Sorry it's long (said no one ever)
Working in retail opens your eyes to a whole world many do not see.
A world of such diversely, fascinatingly, mundanely grey, vibrantly glorious, disgusting and bright human behaviour.
You may think we just stack the shelves and clean up the unmitigated and immense damage you cause after you visit our place of work.
But we do so much more, we see so much more.
We watch, we listen, we cry and we laugh both with you, and admittedly, on occasion, at you.
But do forgive us as we are too, diversely, fascinatingly, mundanely grey, vibrantly glorious, disgusting and bright humans.
You can, as our customers, wholeheartedly make our day, you can be kind and courteous, funny, and quite often, we love having you with us, especially when you are considerate, considering this is our place of work.
And in that place of work, where we spend more daylight hours of our lives with you than we do with our families and loved ones, in that place of work we come across those who frustrate and annoy, who are aggressive and demeaning, we are made to feel unworthy and on occasion, occasionally you make us cry.
But you also lift us, with your own brand of madness :)
We have 'Buddy' who often comes in wearing a puffy coat and a blue baseball cap, precariously perched on top of his head.
'Hat family' visits were mum and daughter each wear a trilby and dad wears a cap.
"Carol" who is always decorating and most often needs...
" A thing, you know, with the part that folds over, it's grey" or an "Orange do-dah, you use it in the garden, it was on the telly"...
Be assured, we see you all, we remember you all. The good, the bad and those we endlessly try to help but always ask for things we don't sell and end up saying "fine i'll just go to Dunelm"...
We don't just stack the shelves and clean up the unmitigated and immense damage you cause after you visit our place of work. We also share with you your joys and your woes.
We spoke to a woman who was in floods of tears as she had been made to feel stupid and had been spoken to unkindly in another shop. She was looked after, consoled and taken care of.
We spoke to a woman who was on her first day outside after her husband of some 40 years had passed away. We listened and gave her many kind words, she left feeling much less alone.
We spoke at length to a woman in her 30's who had been told that morning she was finally in remission. We shared her joy. And relief.
We help the elderly Scottish gentleman with his son who has autism. His wife passed away 4 years ago and his son is his world. His son likes to touch our soft cushions and always asks his dad if it's 'time for tea yet.'
We don't just stack the shelves and clean up the unmitigated and immense damage you cause after you visit our place of work. We do understand, more than you know.
Today I met a quite exhausted woman, covered in dry paint, wearing a weary expression. She was holding a tin of paint with paint covered hands.
And with a tired voice she told me she had been...
"Painting all ****** day" and she was... "so bleedin' tired I can't think straight". She had run out of paint and asked how much the paint was.
And then I felt a whole new level of understanding and compassion.
She looked me square in the eye and asked "Is it wrong to wish everyone would just *******?"
I said "Of course not, it's perfectly normal considering the day you've had, can you leave the painting until tomorrow, after you've had a bath and a good nights sleep?"
She looked at me and smiled wearily "I guess it can wait"
Handing her the paint i said "it's 7.99, then do that, get some sleep. And tell everyone who says otherwise to ..."
"*******" she smiled.