Better than salt money

Work like you were living in the early days of a better nation

Somedays it takes someone else to keep your head up

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Today is being hard. My bread is misbehaving, supper (which I trust to be tasty) is not treating my nose well (it’s a sauerbraten, of sorts, and the brine is making me think, unpleasantly, of some very herbaceous schnapps), the spinning is going well enough, but I feel behind. Happily MBF forwarded this to me, from Not Always Right (stories of less than splendid customers in the retail trades)

Suited To The Role
(I work the floor at an independently-owned menswear store. The owner,
my boss, spends a lot of time at the shop, and tries to keep prices as
low as possible to help our city’s large homeless population get good
job interview clothes. A clearly homeless man is wandering around the
store. The other patrons are giving him looks.)
Customer: “Excuse me, sir?”
Me: “Yes, ma’am?”
Customer: “I think you may want to call security. That… bum over
there, he keeps feeling the suits and muttering to himself. I’m just
sure he’s planning to steal one.”
Me: “Well, ma’am, I think that’s quite unlikely.”
Customer: “Oh, come on, you know how they are! I mean, I’d keep an eye
on him even if he wasn’t homeless!” (The homeless man in question
happens to be Hispanic.)
Me: “We don’t discriminate here, ma’am.”
Customer: “Well, I’m sure the owner would want to hear about this!”
(I give in and call him over. The customer explains her concerns. As a
black man, my boss isn’t happy with her racism, but agrees to talk to
the homeless man.)
Owner: “Excuse me, sir, are you finding what you need?”
Homeless Man: “Well, not really. I’m hoping for something versatile in
a dark or navy wool, but most of the options in my size are cut
American style instead of European, which fits me a little better. Not
to mention they’re all pinstriped, which I really don’t have the build
for, you know?”
Owner: “I… yes, I understand. I think we may have some options over
here, if you’ll follow me. How did you know all that?”
Homeless Man: “Back before I lost my job, I used to be really into
this stuff. I’m not looking for anything fancy, just something I can
use to look good for a job interview later today.”
(My boss helps him find something he likes, and comes to the counter
with him. The suit is priced at $87.)
Homeless Man: *digging in his pockets* “Hang on, I think I’ve got enough.”
Owner: *to me* “Take my card. I’m buying it for him.” *to the homeless
man* “Here. The suit’s yours, on one condition. After your interview
today, you come back and apply for a job here too. Got it?”
Homeless Man: “I… oh my God, thank you. Thank you so much.”
(Two years later, that formerly-homeless man is my manager, and has a
little girl with his new wife—the owner’s sister.)

It’s enough to make up for all he rest.


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