Posts Tagged ‘smell’

A Model Mustard

May 5, 2010

I was standing in the Men’s department when a ‘beautiful’ man came up to me asking about tank tops; he was one of those 6’2″, 190 pound, long, wavy blond haired, type men with blue eyes, etc. He then went on to explain he was here for a photo shoot, because he would be modeling in the new Neutrogena ad campaign. I didn’t ask about any of this information, but he seemed happy enough to tell me–and honestly, people who look like this rarely walk into the store, so it made perfect sense.

He just needed something that fit nicely, since Hawaii is so hot and he gets sweaty. So I help him find a good ‘wife beater’ (I never understood that term), and he tried it on, and it fit good, since he was obviously in shape, right? Then he does one of my least favorite things, he asks for a new one that he didn’t try on–why, is it filthy now? Because it was pretty clean until you tried it on. Anyhow, these tank tops are in packages, so I had to get him several new packages, and he gave me back the tried-on pair. I take him to the front and hand him to one of my all-too-happy-to-help gay cashiers, whom thanked me later.

I go back to fold the tank top and try to get it to fit back into the package, but they never fit the same again; always ending up rumpled and stuffed looking. Then I realize there is a smell. It’s on my hands! It’s also on the tank top–the distinct smell of mustard. Just great, the model sweat all over the tank top. Either he doesn’t have great hygiene or any good cologne. Needless to say, I had to damage it out, and I suddenly understood why he would need so many new ones–I’d probably throw them out after one use, too.

 

Customer Types: Lowered Expectations

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Estrogen Overload at Starbucks

April 28, 2010

I’m sitting there, typing on my laptop, and a woman comes in with that smell. I call it the estrogen smell, but concentrated–I assume some people like this smell, since many women go all out to overwhelm us with it. Some have said that I say lesbians have this smell, but so do women who have just worked out. It’s an odd, female scent. I just call it Estrogen Overload.

Anyhow, I’m at a far end of the Starbucks, and I notice this woman talking loudly and aggressively, with her female partner/friend standing next to her. It turns out, she used to work here. I guess she wants to act like rude customers since she is one now–don’t become this person; don’t go around dreaming of acting like the people you once hated, it is another act of backwards moving, when we need more progressive human beings. Either way, she’s standing in front of the counter saying how long it’s been and what’s been up with her and her women, all the while she’s talking at the volume of yelling, swearing, and all sorts of customer liberties.

I soon notice the distinct aroma of estrogen flowing over me, and around me, and probably through me. It didn’t take much guessing to find out where it was coming from. At this point, she was still at the counter–she hasn’t moved for over fifteen minutes, nor has she stopped talking. Other customers have to order about five feet away from the register, giving their money over the little trinkets, cards, and gifts they have lined up, over the barrier that some registers have, since the woman refuses to move while musing loudly about her life. Again, another rude customer benefit she partakes in–not moving for other people as she stands dead-center in front of the registers. Either her old coworkers don’t want to move her or are afraid of her gigantic raging. Half the time it sounds like she’s going to fight with them, but she’s just retelling stories about people that were going to fight with her, ironically enough.

Of course, it amazes me that her vision is so obscured in terms of her surroundings, but also did she really have to have the estrogen smell? Whenever I see manly women walk by, I don’t want it, but I anticipate it. I’m rarely, if ever, disappointed–if being disappointed by such a revelation will just lead me to be disappointed regardless overwhelmed by smells, since this aroma is unappealing to me. This is probably why I associate the smell with lesbians, but more towards angry, raging, or overtly active women whom seem to sweat too much or not shower enough, thus creating that abundant scent. (On a side-note, a co-worker said she lived with a single lesbian who didn’t have the smell, but when that girl starting having a relationship with another woman, the smell suddenly appeared. So it’s the smell of happiness, too?) Either way, once you smell it, you know to avoid it or be drawn to it, depending if that’s your flavor or not.

The Cast

April 22, 2010

My co-worker broke his leg, and he had to wear a cast. He needed to work to survive, so they kept him working, he just had to sit a lot. I found him in the fitting room, giving fashion advice to customers and calling for stock checks when he needed them. At one point, I come in, and there is the overwhelming scent of toe-jams. It’s the potent, concentrated foot smell that some people get just by not washing their toes–and other people get it by sweating and wearing shoes without ventilation–and others just have fungus. It is that smell, close to the scent of feces, that I walked into that day.

I look at him and his cast, and I leave the fitting room. He’s a big guy, and even though he’s funny and laughs, he gets mad, too. I didn’t want to offend him and end up with a broken leg of my own.

