Only in Retail

I think every person should work in retail at some point in their life. It’s like a grooming school for the real world where you learn to deal with all sorts of people. In my retail experience, I stopped a robbery (not my wisest decision in terms of safety), held multiple babies so the parents could try on clothes (best perk) and was asked by a parent to date their son (note: no parent has painted a less pretty picture of their son than this mother. I politely declined). However, these experiences have nothing on the story I’m about to tell you, and sorry but it’s gross.

I was visiting one of my stores in my territory where I had a particularly amazing sales associate. At this time, store traffic was extremely slow so every customer got our undivided attention. On this now unforgettable day, a sweet couple in their 70’s entered the shop. They started talking to me about their day before finally saying that they were there as the older man needed new pants. After helping them pick out multiple pairs of pants, I escorted them to the dressing room. It was about 5 minutes after that I went in and asked if anything was working. The wife comes out and says calmly “the only thing that’s working are his bowels”. Now when she said this it took me a minute to process as normally I heard things like “no, they were too big”. As if this wasn’t enough, she then says “this happens every time he has coffee”. You guessed it, he had a bowel movement in the fitting room.

Now this is sad obviously and I’m sure extremely embarrassing, but they acted like it was not a big deal. Also, just a thought, but shouldn’t he give up coffee????? Ok back to the story, it was then that I looked at my sales associate and asked him what we should do thinking that this was one scenario that could not be solved by rock, paper, sicisors. It’s not like in a hospital where there are staff for this sort of issue; in a department store you’re it: the seller, the stylist and now the poop cleaner. After he said he would take care of it, I literally ran out of that place like it was on fire (fortunately it happened at the end of the day). I checked on him later to make sure he was ok and then told him that I owed him big time.

Now to answer your burning questions, no we didn’t make him pay for the pants. Yes, I told his boss he needed a raise. No, I never went into that dressing room again.

In conclusion, be nice to sales employees, you never know what crap they dealt with that day.