Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The chest man

A middle aged business man stops in front of my counter and stares at the merchandise. Being the helpful and enthusiastic salesperson I am, I open up the dialogue.

"Hi there! Can I help you?"

He squints at the merchandise without looking up.

"No."

I "smile in the face of rudeness" as the company encourages, and say,

"Well let me know if you have any questions."

He looks up as I say this and approaches the counter, staring at me unblinkingly.

I am wearing a blue button down collared shirt with the company's logo embroidered on the right hand breast. I am dressed and styled in a professional manner and exude confidence and approachability (as specified in the company manual.) As the likelihood of him having a question is high (based on his scoping the product and rapid approach to where I am standing), I ask again, "Do you have any questions?"

His response a is swift and dismissive "no." He leans over the counter, reaching across the 2 feet of polished glass and varnished wood with his hand aimed dead at my chest. I step back quickly, disregarding any effort I had made at being approachable (the company manual did not cover situations like this so I was drawing purely on past experience.) My eyebrows raise threateningly, my voice deepening into some sort of primal growl I sneer,

"DON'T. TOUCH. ME."

His eyes dart back to my face in surprise, even shock.

"I am not trying to touch you!!"

As if the previous hadn't happened, he leans over the counter again, fingers flying through the air toward the region of my body containing my heart, lungs, and breasts.

"Don't touch me or I'll-"

I didn't get to finish with "call security" for I am interrupted with the very confusing protests of this business man, who shouts in what sounds like exasperation,

"I would never touch you!"

His tone was not to imply that I was not worthy of touching (though I could assume I am not his type), but rather that he was not the kind of guy that went around randomly touching females. Defensive, infuriated, and slightly baffled I ask,

"Then why do you keep trying to touch me?"

His eyebrows furrow. He looks from my chest to my face, my face to my chest, and back again, his little gears a'turnin. When his brows release and settle back above his eyes (clearly signifying that he had registered my words) he says,

"Oh.... I see..."

Then walks off.

Ah, life.

(curtain drop)

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