October 11, 2007

The things people say...

I sell furniture for a living. A decent enough way to earn your daily meal, and that roof over your head, I suppose. I hate it though. Especially the way things are being handled right now. People are being laid off as we are cutting down on staff - yet the sales stay the same, doubling the workload for those of us unfortunate enough to remain employed at this place. But, jobs are hard to come by, so I guess I will stick around a while longer.

Today was just another day of work. Short on staff, usual frequency of visiting customers, a truck-load of mattresses arriving (how often do you buy a new bed?) and no place to store these mattresses. Also, it marked the last day I'll be working with a co-worker who's company I enjoy. He'll do his last day tomorrow, which is a day off for me. Two more will do their last days next week - one of whom I'm sure you'll hear a lot of in future blogs... but, I'm not ready for that just yet...

While nothing special really happened at work today - nothing out of the ordinary - there is one thing that I never seem to quite come to terms with. Anyone who has ever had a job in a service minded business is sure to have experienced this. I call it "excess information".

Let me tell you about today... and remind you - today was an ordinary day.

I meet up with a middle aged woman in the mattress pad section, she needs help as she browses blindly among the many different types. Fair enough. That's what I'm here for... that's my job. Finding out what her needs are is the first thing I do, and she tells me the most important thing for her is that she can wash them. I tell her most of them have removable covers and can be washed in any washing machine.

"Oh, good... I have such a gross husband at home", she tells me.

Now, what am I supposed to respond to this? I let it pass, and she realizes what she just told me. But, then proceeds to the part where she feels the need to explain why she just said what she said. This is what follows;

"I shouldn't say that about him... what I mean is he has a rash, and bleeds all over the bed at night. It's disgusting, I have to wash it every day."

Continuing to ignore these comments I quickly proceed to showing her a couple of samples to choose from, and soon enough I am able to send her off with a pair of new mattress pads... not really wanting to think of what the poor things will have to endure in the near future.

Later... a rather over-weight lady (not obese, but definitely not skinny) is looking for a new box mattress for her and (again) the husband.

"What kind of mattress should we get? Both of us are on the heavy side, as you can see...", and she starts posing as if I hadn't already noticed. "And my husband is even bigger than me."

Now, I have nothing against fat people... I was one of them until recently, and there is still some "flab" left around my belly. I am not one to make fun of them either, nor do I have the need to tell others that "Hey... I lost the extra pounds - so can you" - because that is not always as easy as it seems (I'm not even sure how I did it - but, we may look into that in some other blog). So, what do I say to this woman? What does she want to hear?

"Sure, ma'm. We have the 'fatty-bed' section over here, if you'll follow me."? I don't think so.

This particular comment is a common one, so I've got a good grip on handling this situation. I don't tell them they're not fat, because that would be a lie. I simply (as I've found is generally the best thing to do) ignore the fact, and tell them what they should think about when buying a new mattress. I tell them that their weight does not determine the kind of mattress they buy, but the comfort level they feel when trying them out. It's all very individual...

Those are the two that I can recall from today's events. But, over the years I have spent working there, I have heard things that are shocking, amusing and outright scary. I will never forget the much less than attractive couple who picked up a pair of mattresses they had bought. I'm sorry to say, but the wife was about as far from beautiful as they come (though I am happy for her having found true love in life, which is more than I have). She was outrageously skinny, and her eyes seemed to be close to popping out of her sockets, that's how sunken in her face was. He was by definition obese, and lacked any sort of whiteness to what was left of his teeth. I don't think either one of them had been close to a shower the previous month. The two of them start telling me what they are going to do as soon as they come home with their new mattresses.

"It'll be nice to have a new bed tonight when we get busy humping. I'm gonna give it to my wife in every position possible tonight. She really likes it doggy style. It'll be great... isn't she beautiful, my wife?".

Of course, I can't tell him how I feel about his wife. And surely I do not want to picture the two of them having sex. That's when the wife starts telling me how good her husband is in bed. I mean, seriously! It is my job to help them load the damn things onto the trailer, so I can't just run away from it all - but do I want to hear it? Hell, no... I wouldn't want to hear about it even if the chick was hot - though in that situation it would have been a case of jeallousy.

Then, there was the time when someone I (barely) knew came in wanting to return a bed-frame that was broken. I asked what had happened, as I quickly judged it was not faulty production that was the cause. Thinking that because she knew me, she could tell the truth, and this is what had happened;

"Me and my boyfriend were doing some seriously hard fucking last night, and it just broke down on us. Imagine that! In the heat of things we just crashed through to the floor, ha ha". The boyfriend was standing behind her, looking blissful.

"Ok. I can't take this back. Maybe in the future, you two should take it easy with the love-making, huh?". That time there was simply no way to ignore anything. She was actually mad at me for not refunding her loss.

What compels people to tell these kinds of things to a complete stranger? Do they just not know where to draw the line? Or, is it some sort of uncertainty - like a nervous tick that forces them to utter these words, unaware of what they are telling me? The sex-thing especially - I get that selling mattresses a lot, and I am fully aware that they are not only to be used for a good nights' sleep. There will be times the people who buy them are going to make sweet loving in them as well. Maybe that is why they feel a little nervous when buying them - because they are not only evaluating the quality of sleep they'll get in them, but they are also interested in the bounce they will provide for those sexual encounters.

Every now and then, lonely male beings (always male in this case) feel the need to jump up and down on the beds discussing that particular bounce with me.

"Oh, this has a good bounce to it. It'll be great when I bring home some hot babe from the bar at night, eh?", and they smile. One guy even laid himself out flat on his belly and began humping the mattress. He rolled over and said: "Yup... this one will do".

I feel sorry for that guy, because I doubt there is much of that going on in the bed he bought off me.

1 comment:

cardiogirl said...

Umm, wow. I have no words. Really.