Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Lament of a Customer Service Agent

'Twas an hour before closing, and all through the shop
were vibrators and dildos piled up to the top.
Products were displayed to encourage sex drive,
with hope that some customers soon would arrive.

I, with my box cutter and things to receive,
had plenty to do, things to achieve.

Ding-Dong went the bell, our door opening sound
to warn that an imminent customer was 'round.
"Welcome!" said I, in my most friendly way,
itching to make the biggest sale of the day.

He looked 'round a while, then resettled his cap,
and bustled his way o'er to me at cash/wrap.
"Hello there" he boomed, while eying a price,
"I say, could I ask you a bit of advice?"

"Of course!" I responded, quite eager to please,
though not knowing the question, I'd no guarantees.

"It's my wife!" he exploded, "She's gon' through the change.
She used to be normal but now she is strange.
I married a hot little ticket like you,
but religious and repressed, she had not a clue.

I took her on as my protegée,
with groups and meetings, I got my way.
We had wonderful sex, but not anymore.
It's as though she now thinks of sex as a chore.
You know, you get married and have a whole lot of fun,
having sex left and right, but only when young!
Now I realize that marriage is a lie and a trap.
Having sex later on is huge load of crap!

He went on explaining how awful it was
to have sex so seldom, as "the menopause" does.

"What's that thing that they need?  Sounds like engine?"
I supplied "Estrogen*", not knowing where to begin.
"Yeah, that!" he erupted.  "Do they make it in powder?
I could spike what she eats!" he said even louder.
"She wouldn't know why, but she'd want sex all the time!
Not every few months.  That'd sure be sublime."

He went on a while about his frustration,
his lot in life and great woe of his station.
I counseled myself, as he gibbered and prattled,
as dissonance inside me started a battle.
Drugging someone for sex has such distaste,
but he couldn't leave the store feeling debased.

Consulting my merits, I named them at length:
"On clarity and kindness, now saavy and strength!"
This was a prayer that I sent overhead,
to myself, or a God, either way, I then said:

"That you get by prescription, so your time'd be misspent.
Because of cancer,** you'd want her consent.
For her, you might look into good lubrication.
And envision yourself using fun masturbation.

We have some toys that might be appealing to you
since it's normal to need some excitement in lieu
of intercourse that may not be in your wife's range,
which is normal while all of her sex hormones change."

Excited at the prospect of a toy of his own,
he thanked me for the great understanding I'd shown.
He left on a high note (he bought not a thing),
highlighting his exit, my un-proffered hand he did wring.

"What a great store this is!  I'll be back with my wife!
I'm sure, if you talk, you can help with her strife."
This he yelled through the door, with the lights burning bright,
"I'm so glad I came in!  And to you a good-night!"

*Estrogen is not the only hormone that is in play with menopause.  He didn't know this.
** Hormone replacement therapy can raise the likelihood that someone may get cancer.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Retail Therapy: We Need Some

It was a strange week in the land of retail.  Perhaps it was the cold (yes, it can be cold here in the Southwest) or are we coming up on a full moon?

As a retailer, it is expected that customers be not only forgiven but also remain largely oblivious to their gaffes.  Sometimes though, my cup runeth over and you get to hear the story.

I have three short stories from last week in three acts: confusion, surprise and horror.

A gaggle of somewhat sober, recent graduates take over the store.  Each has to use our "no customers" bathroom in turn.  I smile and run around answering questions for each as they split into groups of two or three to investigate.  At checkout one tells me that one of her best friends is the first in her group to be getting married.

"I'm so excited to find this store!  I'm going to do her party.  She's really conservative.  I'm going to do penises everywhere!  Penis straws, penis water bottles, penis napkins... She's going to HATE it!"

Commentary: Wtf?  What kind of friend does something they specifically know the other person will hate?  On an important occasion?  This hurts my brain.

::ring:: ::ring::
"Hello Business Name, this is Kathryn."

"Yes, do you sell thongs for men?"

"You know, we don't.  We're a small store and it's difficult for us to carry clothing.  But there are some places I can sugges--"

"Oh that's too bad.  It's for a party tonight so I'm kinda' in a hurry."

"Well, sometimes Kohl's and JC Penney have sexy men's underwear and"

"It's a naked party.  So, I mean the underwear would just be for the time before all that comes off."

"Oh, that's good.  You might also try a store called Free Radicals."

"It should be fun, but you know, I want something to show off everything before the nakedness really happens."

"Of course.  I'm not sure how much luck you'll have in finding a thong, but sometimes jock straps are made very sexy and that's essentially the same thing."

"That's true.  This is going to be a great party.  We started off with just 4 people but now we have, like, 20."

"Yes, it's difficult to make that kind of party happen, especially here."

"Yeah, hey you wanna' come?"

"Oh, thank you but I can't."

"No, really, you sound cool.  I'd like to invite you."

"Well, I don't accept invitations from people I don't know."

"I could come down to the store and you could decide then."

"Actually I can't accept anything personally while I'm in a professional role here at work."

"Oh, but, so, if we met outside of your work..."

"I'm flattered, but your party is tonight and I work late tonight."

"Oh, okay.  Well, maybe next time."

"Maybe next time."

Commentary: No, maybe not next time.  I'd be very happy to attend a sex party, but I'm concerned if someone's criteria on the people they invite is that they 'sound cool'.

I'm having a conversation with a customer about lubricant.  We're discussing the merits and drawbacks of water vs. silicone lube.  The customer needs something to take on a trip with her.
"What's this one?"

"That's a silicone lube that comes specifically in a travel case.  Silicone leaks a bit and gets on everything so that company was thinking ahead."

::Customer grabbing her right armpit:: "Leaks?"

::Me putting two and two together:: "Oh, I just meant the lubricant.  Implants are well contained and tested so they don't leak."*

"Oh, okay.  I sure hope it don't leak.  I've had this for 13 years.  It don't feel like the other."

"Yes, I've heard that you must massage them frequently if you want them to stay soft."

"Well, that makes sense because it does seem to soften up if I'm touching it.  Here, feel."

"No, thank you."

"No really, it's okay, just touch them each, you'll see they're different."

"Thank you, I'd rather not.  Actually I had a girl friend once who had a silicone implant."

Commentary: I love this.  I think I might actually be this woman if I lost some of the social conditioning I've developed.  I went through a process between the first time she asked and the second.  It took about a milisecond but in it I considered how I am curious about how implants feel (that gf had no tissue on one side of her chest so the implant was a bit different than it might have been for someone else).  I also considered how and why someone would ask a store clerk to touch their breasts and how I really did not want to touch this woman at all.  Also, it seemed she was going to argue more before I said I'd already felt a silicone implant.

*I just watched the Mythbusters' episode on silicone implants at altitude.  I feels smart.