Soon, I return to the fitting room, and he calls me over.
“Hey, come here.”
I hold my breath, and approach him.
“Do you smell that?”
“Um, yes,” I reply.
“Does it smell like toe jams?”
I look around. “Yes.”
“Okay, so it’s not just me that smells it.”

So he tells me he already smelled his foot and his cast, and it isn’t from that. Just as we’re trying to track down the scent, the room I’m standing next to opens. Wow, the smells that erupt from that room were overwhelming. I couldn’t breathe. Even worse, they opened the door to ask for a size. I did my best not to make a face, and quickly got them another size, telling them to just leave the clothes they didn’t want on their door. Neither of us wanted to put those clothes away, and the customer, being of good hygiene and manners, did leave the clothes in a pile on the floor. So in a sense, it looked like what it smelled like long after they left–a pile of poop on the floor.

Even though he had a hard time walking, he got up using his crutches, and hobbled out of the fitting room to get fresh air elsewhere in the store. As usual, I had some unsuspecting co-worker put away the clothes, and advised them to wash their hands right after.

Customer Types: Lowered Expectations

A Cart, like a Donkey

April 21, 2010

Rarely, and I mean rarely, do I see a customer with a full-sized shopping cart walking through the mall. I don’t know where they find these things, who lets them borrow it, or if they are such shopping enthusiasts that they had to buy their own. I imagine some people buy so much stuff, they just can’t carry it. Yet, this still isn’t necessarily a socially ‘okay’ thing to do. Their shopping cart becomes like a donkey. And like a donkey, I’m sure certain stores would turn them away. *Ahem* High-end. The poor donkey-cart has to carry all those bags, being pushed around, laughed at, and stared at all day long. Really, who takes a shopping cart into retail stores? Its one thing being required to make space for wheelchair accessibility, but these things are like Hummer in a world of wheelchairs. They bang things, they move fixtures, and once they stop moving, there is no way around them–not that any cart pusher has moved very fast anyway, right?

Walking around pushing their donkey-cart, I don’t know why, but these people always have a certain look to them. Like today, the woman with her donkey-cart had it full of thrift shop and cheap-shop bags–a good thing to flaunt, right? I mean everyone is staring anyway. Let everyone know, since they’re already looking at you and your donkey-cart, “Hey, not only am I classless, but I am cheap, too!” In the fitting room, she had to announce her arrival by yelling at me three times. Because of her precious cheap clothes, she had to change with the fitting room door open–and believe me, she was trying on everything, so everything was coming off. Horrid, absolutely horrid. Thankfully she was wearing what was left of a bra. So after she was done trying on her intimate apparel, yes, intimate apparel! I walked into the room and was suddenly thrust into my childhood.

I imagined sitting with a blank sheet of colored craft paper, grabbing at my coloring tools. When you open the box, and inhale the smell of crayons–you know where I am taken back to. The entire room reeked of that crayon smell, the bad kind. It was like someone broke little pieces of crayon and left it everywhere, aging for fifty years, rubbing it into the walls. All the clothes were covered with that scent, and everywhere she went, there it was–like a bad habit we try to lose, it just follows you. It is ironic, considering her cart smelled nothing like a donkey, but she just had to smell something awful. Needless to say, I let someone else grab her clothes out of the fitting room, fold them, and put them away.

Customer Types: Lowered Expectations, Piggies

What Are You Wearing?

April 20, 2010

Once, I encountered a customer with a scent which was amazing. I like cologne, and I like finding a unique scent. I was caught following this customer, trying to discern what was it about this scent; he just smiled at me and walked away. Still, I floated nearby, trying to guess it. It was floral, yet it was like the air; like the ozone I smell sometimes. I know I’ve smelled it before. This wasn’t the normal cologne I’ve smelled at the beauty store. I couldn’t think how to ask appropriately, until I was at the register. It was now or never.

“What are you wearing, it smells good.”
“What? I’m not wearing anything.”

My face went blank for a moment, I didn’t know what to say. At first, I thought he was joking. The more I thought about it, I did remember smelling this scent before. Some people have a more pungent version of it, which is like bleach. His was aromatic. This made me wonder what people eat or if it’s just their ethnicity that makes them smell certain ways. I kind of wished more customers smelled like this when they want to be natural and wear nothing, even though they are sweaty.

