Monday, September 16, 2013

"Mommie Dearest," The People I Meet at Work

"Mommie Dearest," the title of the Christina Crawford tell-all memoir about the abuse Joan Crawford's daughter suffered, has become a code word for "abusive mother." One of the difficulties working in a simple clothing store for the entire family is seeing such tableaus, unpleasant scenes.

It's lots easier to pick up the mess of clothes some customers leave on the floor of the try-on rooms than to witness scenes like I've seen recently.

A mother came to see the pajamas her daughter asked for.
"Why did you give her that color?"
"Your daughter requested it."
"That purple is ugly."  Turning to her daughter, "why don't you take cream."
"Imma, I like the purple; it's beautiful."
"No it isn't.  Cream is nicer."
A sweet-looking girl when displaying the adorable outfit she has just tried on:
"Imma, (mommy) and how do I look in this?"
"You look terrible. You know you're fat.  We're going to have a start a new food regime when we get home."
These poor kids.

We all make every effort to help people find nice, flattering clothing according to their requirements and requests.  In some situations it isn't easy, but the hardest thing is getting a bird's eye view onto the intimate dynamics of families who shop in the store.

Some of our customers are really wonderful and make a point of sincerely thinking all who had helped them find the clothes they had needed.

At least the negative experiences don't last too long in the store.  If we find it difficult to help some people, we know they will soon finish and leave.  It's not like teaching when you have to deal with a difficult student lesson after lesson for months and sometimes years. We can also ask another staff member to help out if we're afraid that our personal antagonism may be difficult to mask.

Most people are really wonderful


rutimizrachi said...

Every time I hear such a story, my mother, a"h, becomes an even greater heroine in my eyes. She was an abused child. But even AS a child, she said to herself, "I would never treat someone I loved this way." She broke the so-called "cycle of abuse," and loved us unconditionally. Thanks, Mama. Thank you so very much. <3

Unknown said...

I think every mama always treat her children very softly but some time when they want to teach lesson to us they have to be strict.

Kopi Luwak

Hadassa said...

I went shopping yesterday for my daughter's bat mitzva outfit. The store was full of mother/daughters doing the same. I am pleased to say that we were in the store for a long time and there were NO ugly scenes. (Just thought y'all might like a nice story. She chose a purple AND cream outfit and we added some purplish gray items for later Shabbat use.)

Batya said...

Ruti, you're truly blessed to have been raised by such a strong loving woman.
Hadassa, mazaltov! How exciting.
Generally I don't notice any interaction between shopper's unless they are friends or family.
Most customers are very kind to their families and to the staff.