, why the hell don’t stores carry larger sizes?”

My customer goes on a tirade, yelling about the fact we do not carry his size 40, and beyond–I also assume other stores in the mall also do not carry his size. He’s so upset while ranting about the size of American people and the fact obesity is so rampant and thus stores should cater to them, his wife is patting his shoulder calming him down. After justifying his obesity for the store, and venting his frustrations at me, even though I honestly tried to help him find is size in black slacks, he throws his clothes down and walks out of the store. Now, I felt about compassionate for him, though not as much as I do for short people whom cannot even fit our shortest clothes and must either hem everything shop in the children’s section nor people whom have extra large thighs or calves or rear-ends, for these are often genetic in origin. Some obesity is genetic, we know as a country, especially the United States of America, this argument only goes so far because many of us were raised on fat and grease, fast-food, unhealthy eating, and growing up with the worst habits possible because of our wealthy spoiled social self-beliefs. Shall I include smoking, too?

In a country where ‘super-size me’ is an epidemic being curbed, you’d wonder if society is being helped out by making it harder to acquire the largest sizes; where extremely heavy-set individuals must pay for two plane seats to ride, if they do indeed take up two seats; even the ideal of having a super-heavy duty-sized car comes with additional taxes and prices just because of their sheer size, which is obviously a detraction, but still worth noting. I don’t often hear an argument from large people who fly on planes saying, “I only wear size 44-pants and XXXL shirts, I can only fit so much in a suitcase, obviously you shouldn’t charge me for extra luggage, because this is a vacation I’m going on I need a minimum amount of clothes and it won’t fit in one suitcase!”

Honestly, when I first started working in retail the topic of size came up, and the cost of clothing. I did argue that larger sizes should cost me, of course I was surrounded by much larger coworkers whom were upset with my remark, and of course took this in the most illogical way possible, commenting how fat people are already ostracized and discriminated against–as if gay people, and straight men aren’t discriminated and prejudiced in the fashion world as well? How many times do I have to act more girly just to make a woman believe what I’m telling her? Or how many times I’ve been passed up by a customer so they can ask a sloppy dressed new-girl her opinion just because she lacks a penis?

Either way, let us say you walk into a fabric store and you find a roll of fabric you love for $5. You find another roll of the exact same fabric, yet lo-and-behold, you can get two yards for the same price! Would this make sense to you? Would you pay for one-yard of fabric for $5, if you can get two-yards of the same fabric for $5? If you pick the first option, I really need to find something to sell you. Obviously, you’d want more fabric for the same cost. When I’m shopping for denim fabric in the sale section, do you think I’m going to buy the smallest sizes available? Not when I can purchase the largest size and get twice as much fabric for the same cost. You know, some companies are catching onto this, they may call it shrink, but they will charge more if you request larger sizes, because realistically it costs more for more fabric. Hopefully they charge less for the smaller sizes, too. They don’t offer a ‘super-size’ for free (unless it’s a special deal) and they definitely won’t charge you the same price for the kid’s meal. Why? Because of economics.

Also economically speaking, if we consider medium to be the median or middle-size, and this size was chosen as the average size of most human beings in the region–thus American and European sizing is different (I hope you already knew this). Depending on the market in the surrounding area, medium should be the first size to run out–small and large should be secondary, and thus extra-small and extra-large would be the hardest to sell. Time-and-again I used to have extra-extra-large customers come in and raid the sale section, amazed at all the deals they could find–because no one was buying them, because so few customers came in looking for it. Economically speaking, to remain profitable I would make the extraneous sizes harder to acquire. Yet, the sizes are still available online for purchase, which today’s customer didn’t find comforting.

Returning to the subject at hand, justifying obesity, defending obesity, sometimes society does things which I personally acknowledge. The movement away from the popularity of smoking for example, wonderful. The social outcry to environmentally friendly, astounding. The American movement to stop being the most overweight country, to bring health and consciousness back into our lives, and trying to break through the hurdles of self-created weakness and lack of accountability with one’s personal well-being and social inadequacies, especially on a world-class scale, I approve. Just as much as customers need to learn how to treat other people like human beings, they also need to break through other beliefs they grew up with and stop using them as crutches. Some of the most brilliant people emerged from the poorest regions of the world. It is not because they allowed the world they were born into to control them, it is because they capture their own self-worth and belief to take them where they wanted to be.

