Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Global Village's Favorite Aunt

Millie and Mollie know a lot of remarkable people. Some of these people are so wise and their perspectives are so unique that their gentle teachings have stayed with us forever. K3 is one such person. She was born knowing things that the rest of us may never figure out.


K3 writes:

For some reason Millie thinks that what I might have to say could be partially amusing and, at some level, edifying. She and I kind of floated tangentially around each other in high school in the late 70s -- when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Let me say that I'm not a mom -- and at my "advanced age" probably won't be. I have, however, been blessed with nieces and nephews as well as the plethora of kids my friends have popped out and shared liberally. The most terrifying day of my life was in the mid 80s when my brother called to inform me that he and his wife had just finished their wills and if anything were to happen to the two of them, the three boys were mine. Um... Gee.... Thanks?

I have a lot of opinions about family, kids, life, etc. Some of them are even well reasoned and insightful. So you may find an occasional contribution from out here in left field filling in some details from the peanut gallery.

* * *

I am NOT your Babysitter!

I am recovering from a divorce; I find myself working two jobs. It’s a PITA (Pain In The After-burner – if you know what I mean). I do my 9-5 kind of thing as a technical writer for a software company that deals primarily with Medicare and Medicaid applications (I should pay more attention!) and then in my “off hours,” I work at a women’s clothing store in an outlet mall. With two years behind me, I’m the senior staff member at the store. I’ve been through three managers, an embezzler, and three thieves and still find myself being the best sweater folder in the place.

The district manager who looks in on me and my co-workers is concerned about us meeting the financial goals the company has laid out for us. It hasn’t been a problem so far, but she is sure it will be. One of the things she wants us to concentrate on is customer service to which I respond, “DUH!”

I don’t mind helping customers. I don’t mind digging through the piles of sweaters to find the only size “large” in the stack. I don’t mind rehanging the pile of clothes you left on the floor of the dressing room. What I DO mind is being left with your four year old while you look for the bargain of the day.

Frankly, I thought this was an isolated thing. When I worked in a department store full time, moms would sentence their child to sit in the “bored husband chair” outside the dressing room while they sorted through the racks of skirts and slacks . . . at the other end of the store. Meanwhile, little Johnny or Cindy would get restless and fidgety and want to get up and run around the store. In order to keep the pending mayhem down to a dull roar, it was up to me to be the enforcer reminding them that no, the t-shirt display did not double as a jungle gym and the dressing room curtains were not indoor tire swings.

I enjoy talking with children of all ages. The other day, I spent a few minutes pondering the virtues of Velcro versus shoe laces with a four-year old boy. Another time, I helped a little girl find “pink” things in her back pack. Now, I agree that these are valiant and appropriate tasks for a baby sitter, but not when I’m supposed to be providing “excellent customer service” to a store full of fashionistas wondering what color this blouse is and what the sale price of that dress might be after the discounts.

Does this mean I don’t think kids should go shopping with their moms? Not at all! But moms need to realize when shopping with Missy and Mikey that it can’t be just about designer dresses. Sometimes it has to be about dinosaurs and dolls, too. Cuz I’m WORKIN’ HERE!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I couldn't possibly have shopped with Peter and Roger when they were small. I figured I deserved an afternoon off once a week (especially when John traveled). Babysitters were (are) expensive, but so is therapy.


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