Stinky Jeans

February 27, 2010

There was so much stuff in one fitting room, so I was placing some on my shoulder and my arms to put away. As I’m going back to fold them, a customer emerges from a fitting room asking me for a size. So I gladly go and get a size, and while I’m walking, I wonder why the store smells like a mix of urine, sweat, and body-odor. I wonder if it’s me, but my armpits smell fine. You always need to do the armpit check.

So I go and find the item, bending over and again, I smell the stink. I start to wonder if the store is having some ventilation problems, because there are times I smell fart when no one else is around–and it definitely isn’t me. I decide I must be smelling the vents. I return to the customer and hand them their shirt. Standing there, yet again, I smell it. Finally, I realize, I still have a pair of denim on my shoulder. A quick sniff reveals nothing. Yet, as I’m used to sniffing some clothes to check if they’re washed and worn, I know it isn’t always the ‘entire’ pant that smells. Suffice it to say, there was a certain ‘spot’ that smelled rancid compared to the rest of it. This was not a good spot to even sniff, mind you. Definitely some form of sweaty moisture from someone hard at work trying on clothes, enough to seep through their clothes onto the denim.

After washing my hands and smelling my clothes, spraying some cologne where the smell was noticeable, because it was on my clothes already, I return with a plastic trash bag–this is definitely going into the damaged product bins.

I return later, forgetting all about the denim–as would anyone else in my situation want to forget such a thing-and I find my co-worker spraying some aerosol all over the bag. She looks at me saying, “OMG, this stinks so bad! Did they pee in it? I can smell it through the bag!” At least she wasn’t carrying it on her shoulder for several minutes. My coworker properly disposed of the item, calling it, “Toxic waste.”

Remembering a return.

February 24, 2010

Several years ago, I was still definitely against returns or exchanges. I don’t really know why, perhaps due to some kind of misunderstanding. Several years ago, my ex asked me to buy something for a function (at this point, my ex was already an ex, but I’m not a mean person, or perhaps I’m too kind at times). I buy it. It’s worn to the function, and the next day I’m asked to return it. I wail and bemoan this act, knowing you cannot return something that’s been worn. In reply, I get, “They won’t know, plus I’m never going to wear this again.” I sign with contempt, and enter the store.

When I go to return the item, the man at the counter grabs it, shoves it in his face and inhales deeply. “This has been worn.” Firstly, I’m disgusting and grossed out that people do that in front of customers. At best, I’ll check after its returned–I note the feel and texture of washed clothes, then the smell of the detergent. It’s generally a game for us to guess the brand of detergent they use. Now, that’s funny. This situation is not so funny.

“What,” I reply, gasping, “They told me it wasn’t worn! Damn liars.” I take the item back and march out, and throw the package at my ex, “They smelled it, they said it was worn, they aren’t taking it back. It’s yours now, forever.” And I walk away. Definitely one reason an ex is an ex.

*Sweats* I’m tired.

September 12, 2009

So I have two very large tourists come in, trying on a ton of clothes–maybe thirty to forty pieces between the two of them–for over an hour. They keep trying on different colors of the same style, and definitely keep trying on different sizes. This is a busy day, and I’m surrounded by customers in the fitting room. They keep requesting handfuls of items, which makes me focus more on them for over an hour, and ignore many of the other customers that also need help (perhaps thirty to forty customers). Although they are nice and cheery about it, they also get more snippy as they try on more clothes.

For one thing, the bigger sister (as they are two large sisters) is the fashionable one (?) and critiques everything her sister tries on–to the point that the smaller sister has to wait for her sister to reappear to ask, “How is this?” To my amazement, since this woman is a size 32, her sister keeps saying, ‘That makes you look fat. That makes you look stumpy. That shows your rolls.” I’m thinking how she won’t look fat when she is short, stumpy and fat trying on all sorts of spandex and skinny, slim pants. It is inevitable. At least some of the styles pulled in a little, yet her sister persisted on criticizing everything as just okay, or worse.

As the hour progressed, I was unaware–because I breathe through my mouth in the fitting room for good reason–that they were starting to sweat on everything, handing it back inside-out. One coworker noted, “Ugh, this stinks,” which grossed me out as I was trying to turn it right-side out. From that point, I left the clothes to sit on the side for a while, so another coworker could come by and innocently fold the sweaty clothes. Perhaps the smell will go away?

Yet, the clincher, after I was facing giant piles of clothes, and all the hordes of customers disappeared–myself tired, exhausted from running back and forth and helping dozens of customers–the smaller sister comes out, breathing hard, “Boy, I sure am tired from trying on all that clothes.” I can just stand and blink, it sure wasn’t a field-day for me.

Customer type: Micromanagement, Sweaty.