What a sweater.
I haven’t perspired this heavily since I was almost caught by park rangers on the Blue Ridge Parkway in camos and green face paint, and the
-Sorry. Wrong direction for so short a blog. Besides, I was only nineteen and things were more laid back then. I’m not exactly sure how hot it was today. The thermostat at the store only goes up to 99. I can tell you that I was surprised by the number of folks who think that 100 degree temperatures make for THE perfect shopping weather -especially when shopping is done in 100 year old buildings with no air conditioning. Conveniently enough, it’s also just the right temperature for customer Madge to inform us that “it’s hot in here”, which helps us to comprehend what all that sweating business is about. Madge’s blouse has cloyed to her skin like a lizard on a hot Arizona boulder, not that that’s a Freudian thing. She wants to know, amidst the daily chaos of doors and windows being measured, trucks being unloaded, and kitchen sinks being purchased and shoved into suvs already overloaded, where the second floor is.
Last time I heard anything about that, it was, um, upstairs. There was a furniture sale awhile back, apparently, and Madge wants to know if we still have wingback chairs manufactured in 1958 by guys named Fred, who no doubt were every bit as sweaty as I am today, while building furniture proudly made in America before ring tops on beer cans were outlawed, and lead in gasoline was a good thing. It seems that she wants something that will look “real cute” and will fit in with the decor of what is considered the creme de la creme of the homes in her neighborhood.
Last week, Madge was a bit perturbed because we don’t sell used tires. “They look real pretty when you cut ’em in half, wire ’em together around your yard like a fence, and paint ’em white.” Apparently, she wasn’t too thrilled with the forty feet of used redwood fence someone donated last week. Too pedestrian, I suspect, for someone as avant garde as the lady whose bumper sticker boasts, “My kid beat up your honor student”. By the way, I meant to answer Madge’s question regarding whether or not we had window unit air conditioners in stock at present, but in all fairness we were interrupted by her friend Charlene who, as you might expect, is somewhat heavy and sporting a delicately colored muumu. Charlene is complaining about the poor customer service at Lane Bryant. “They’re always out of size six”, bemoans puffing, wheezing Charlene, attempting to light a Marlboro and giving me an entirely hateful look because I reminded her that the store is a smoke free building. The lady clad in what appears to be a chartreuse cover for a Hummer is on the verge of a nicotine fit, which motivates me to wander off in search of other customers who might need assistance.
Coworkers Gary and Brent (my manager and all around good guy) have returned from their mission of receiving four sliding doors still in their frames, two bay windows weighing three hundred pounds each (and will prove interesting when it comes time to shoe them into a customer’s truck), and five or six cabinets, approximately half of which are too deteriorated to sell. This means we get to take them outside behind the building and smash them by picking them up, dropping them, and letting themselves break apart under their own weight. This is done all too frequently, which should inspire my frustration for our driver who just can’t bring himself to say no to any donation, but in fact makes me happy since it allows me that much more upper body exercise. Those guys went out on an especially nettlesome pickup this morning: some mean woman accused my manager of having a “bad attitude” due to his refusing to let her steal merchandise being donated to Habitat. In hundred degree weather, I’d have looked the other way if he had decided to extend the courtesy of expanding her worldview by introducing her to the reality that greed isn’t defensible. Probably the high point of the day, other than the mercury maxing out the thermometer, was one of the authority figures who works in the office taking a phone call from little miss Nancy of Nancy’s Charm School about the alleged “bad attitude” expressed by my boss. Betsy, who’s the chief authority figure in this paragraph, listened to ol’ Nancy rave on for a few seconds and then told her to “call Channel 10” with the profound news.