Posts Tagged ‘sweat’

Making a Boner

June 24, 2010

Each Christmas season I’ve worked at my store, I’ve seen some rather interesting characters pop-up out of the shadows of the retail dungeon. From guys with their butt-cracks showing to turtle-turtle boys, but there was one guy who comes to mind recently, because¬† of all the language barriers I’ve seen.

Mind you, he was recommended by a coworker who probably rues the day he did any such thing as bring this guy to work with us. He was a very strange man. When standing in the fitting room, and people would enter with a handful of clothes, he’d welcome them saying, “Can I help you with anything?” Not, “Do you need a room,” or “I have a perfect room for you.” He’d often get the reply, “Um, I need a room?”

He had a particular smell about him, like unwashed body odor. One moment I remember best is when he was sweaty, very sweaty, and he was also holding a pile of clothes. Do you think he put the clothes down to wipe his face? Oh, no, no, perish forbid the thought! He just plopped his face down into the shirts and rubbed his face in them. Refreshed, he was able to continue putting out his clothes. Wonderful!

Of all the weird, absentminded things he did, not including having a loud, verbal political argument about our current President in the middle of the sales floor with customers; there was a time customers from Tahiti came in. Yes, they are known as a part of French Polynesia, where French colonizers washed over and left many of them with the national language of French. They entered the store, greeted by him, and he asks where they are visiting from, “Tahiti.” Oh, they would also rue the day they revealed that fact. “Ah, bon jour, bon jour,” he started to pull out his French vocabulary, which sounded mostly like things you pick up watching French movies and listening to a certain song including, “Couche avec moi?”

As he followed them around, mostly unwillingly on the customers part, he kept speaking in this version of French, and they would routinely yell at him, “We don’t speak French! Leave us alone!” This continued, until the women said, “Okay, this is enough, let’s just leave.” As they left, he went right up to the doors, waving and yelling at them, “Au revoir! Au revoir!” And I could hear the women screaming at him, “You asshole, we don’t speak French!”

Shoplifter: Too Brave?

June 18, 2010

Today was an interesting day. One of the new managers was closing for the first time, but she only had two people to help her–one for each side of the store, one for each register, and thus no eyes to watch the front of the store. I told her this as I was leaving, and of course, like magic, the tattooed shoplifter with the backpack walked by. I had the manager go look at the other side, and we saw him looking in, then walking back. Of course, he came into the store, and she went up to him, and I said hello, and said it’s funny, since I’m not working this time. He wandered around and then left, so the manager walked away.

Just as she left, two shoplifters came in from another group–the Tag Team that splits and steals. They came in, looked at me with my backpack and treated me like a customer. But I kept looking at everything they were looking at, until they hid in a corner. I looked around and waited for the manager to appear, but I waited too long and it was getting weird. I saw the other two shoplifters come in and knew it was the four of them. I could not stop them all, nor could I split myself into three people, so I had to improvise. I pulled out my cellphone and started to take pictures of them. One saw me and left. The other stood there and turned around. Still no manager.

By now, I had to vocalize my intents, “Okay, that’s a good picture of you. And the other two over there. Now I just need you.” The man looked at me and quickly ducked. I finally found my flashlight and put that to use as well, I can be quite irritating, to be truthful. If I was in a different store, I actually could have and would have gone further, yelling, “Hey, you have shoplifters here!” Putting the stuff back, the four of them met at the front of the store where I was standing. And I greeted the last one, who definitely stole from the store. Only with the man there, were the other women able to speak–which means in another situation, they would melt like butter facing me alone. With more coworkers, that would be a possibility.

Instead, the man came up to me, swearing at me, asking why I was taking his f-ing picture. Saying he didn’t do anything, and asking who I was. All I said is that I am an ‘officer’, nor did I back away when he came up to me, since he was not even as tall as I, having to stand higher and only weighed ten to fifteen pounds more than I. As I said, without him the women would be powerless, which is an interesting fact to consider.

Then, they left, as I called the manager over telling her what happened. She wanted me to stay in case they were waiting for me outside. She even told me to wait until the store closed and she’d drive me home, but I told her it was okay. As we stood there, yet another shoplifter came in–from my gallery of thieves–this was the ‘too goo to be a shoplifter’, because he looks clean, dresses nicely, and still had his old, empty shopping bag from a good store. I would really like to mark that bag with a permanent pen. Either way, as he entered I said, “There’s another one.”

They obviously know when to come, but not when I’m around. Seriously, I was so irritated and angry with those shoplifters my hands were shaking. I’m the kind of person, I’d go toe-to-toe, upping the ante with anyone, playing anyone’s threat. At least now they can think twice wondering what will I do with those pictures I took. Too bad they won’t know. Still, a wise piece of advice has always been, “What will the shoplifter do to stop you? This is how they make a living. How far will they go to make sure they can keep on stealing?” And, that my friends, is the real question.


Unless they are avid readers of my blog, they don’t know my camera is so bad, nor the fact I didn’t really get a good picture because my batteries were dying. Oh, where is my professional camera when I need it.

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

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.

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

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.”

*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.