Tales From Retail

Picture it: early morning, NYC, 2014. I’ve just finished my cup of coffee and paperwork, and I’m headed to the sales floor.

I’m met by an older gentleman holding some boxes of lubricant in his hands, looking quite perplexed. I can tell he’d like to ask someone about it, but he’s embarrassed.

So, I offer my help. After a while of working retail, nothing shocks you anymore, you know? So, I go through the differences of all the KY products (pro tip: always the Warming liquid. ALWAYS.) and he comes across a bottle of Wet.

For the uninitiated: Wet has all types of lube, but is best known for their flavored products. This truly seems to pique his interest. He asks if I’ve tried it before, then quickly apologizes as he thinks it too forward of him to ask. Again, nothing shocks me anymore, so I answer honestly that yes, I have (try the kiwi strawberry one.)

He then asks if the other lubes would be good for oral. No, I tell him, lube in general tastes like licking a plastic container if it isn’t flavored.

He looks at the different flavors. “I wish I could test some of these out,” he says. “Thanks so much for being so open to helping me out.”

“It’s my job,” I say. “You’re very welcome to any help I can give.” This, perhaps, wasn’t the best wording because he then asks me THE question of my day:

“Can I try it on you?”

I tried my best to maintain a straight face, but I’m sure I looked like this:

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Glasses and all, y’all.

He bursts into laughter when he sees my face. “I’m only kidding my dear; I know better,” he says between laughs.

I didn’t think he was serious, but there was definitely a moment of “what in all of the fucks” flashing through my head at the time.

Working retail is like playing paintball. We know that at any time we can be hit with something (whether the customer is angry or trying to be cheeky, like this one), and we have to make it a point to continue to play through it. Some days are harder than others, but this man had the benefit of a) me having coffee and breakfast right before he pulled these shenanigans (you wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry) and b) having enough grace to know that being a comedian isn’t his strong suit.

So instead of ripping him a new one, I smile and ask him if there was anything else he needed.

He told me no, thanked me again, and left (with the KY. He decided he wasn’t ready for flavored yet.)

I don’t think I was ready for him. Definitely a highlight (? lowlight?) of my day.

Happy Monday, y’all! 🙂

 

Stories