A Very Cold Comment

, , , , | Right | May 3, 2016

(I have been working at a popular hardware store for about a year now. I’ve been loving it so far, especially when we have the garden center open. I always opt to be the cashier outside, since it’s usually much livelier out there and less stuffy than inside. For the winter, the garden associates built a small shack around the register, which makes the cold bearable. With the start of a new year, and having already had some pleasantly warm days, the shack is taken down. However, just recently we’ve been hit by a cold snap. Even huddling next to my meager heater, I’m losing feeling in my fingers and toes, and constant wind gusts make it impossible to retain any sort of heat from the heater. Nevertheless, I’m doing all that I can to cheerfully help customers.)

Me: *teeth chattering* “Hi there! You guys set to check out?”

Husband: *with wife in tow* “Sure are; it’s freezing out here! I hope they’re paying you extra.”

Me: *laughing* “Oh, I wish, but I’m actually happy with being out here. Even if cold, the air is fresh, and I don’t get to hear the same songs over and over.”

Husband: “Haha! Well, they should pay you more anyway. You have to be half-frozen by now!”

(Before I can jokingly interject, the wife speaks up.)

Wife: “Oh, I’m sure she’s fine. She’s young, she’s got a big coat on and her own heater, plus she’s not small like our daughter. More insulated.”

(The husband’s mouth snaps shut. My joke vanishes, and I’m not sure what to say. I am just slightly overweight and have long struggled with my weight, but I am by no means fat. I do have wide shoulders, being an active swimmer, which gives me an odd body shape, so I figure that’s why she made such an assumption. I usually brush off these comments, but nevertheless, this one certainly dampened my spirit. I continue ringing them out in meek silence, while the wife keeps going, unaware that she is basically insulting me.)

Wife: “In the arctic, those seals get by just fine because of blubber. The cold can’t get to them. It’s a great insulator. They don’t even need a heater.”

(I finish ringing up their items, and the husband proceeds to pay. He mouths, “I’m so sorry,” and I smile meekly.)

Me: *handing him the receipt* “H-have a good one.”

Husband: “You, too… Sorry. Try to stay warm.”

Wife: “Oh, she’ll be f—”

(The husband grabbed her around the shoulders and started marching away.)


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