Posts Tagged ‘stink’

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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Don’t Fold With Your Face! B.O. may be there…

April 28, 2010

Body Odor: sweat, the liquid waste that comes from our pores to cool our body. Some people sweat just trying on clothes, believe me they do; they do it a lot. So when I see a co-worker folding with their chin, I get grossed out. When a customer gives me a shirt or pants inside out, I refuse to¬† touch near any ‘sensitive’ spots, nor armpits, nor even neck-holes while turning it right-side out; and don’t get me started with inside out pants. When someone gives me balled up panties, I wash my hands right after. Seriously, even if they are wearing something else, they’re sweating, rubbing, and some places stink when they sweat.

People! Don’t fold with anything more than your hands. Can you imagine folding with your chin and your face is right next to where greasy hair once was and a sweaty forehead rubbed against? We’ve seen the make-up from Piggies, some stains are definitely invisible. The unseen odor being spread while your hands slide over the inside of someone’s still-warm, once-worn clothes. Nasty and grotesque. Come on, people, at least give back clothes right, so we don’t need to touch ‘everything’ it touched… But then, that’s a world where people consider each other and not just themselves, right?

The true purpose of this piece is about B.O. (Body Odor), which I’ve witnessed time and time again as people walk around without a care in the world, not even a nuance of understanding how they, *shudders*, hurt those around them with just their smell. They damage clothing, seriously. They clear out areas. They make it really, really hard to concentrate.

I started to write down different B.O. types, and I realize I have stories for most of them–some I’ve already jotted down previously. I can present them now in order of pleasant to tear-jerking to vomit-worthy.

Woodsy: A subtle, light smell that reminds one of walking in the forest. It rarely offends, and actually can be quite soothing. Wish you end up to sleep next to someone like this for the rest of your life. If you haven’t met someone with this scent, you have to travel more.

Musky: this is a stronger, more concentrated smell, yet still pleasant. Like a splash to wake you up in the morning, this scent has more going for it, and may just be too much for some to handle. I’ve definitely run into some pleasant and unpleasant musk.
Entry: Estrogen Overload at Starbucks

Ozone: There is a smell, just before the rain, you can sense it like electricity in the air. There is a smell, after the rain, when the sun comes out and dries the rain. There is a smell, on people who sweat, that smells like this, like oxygen, almost floral, yet overpowering and strong.
Entry: What Are You Wearing?

Moth Balls: One of the first steps into the bad-zone. You know the smell, like some old lady’s house. It’s a weird closet smell, which makes you think they’ve stayed inside for too long and they’re covered with dust.

Box of Crayons: Some people make you think you’ve opened a box of crayons that have been left out on the playground to melt in the sun all day. But this smell is not soothing or comforting like real crayons might be, it’s overwhelmingly strong, like you’ve been placed in the box with the crayons, and your face is melting. This smell lingers.
Entry: A Cart, like a Donkey

Mustard: This is one of the two basic B.O. smells. Although it doesn’t burn your nostrils as much, it has the smell of just opened mustard. That flat, tart-sour smell that just doesn’t sit well and makes you want to avoid hot dogs for a while.
Entry: A Model Mustard

Onions: This is one of the two basic B.O. smells. This one can make you cry, and definitely can make you gag if you breathe it in. The onion is basically a strong, pungent smell that overwhelms the senses. Need a tissue? I don’t understand why people don’t tell them, “Hey, you smell, buddy, get some deodorant, give us a break!” I do whenever I can–but only to friends.
Entry: *Sweats* I’m Tired

Toe Jams: Wow, this is almost vomit-worthy. This one lingers, this one spreads out and fills the area. Some have compared it to the smell of crap. This one can make people look around, hoping it isn’t them. But the worst part is, most people that smell like this don’t even seem to realize it–maybe the world they live in smells like this!
Entry: The Cast

Sour Milk: This goes over the top. It’s a mix of onions and mustard, but aged perfectly, but this isn’t cheese. This is harsh, wall-paper peeling. You definitely need to get away from this one.

Urination: I’m sorry, but there are some people that do smell homeless, and some actually are. I have met homeless people that know how to and do shower before coming into a closed space, like a store. Inside my head and my nose, I thank them for this. This aroma makes people leave as they cover their face to stop the smell from coming in and their lunch from coming out. You can turn anyplace into a bathroom with this smell.
Entry: Stinky Jeans

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

One Button to Take a Number Two

February 27, 2010

I’m standing near the restrooms, mainly because I need to pee and I see a woman rush in. Our restrooms have lights which turn-on automatically when you walk in, and turn-off when there is no movement for a long time. This must be something revolutionary for some people, basically a way to save electricity and not kill the planet so quickly–every place should have some. Anyhow, the woman half-opens the door, not seeing light presses the button inside, which basically turns off the auto-switch. Now, the light will not turn on at all. So she enters and there’s darkness, but she closes the door behind her.

I’m standing there in the distance, confused as to what you can actually do in total darkness other than possibly washing your hands–I imagine a very wet toilet-seat. Soon, I see her open the door slightly, using her shopping bags to prop it open. Okay, I have no idea what she wants to do, but our restroom is small–there is only one toilet and one sink. There are no stalls, it is just a room. I’m standing there, my bladder is quite ready to burst, and I realize either she’s doing her make-up in that darkness or taking a rather long poop.

Either way, I can’t take it anymore. I ask one of my co-workers, a girl, to just go over there and you know, pretend she needs to pee, and act all surprised when she opens the door in case there’s too much to see–i.e. legs in the air or panties to the floor. So I back away a little and hide behind a fixture.

I hear knocking. “Oh, is someone in here?”
“SOMEONE IS IN HERE!” I hear a very angry voice, yelling at her.
“But the light is off…”
“YOUR LIGHT DOESN’T WORK!” She screams back. “I’M USING THE BATHROOM!”
“You just press the button,” and my co-worker blindly tries to find the button. I see her covering her face, looking away. When she does press it, the lights turn on, and my co-worker runs away. Thankfully, I can’t see anything from my angle.
A few moments later, the bags disappear and the door slams (yes, angrily), then the lock turns with equal aggression.

My co-worker comes up to me saying, “She was taking number two! It smelled so bad! It smelled so bad! I can’t believe she was on the toilet in the dark!” My co-worker starts to laugh, walking away.

I, on the other hand, still have to pee, and definitely do not enjoy peeing right after someone else drops the bomb. I’m forced to go elsewhere, mildly amused with the situation.

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.”

*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.