 

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Blah!

July 3, 2011

I’m wandering around in a sale-section looking for good deals and I see a man who looks homeless–big, hairy, fat, huge beard, wearing drab mustard colors with a backpack. I think he’s a shop-lifter at first, so I stay around the area–my mistake!

“Excuse me,” he says with an accent. “I am looking for a specific item. It has stripes, and on the inside the tag says, ‘Blah’.”
Wait, what? Yes, I said the same thing. “What?”
“Blah!”
“I have never, ever heard of this before. I’ve been working here for a while.”
“It’s blah. It says blah.”
I just stand and stare at him for a while.
He lifts a piece of clothing, and pulls out the tag, “On the inside it says, ‘Blah’. B-L-A. Blah.”
I’m just standing there in awe, and I tell him, I have never heard of this, and I don’t know if this is from a different country or something.
“No, no, my daughter bought them last week from your other store. It says Blah, and is made in India. It has stripes.”
Okay. I am totally unaware of this new ‘brand’ or name, or have any idea what store or company he’s talking about, so I call the store he mentioned.

“Hello, thank you for calling.”
“Hi,” I tell her my name, “I’m looking for a piece of clothing. My customer said his daughter was in your store last week, and it’s an item that says Blah on tag, and comes in stripes, and it’s made in India. Have you heard of this before?”
“Excuse me?”
“Blah. B-L-A. He said it’s on the tag.”
The woman on the other end pauses and laughs, “I’m sorry, I don’t think your customer knows how to spell. We don’t carry anything like that.”
I laugh, too, “I know, that’s what I thought, but I just wanted to make sure, in case this was something new.”
So I get off the phone, and the man is excited, “So, do they have it?”
“No, I’m sorry,” and we both laugh a little, as he walks away in search of his Blah clothing somewhere in our store, with stripes.

Customer Types: ESP, Guessing Game, Lowered Expectations

Crazy Old Lady

November 6, 2010

So I’m at the cash register, and these large-sized, angry-faced women (read this as their normal face is a frown, so when they do frown, they double-frown) are asking for a manager. They are complaining about some discount coupon.

“That crazy, old lady on the other side (the other register), said we can’t use this coupon for this discount!”
“I’m sorry,” the manager says, “Let me look at the coupon.”
“I went to your other store, and they let me do it!” (It reminds me of when a baby says, ‘Well daddy said I could!’, after the mother says no. Sometimes, companies need to be on the same page.) “That crazy old lady is always mean to us! She never gives us good deals. She always says no!”
“I’m sorry,” the manager says again, “That’s what happens with the employees who have been here for a long time, they go by the rules.”
“Well, your other store let us to it. She’s always mean to us, she’s never nice about anything!”
So the manager goes through the transaction and shows them the screen, “I’m sorry, even our computer won’t let us do this, it isn’t just her.”
“No, your other store let us do it! Can I speak to someone else? Isn’t there someone else who can do this?”
The manager sighs. She goes through the one process where you can ‘override’ the computer, but it is a line-by-line process where she needs to reduce the items individually, after returning them all.
All the while, the women keep going on about the crazy old lady who is always mean to them. I’m standing there rolling my eyes, since they are talking about a Kids section employee, who is rather one of the nicest people working in the store, and has been with the company nearly 20-years–this complainer would have been a baby when my coworker first started. Yet, most likely, she’d also be whining, “But daddy said I could! I hate you mommy!”

What people do to get their way. I’ve since helped this woman again, wondering why she’s so rude and mean, even when I”m as nice as I can be–and yes, breaking rules to give her the discount just to get rid of her–but she never says thank you, or anything, she’s just demanding and angry. People, it’s called ‘Self-fulfilling prophesy’–why are people mean to you? Because you act like an asshole. Why do people make your life hard? Because you’re hard to deal with. Get over it, grow up, and start acting like you’re an adult. You can’t be an unhappy bitch your entire life.

