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This Is Underwearing Us Out

, , , | Right | March 20, 2023

I work in a lingerie store.

Customer: “I need you to help me pick something out to wear. I’m 2XL or 3XL.”

Me: “Sure, no problem. This section right here is from 2XL to 6XL, and then these four racks here range from small to 2XL. The rest is outside your size range.”

Customer: “What’s in my size that’s sexy but not vulgar?”

Me: “Well, everyone has different tastes. Can you explain what ‘sexy but not vulgar’ means to you?”

Customer: “You know! Chic! Sexy!”

I tried to get her to better define what she was looking for with no results. I picked out a few things that fit my definition of “sexy but not vulgar” — whatever that means in a lingerie store — but she turned everything down with no better explanation than, “No,” “Ew,” or, “Ugh”.

She looked at nothing herself; she just kept waiting for me to offer something and got upset when I tried to suggest that she look on her own and that I’d be close by if she needed me. I eventually just gave up and showed her everything we had in her size — thankfully, it’s a moderately small store, but this still amounted to about thirty articles of clothing — while we both just got more frustrated.

She eventually left after a final, “I can’t believe you can’t help me!” while I put away all the apparently vulgar, un-chic lingerie and apologized in my head for not being psychic. She didn’t forgive me, so I guess she’s not psychic, either.

She’s Both All Mouth And All Trousers

, , , | Right | March 15, 2023

I’m in the car with my stepmum, running errands around the small town my parents live in. At one point, mum slows down the car because of a cyclist in front of us that is swerving quite a bit. I wonder out loud if he’s just a bad cyclist or started drinking early, but mum’s answer shuts me up.

Mum: “Oh, no, I know that man. He has a condition, I can’t remember what it’s called, but he sways when he walks as well. What they used to call “spastic”, but that’s the wrong word of course. He used to live with his mother on [Street]. Nice man.”

Okay, now I feel really guilty for assuming, but mum is not done. She proceeds to tell me the following story from years ago:

Mum used to be a store manager at a local clothing store, and it was not unusual for her to be alone in the store for a shift or part of it (small store, small town, several decades ago). One day she was manning the store alone again, and the man mentioned above walked in. Hesitantly, he explained that he would like to buy a new pair of trousers, but he was worried about trying them on because of his condition.

Mum was worried as well, as she knew the store’s fitting rooms were small and cramped, and though they did have a stool in them, it was more hindering than helpful because of the lack of space. There was also not really anything for people to hold onto to prevent falling over. This was before safety and accessibility regulations became what they are today. So, mum and the customer were worried he would fall over and hurt himself, or that mum would be unable to help him get back up if he did fall.

Mum pondered the best way to help this customer. As she said, he should be able to buy new trousers just like anyone else, she just had to figure out the best way to help him do that. She couldn’t very well physically assist him in trying on the trousers, neither of them would be comfortable with that!

Then, she struck upon a solution! She asked the customer if he would like to pick out a few pairs of trousers he liked and take them home with him to try on in the comfort of his own home. He wouldn’t have to pay for them right away, he could come back later to return the clothes he didn’t want to keep and pay for the ones he did want. That way, he wouldn’t have to struggle around in the store’s fitting rooms.

The customer’s eyes went wide, and he asked her if that would really be okay. Mum assured him it would be, the store’s owners trusted her, and she trusted him. She knew him and his mother, maybe not closely, but enough to know they were reliable.

The customer was ecstatic! He’d been so worried about this shopping expedition but had wanted to try anyway. It was all shaping up to be better than he imagined. Mum helped him pick out some nice pairs of trousers, and a few shirts she thought would look good on him as well. He walked out of the shop with a bag full of clothes to try on, thanking my mum all the while and assuring her he or his mother would come back soon to pay.

Two days later, his mother came into the shop, while mum was again manning the place on her own. The mother asked mum if she had been the one to help her son two days ago. Mum confirmed this was the case, and the mother of her customer thanked her profusely for helping her son so well. She then proceeded to pay for the items the customer had decided to buy and returned the items that didn’t fit, as agreed upon.

I’m sure you’re wondering what mum’s bosses said about all this when she told them. They were very happy with her decision! As they put it, it was her job to sell clothes, and she had done so, while making the customer happy. Happy customers were likely to come back and spend more money at their store, and maybe spread positive word-of-mouth advertisement about their store, which was important for their small store. They commended my mum for a job well done.

The customer mum helped came in many times after that to shop for clothes, and the store continued their special arrangement. If he came in when mum was working, she always made sure to help him herself.

Mum no longer works for that store, which still exists, but has remodeled their fitting rooms to make them larger and more accessible for people with disabilities.

Note to self: Be more like mum!

Tight Bras And Loose Lips

, , , , | Working | March 13, 2023

I hate shopping for bras, as I have a large chest and it’s hard to find bras in my size. I also don’t like being measured by the employees, as I hate being touched by strangers.

My mom goes with me to the store to help me get new bras. I wanted to get them online, but Mom talked me out of it, saying it’s better to do it in person so I can try them on.

We do have some help from an employee, who recommends certain sizes without measuring me. I am relieved, thinking that for once, I can get through bra shopping without being humiliated. But as we are paying…

Employee: “What size did you get?”

I am too embarrassed to answer, as I have social anxiety, there are other customers in earshot, and I don’t want to broadcast my bust size in front of strangers. The employee does not get the hint and asks again.

Employee: *More loudly* “WHAT SIZE DID YOU GET?”

My mom told her what we got. I was eager to get out of there. I told Mom she embarrassed me and that I would have preferred to get bras online, but she ignored my concerns and said again that it was better to get bras in person so we could make sure they fit.

