One of the things that drive me completely crazy in life is when I’m aware that my lower back and butt crack might be showing.
Since I began my current employment, I’ve developed a habit of wearing long layering tank tops underneath whatever shirt I’m wearing just to avoid this feeling of exposure. I spend a good portion of my time at work bending down or squatting, stocking low shelves. Needless to say, the risk of unwanted butt-exposure increases ten-fold while doing duties such as this. Additionally, there seems to be a strange customer magnetism that occurs when I am crouching down in the most awkward of positions. I need to fill a floor-level bin with rolls of tape? Okay, there’s no one in the aisle… let me just nonchalantly get down on my hands and knees– oh, hello customer’s ass. Hello person standing behind me texting and mouth-breathing (ah, nothing like warm customer breath on your butt-crack).
Today was a very busy day in town. Spring break is here and the college students who haven’t gone home are being visited by their wealthy, out-of-state parents. Although there were certainly less drug-addled creepers being sketchy and inappropriate, the volume of rude and completely oblivious people was at a record high.
When I say “oblivious”, let me paint a word picture to accompany it: groups of forty-somethings who happen to know each other from somewhere far away and decide to have a raucous chat session about their exciting rich lives. Instead of standing somewhere slightly out of the way of other customers (and, ahem, the girl working her ass off hauling boxes at the back of aisle four), they plant themselves like large, noisy tree trunks directly in the spot I have to keep returning to in my shelf-stocking. “Pardon me,” I say with an innocent false apologetic tone.
“Excuse me.” I say. This box is starting to get really heavy. My injured wrist (on which I wear a very noticeable brace) is starting to strain and pull and I fear I’m going to drop everything.
Nothing, except a languid comment about the weather here, or a scoffing joke about one of our products.
Fine, I’ll just use force. I barge into their gab-session with my box and place it right down where it needs to go.
They all flinch as if I’m infected with something. Do they offer any sort of half-assed apology for using my work space as their country club away from home? Of course not.
I’m not one to demand apologies, especially for honest oversights. So they were standing in my way, big deal. It’s just that look of contempt that registers in their eyes when I have forced them to acknowledge my presence… forced them to acknowledge that this little store, this little town, this little life they’re partaking in, doesn’t exist merely to accommodate them. That’s what bothers me.
But about the exposure problem. Despite what I just said about these swarms of tourists and their apparent blind-eye to the lowly retail worker, if they were forced to see my ass crack up close and personal I know their chatty moods would plummet into irritation born from disgust and would therefore become “problem customers”. It’s really amazing how their moods effect the atmosphere of the entire store.
So, of all days, I chose a to wear no tank top underneath my t-shirt. Then, my old ratty belt sort of just turned itself inside out and gave up. I had to throw it away and finish the work day with a t-shirt that kept riding up, a pair of jeans that kept riding down, and an extra surge of hatred for the rich people who who stand in my way.