Customer Type: Big Baby, Capitalist, The Complainer, Don’t Kill the Messanger, The Liar

Shoplifter: You Can Just Close The Doors

June 7, 2010

I’m learning the code-words of my coworkers who don’t use the general terms. Normally I hear, “Do you need back-up?” which means, “Do you need help at the register?” Recently, I’ve heard, “Do you need help?” The first time I heard this, I ignored it, but later found out it was one coworker’s way of saying, “There are shoplifters!” Normally, we say something like, “Our friends are back!” Tonight, I heard the same statement, “Do you need help up there?” At first, I ignored it, then I realize this might be a signal.

I step out into the front, and there I see the two drag-queens and two coworkers standing there watching the shoplifters rifling through piles of clothes. I actually don’t know what’s going on, since my coworkers aren’t doing anything–I later found out they froze and didn’t know what to do. Plus, they said they haven’t been that close or seen how scary these drag-queens are. I’ve seen the big one dressed as a man, and trust me, the drag version is far less scary.

I came in whispering to one coworker, “Yay, this is going to be fun! I haven’t seen them in a while!” And I shout to the other coworker, “You know, you can just close the doors!”

The larger drag-queen stands up and looks at me, turning to the other one, “Let’s go!” They both get up and leave. I’m a little surprised I have that influence, since I know they were there a while already. I actually do have more enjoyment playing mind-games with the professionals. Games like “Peek-a-boo, I see you!” and “Hide-and-Go-Seek!” are so much fun. I actually want to throw a sensor in their bags when I pass by them for my amusement. And I cannot wait to cover my eyes and say, “Okay, go! I can’t see you!” Then open my eyes, “Oh, I can see you now!” while laughing like a madman.

I See It’s On Sale

June 4, 2010

I’m standing near a table folding, and a woman comes up to me asking, “Everything here, it’s on sale, right?”

Usually such a question is rhetorical, but here she points at a sign on a bench, then waves at a table near it. (Just so you can understand, there is a larger table where the main product is placed, and then there are lower benches near or around the table–like satellites, or moons around a planet.) One bench has a sale sign, and it’s half-hidden by the higher, larger table–so all you can see is the top of the sign, which says, “Sale”. You can see 3/4ths of the word.

I try to tell her the bench is on sale, but the table is not, otherwise a sign would be on the bench and the table. I show her what I mean by placing the sign on the table (which also says, “Sale, Select items”), saying, “This would mean the table is on sale.” Then I put it back down on the bench and say, “This means the bench is on sale. And it says select items anyway.” She keeps arguing with me, saying, “But I can see the sale sign from here! I can see the sale sign from here, that means everything is on sale.”

First, while her jaw is going ‘blah-blah-blah’, I’m thinking, “Okay, the sign is a little big, but it isn’t even on the same table. Well, actually, it’s been there for a while now, and she’s the first person to get confused in over a week, making problems, and getting weird about it. You know, some people live their lives causing this kind of trouble for themselves. They just create stupidity.”

Then, I’m thinking, “If a wall nearby says sale, it doesn’t mean everything in the area is on sale. You can’t point and say, ‘Well I can see the sale sign, that means everything is on sale.’ Who says that, other than this woman? Even when a window says sale, it doesn’t mean everything in the store is on sale.” We’re just arguing semantics, and a customer’s ability to demand stupidity. I tell her everything on top of the table is going to ring up full-price, because it is full-price, but the sale items on the bench, they’ll ring up on sale. It’s not like I can change that fact.

Yet, she goes on about being able to see the sale sign; that it’s misleading marketing; that I was trying to trick her into buying something that’s not even on sale; that now she doesn’t want to buy anything at all. I’m sorry, you caught me in my dirty tricks; I wanted you to take something to the register and think its on sale, as if you would not whine and cry when you get there saying, “I can see the sign!” I am left to assume such threats and insults work to scare someone into changing their mind, saying everything is on sale? I just shrug and say, “Okay, but if you change your mind all this stuff on the back bench is REALLY cheap.”

I remember telling my boss about the dumb, fat woman, saying she’s a size-12 and she wanted a new pair of denim on sale, because she could see the top of a sign nearby. My manager replies, “She’s not that fat!”
“Well, because she’s so dumb,” I tell her, “That makes her fat-ter.”