From now on, I am getting bras online, regardless of what my mother thinks. I also complained to the store about that indiscreet employee.

They Tagged Themselves

, , , , , , , | Right | February 19, 2023

I am working in the fitting room one night when this lady bustles in with a ridiculous amount of clothing that she wants to try on. Unfortunately, my store has just lifted the item limit for the fitting room, so I begrudgingly have to let her take everything back.

She proceeds to make a huge mess in the fitting room, leaving clothes inside-out all over the floor, tags ripped off of items, size stickers peeled off and slapped onto the wall… the whole nine yards.

After she leaves, I report the ripped-off tags to Assets Protection per fitting room policy, and I resign myself to cleaning up the mess she left me.

Then, I get a call from the manager. He wants me up at the registers to do backup. I have worked the registers before, but it’s exceptionally rare for me to get pulled away from the fitting room to do backup. Still, I don’t protest, and I head up to the register.

Guess who my first customer is? Yep, the mess-making lady from the fitting room!

The manager has directed her straight to me, and I can tell from the wide-eyed look of horror on her face that she realizes she has just been led into a trap.

She slowly begins to plop her items onto the conveyer belt and tries to make nervous small talk. At first, I assume she’s just feeling awkward about the mess that she left… but when I get a better look at her items, I immediately realize there’s something much fishier going on.

Her purchase consists entirely of women’s clothing, and I recognize most of the items as brand-new stuff that has recently come in — stuff that should cost full price — so when I see nearly every single item’s price tag covered with a bright red 70%-off clearance sticker, I realize that something’s up.

When I look down at the first item from her pile, my suspicions are confirmed: the item I’m holding in my hands is a woman’s Mossimo Black clothing item, but it has a bright blue Circo tag that belongs on infant boy clothes.

Busted! She’s switching tags on clothes to get a lower price! Not only that, but she’s so brazen (or stupid) that she’s used tags from the wrong department!

I don’t make it immediately obvious that I’ve figured out her scheme. Instead, I think fast. From my experience in the fitting room, I know that every item of clothing has a little white tag on the inside that has a nine-digit item code. So, instead of scanning the items, I proceed to type in each and every item manually, using the actual numbers inside each garment.

The woman watches this all unfold with a nauseated look on her face, as item after item rings up at full price. They’re running between $19 and $29, compared to the $2 or $4 price tags she has stuck on each item. As her total grows, so does the look of combined hatred and fear on her face.

Finally, she stammers something about “coming back later” and runs off toward the exit.

The Assets Protection guy watches her walk out and then comes over to me. He reveals that he was watching this chick before she even went into the fitting room, but he didn’t have enough on camera to approach her. Since I was the only team member working that night who was familiar with the clothing and tags, the manager put me on the register to check her out… literally!

She Must’ve Flunked Out Of Boob School

, , , , , , , | Working | February 10, 2023

I have a very large chest. This happened a few years ago after my chest went through its last growth spurt. I went into the only lingerie store in my small town to get resized. I explained up front that I knew they didn’t carry my size but would like to be fitted so I had a better idea of what to order. The girl took me into the fitting room to get a few measurements.

Clerk: “Good news! We actually do carry your size on our website, but not in-store. Although, we do have a few fitting bras for you to try on so you know what to order. We can even place the order for you in the store so you’ll get free shipping.”

Me: “Oh, cool. The last time I was here, you didn’t carry a large enough size.”

Clerk: “Yeah, we just expanded our size range. You’re a 38DDD.”

Me: “Are you sure? Usually, the band size I wear is a 34. My best guess is that I should be around a 34G.”

Clerk: “Yes, you probably just wore the old ones and they stretched out with you so they seem to fit.”

I found this statement to be incredibly rude, but she seemed utterly clueless, so I just let it go, mostly because I wanted to see where this was going.

Me: “Okay, that doesn’t seem right to me, but I would be happy to try them on.”

She came back and handed me two bras. I tried them on and they were awful; they were both too small and too big at the same time. I considered just leaving, but I wanted to see if I could get her to fit me correctly after she saw how bad they were. Just to note, I did have the loose bra-fitting T-shirt on.

Clerk: “Is it okay if I come in and check the fit?”

Me: “Yes, but I was right; these do not fit at all.”

Clerk: “Oh, no, those fit you perfectly.”

Me: “No, they don’t. They are so tight on my chest that my boobs are mushrooming out the top, and the band is so loose that if I raise my arms I’ll fall out of it. I can even fit my entire fist in the band.”

I lifted the shirt slightly and showed her that my fist did in fact fit in the band with extra wiggle room.

Clerk: “No, it’s supposed to fit like that. You have just been in the wrong size for so long you’re just used to a tight band. Having a band too tight is what causes back pain.”

Me: “I don’t have back pain. And what about the fact that I have mushroom boobs?”

Clerk: “You just need to push them down farther, or try on the full-coverage option if you don’t like having cleavage. It fits you fine.”

Me: “This is the full-coverage bra. There’s a difference between cleavage and spilling out, and no, it doesn’t. Could you please remeasure?”

She gave an annoyed sigh but did remeasure me.

Clerk: “I’m getting the same numbers. That is the correct size. Would you like me to place an order for you?”

I didn’t say anything. I just lifted my arms and shrugged my shoulders and, as I predicted, the band slid up over my chest and stayed there even after I dropped my arms down.

Me: “Is this supposed to happen? I really don’t think this is the correct size.”

The clerk stared at my chest for a second with the band now across the top of my boobs, not under them, and without saying a word, she turned and walked out of the dressing room. I got dressed, left the store, and never went back.