Weblog entries for 24 August 2002


That's out of stock, I'm afraid

So there I was, in HMV, minding my own business, looking for the new Mr Scruff album. Then this guy says to me, “Do you work here?”

Naturally I was slightly taken aback. “Huh?” was about all I could muster before he launched into a description of the CD he was trying to find. Eventually I had a chance to get a word in and pointed out that I was a mere customer, not an assistant, and he left me alone.

The same thing happened to me last week in the History section of Borders. Some bloke walks up and asks me where he can find such-and-such a book before I point out that I don't actually work there.

By contrast, any time I go to buy any vaguely expensive clothes (that is, a suit) the assistant will, without fail, ask me if I'm looking for work. That's happened to me twice now, too. I'm still trying to figure out the perfect comeback: it's a bit disconcerting and I can't quite think fast enough. “Are you looking for work?” “Why, have you got any vacancies?”

So shop assistants think I'm unemployed, but the general public think I'm a shop assistant. I'm not sure what conclusions to draw from this. I think I'll take it as a compliment: being able to stand in a record shop and look like you know what you're doing is no mean feat.

And the CD? He should have tried looking in the Soul section, under J. But I didn't tell him that — well, it's not my job, is it?

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This entry forms part of Stephen Wettone's weblog, published in August 2002.

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