Customer Types: Big Baby, The Blind, Capitalist, Don’t Kill the Messenger, The Dumb

Shoplifter: Backpacker

May 8, 2010

One day, as is usual, I start working and I find a shoplifter hard at work filling a bag with our clothes. Of course, no one is around and no one even sees them. Seriously, they act a certain way, and sadly, they look a certain way, it is kind of lame. These women before me are dressed like sloppy sluts, but weighing about a hundred pounds more–their string camisole is two sizes too small, allowing you to see the bra-strap underneath, with their stomach and sides showing; they wear tight, tight denim shorts and flip-flops (slippers) and even walk kind of like a duck and kind of like an orangutan. They seriously look like they’ve had too much to eat and too much to drink for several years in a row. To me,they stand out as much as a gothic trying to hide in the snow. Either way, while the shoplifter has her large, bulky, yet extra-small tank-topped body turned away from me, I sneak behind her. Yes, I can be a ninja, too! Beware as I glide silently wearing my Italian heeled-boots! Whoosh! I duck behind the whale-sized ninja.

I find her bag in a corner, which is actually one of our backpacks. She has almost completely filled it with pants and shirts. She’s folded them quite nicely, and has a pile of hangars nearby. She’s quite a packer, she must travel a lot, eh? Obviously, she’s been filling the bag for a while, and yet again, I sigh in disappointment with my coworkers–she must have been doing this for several minutes already. Can they at least look around? Look up from the cash-registers, come out, and walk around a little; don’t hide behind the wall of protection! Anyhow, I grab the bag and hide behind a pillar as she walks back to her hot spot. I glide away in a cloud of smoke. Poof, I am gone.

I leave the backpack at the counter, quickly walking back to her, to see how much the thief enjoys being stolen from. I ask how she’s doing. She mumbles something, and starts to leave. I tell her, “I have your bag at the counter if you need it.” When she doesn’t reply, and keeps walking, I say, “I’ll keep it on hold for you. I’ll remember you. Don’t you worry!”

One point for sales-ninja! Zero for the gaijin mochi-ball in a tank-top. *Sad face for you*

Shoplifter: Welcome to the Jungle

May 6, 2010

We have a group of shoplifters, they are basically drag-queens–at least one of them is, and we think they others are. They could be ugly, fat women or ugly, fat guys with boobs and bad make-up. I’ve seen the drag-queen as a man, and he’s better off as a woman, believe me it’s scary. The man, though, is over six-feet two-inches tall and weighs well over two-hundred thirty pounds. He also wears high-heels.

The one thing I am blown away with is that, as huge as this man-woman is, whenever they walk through the store, no one, at all, ever sees them. It can be ten seconds later, and I ask, “Did you see a giant, giant fat drag-queen just walk by with two other giant fat women?” “No.” It is utter insanity that these shoplifters are such masters of illusion that they are totally invisible to the naked eye, because to me, they stand out like a beached whale at a sushi-bar. Or, perhaps my coworkers are chosen for the fact they see about as well in bright-daylight as bats, whom only use sonar and would consider these shoplifters just gigantic stalagmites in their way, similar to pillars. Since they are such skillful ninjas, they often just steal entire tables worth of clothing, and then disappear, without a single person seeing them–other than I. Seriously?

One day, we had a major project, and nearly the entire staff was working. I’m talking about one person every ten-feet. The shoplifters chose a really bad day to come in. I greet them as usual, and they, as usual, decide to split up and walk away from me–I can’t follow them all, right? I laugh, pulling out my walkie-talkie. Each and every one of my blind-as-moles coworkers received a very loud, “Hey, turn to the left!” I call out their name. They look up and find a giant drag-queen or a fat woman, whom jumps in surprise, and starts to bounce away like a pinball. I continue doing this for a little while more, then call out to them, “Bad day to come in, the entire staff is here and they all know what you look like now. Congratulations!” I went on to announce the presence of our most infamous shoplifters, whom have stolen hundreds of work-hours worth of clothing from my coworkers bank-accounts to pay for rent, food, and survive. They all turn to look at the drag-queen and his cohorts as they quickly leave, scowling at me.

“Thanks for coming, please come again!” I tell them as they leave. “At least they know what you look like now.”

Why Did You Marry Her?

April 27, 2010

There was a couple with beautiful children. The man had a Mediterranean look to him, his wife was white, short, and round. I’d explain her in more elegant detail, but she wasn’t that nice, nor was her husband.

