Sales

I’ve never been good at sales.

I was probably the only Girl Scout in history who was solicited about the cookies I was ‘selling’ by others who had seen me dressed in green rather than the other way around. Feelings of obligation, hustling, and putting people on the spot still makes me squirm.

My mom would take me door-to-door, insisting the only way to get those gorgeous badges was to continue my end of the bargain to sell, sell, sell. I would get anxious, hating to force those delectables on unsuspecting homeowners, and tended to take my sweet time walking from door to door. On one particularly cold and snowy afternoon, I was tromping door to door to meet my ‘minimum sales.’ It was so cold I took off running across the yards trying not to get frostbite, but I couldn’t see the the newly planted tree suspension wires. My cheat sheet of cookie selections and boots went different directions. That season ended with mom buying nearly every box that was required.

When I took a job in sales at Nordstrom about ten years later, I justified it by noting that my gung-ho patronage could override any reservations I had about talking it up. Enter returns with feminine hygiene pads in the back pockets and men insisting on trying on women’s clothing.

But the bizarre and unexpected is where sales always lead. One being an elderly lady of about a size 14 in the juniors department, asking me to remove the pants from her prosthetic leg in the dressing room and put her into a pair of camo pants in a juniors size Large (or, my size). We couldn’t quite manage to get the camo above the knee, which left me face to face with her white panties for minutes. She insisted I stay on my knees to help with the angle of the pants.

Or perhaps a relative of hers who later showed up eager to join in the ‘palazzo pants’ or ‘jazz pants’ craze, insisting the stretchy low-rise pants were supposed to be worn at the natural waist, pulling and packaging everything she had in a way that said, “check this out.”

You can have your commission.

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