She started with a few outfits, and her daughter kept taking out bad stuff and bringing in new stuff. Every time the wife would come out of the fitting room, her husband would look at her with disappointment and shake his head. “No, not flattering. Too long. Look how it’s cut at your waist. No, that won’t work. ” She came out several times with totally different looks and outfits, always with a stern, “No.” I mean, her basic outfit she wore when she came in wasn’t even that great–just a t-shirt and jeans that didn’t fit correctly. But, wow, what a husband! Somehow he let her leave the house dressed like that.

If everything looks bad on her, and if nothing makes her look cute or fit right, basically you’re saying she looks ugly to you or you’re implying she’s hopelessly ugly in all the different looks she tries. So why did you marry her? I just stood there, saying nothing, wondering if they wanted cute kids? Because he definitely got that, he could just divorce his tragically style-less wife who can’t look hot even if she tried. Seriously, everything she wore, he just shook his head and criticized it. She looked far better in those outfits than the one she walked in with, truth be told. I thought someone you marry is someone who looks beautiful to you, no matter what. I thought he’d help her out, find something sexy for her, but he was full-on, flat-out, “No, that won’t work either.” Just standing with his arms crossed, looking bored. Of course she got nothing, since none of the looks she tried could pass his inspection.

Still, I kept asking myself, “Why did you marry her?”

Customer Types: Guessing Game, Lowered Expectations

The Benefit of the Doubt

April 3, 2010

A customer comes in with a return, it seems her pants tore on the butt the first time she wore it. It was beyond the return period, and kind of old. She didn’t have a receipt and the item was worthless in price, but after a discussion with a manager, he told her, “We’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and let you exchange it for another pair.” So she goes off on her merry way to find a new pair of jeans. After her search, she returns to the register, and the same manager returns to help her. She now says that she had it altered and hemmed, which really does stretch our return policy. Yet, again, the manager said, “Alright, I said we’d give you the benefit of the doubt, and we will. Just this one time, you can exchange your jeans.” The story I was told, since I was nearby, but not included in this story, she exchanged her pair of hemmed, torn, used pants and got a pair of brand new pants.

Half-an-hour later she returns, and says she doesn’t want the pants anymore. She asks for specific managers by their name, none of which were working. Instead another manager comes out, since she doesn’t want the first manager helping her. She starts crying saying she doesn’t want the pants and wants her original pants back. The manager asks why. The woman tells my manager, “He called me fat.”
“What do you mean?”
“When he said he was giving me the benefit of the doubt, he was calling me fat.”
“I’m sorry, mam, but I’m quite sure he wasn’t calling you fat.”
“He was!” And the woman sobs more heavily, crying more. “He was calling me fat, and saying he’d give me the benefit of the doubt, because I’m fat!” Of course, she was about 34-inches and about five-foot two-inches in height. Yet, my manager was right, he wouldn’t call her fat, since that’s not his style. After a lot of crying, sobbing, and fat-over-usage, the second manager comes into the back to tell me and the first manager the story. A third manager comes along, one of the people she kept asking for when she was crying. We described her, and he didn’t know her at all, but went to look at the security cameras just in cast.

Because, you know, the whole world thinks she’s fat, which is why the pants tore, right? I know you’re thinking that, stop giving her the benefit of the doubt, people! Shame, shame.

Customer Types: Big Baby

Fashion meets the Slob

December 5, 2009

I’m at the front of the store greeting customers, trying to keep the entrance organized and clean-looking. A couple walks in. The guy is short and fat, his head was shaved roughly two weeks ago. To say it’s stubbly is an understatement. He is wearing a plain, gray tank-top and black, long-long basketball shorts–they look like women’s cropped pants–and slippers (flip-flops. the rubber kind). He looks at me up and down, and says something to his girlfriend, whom turns to look at me and they both chuckle, turn and leave the store. They’ve only walked about two-feet into the store before they leave.

I say flatly, “Good-bye.” I make sure to visually acknowledge the fact his girlfriend is wearing a black hoodie, which is tight enough to show she has at least two rolls of fat, cut-off denim shorts revealing her voluminous thighs and similar slippers (flip-flops, the rubber kind).

Gosh, I must have looked like a slob to them since I was dressed in a dress shirt, slacks and clean boots.

Customer Type: Lowered Expectations