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Tales from the Front: When shopping, you never know what’s in store

Next time you’re shopping in a department store, look around you. You’re standing in the middle of 21st century “Peyton Place”!

Mattie was a salesperson in men’s fragrances. She and a group of employees, men and women, would hang out together. They had lunch together, went on breaks together, made plans for after-work and weekends.

Connor, her boss, was part of the group. After several of these friendly get-togethers, he made it clear that he’d like to be more than just friends. Mattie made it just as clear that she didn’t want to get involved. She had already had some workplace romances and considered them an all-around bad scene.

“First of all, everybody knows what’s going on. Second of all, when it’s over you can’t just walk away. You have to see the person every day.”

But those are logical reasons, and what with the strong musk odor coming from her counter and the natural physical attraction between her and Connor, in no time the two were together constantly.

“We’d have lunch together, go on breaks together, he’d come by my counter to talk, I’d go and find him. We’d go out after work four or five times a week and see each other on weekends, too.”

This marathon dating went on for three months. And then one afternoon, Mattie called and asked Connor if he was ready to take his break. He said no. He had too much work to do. He wasn’t going to take a break. Maybe tomorrow. So Mattie went up to the employee cafeteria alone. She sat down and in walked Connor with another woman. And not just any other woman.

Abby was the store hussy. She worked in men’s clothing and the word was she had a different guy picking her up after work every day. Mattie and Connor had even discussed her once.

“I had said something to him like, ‘I don’t know why everyone thinks she’s so attractive.’ She had a nice body but she had no class and she really wasn’t very pretty. I remember he seemed very defensive, but I didn’t think anything of it.

“When I saw them, I thought, ‘Well, maybe he just got his work finished and bumped into her and they’re just having a friendly break.’ But then, when they sat down, they sat next to each other, not across from each other like friends. That’s when I knew there was something going on. I couldn’t believe he was doing this in front of me.”

When the break was over, Mattie went back to her counter and called Connor. She said, “I think we need to talk.” He came over that night and explained that his relationship with Abby was strictly physical. It was Mattie he really cared about. But Mattie wasn’t buying. “What a bunch of garbage. I was furious.”

The next day, she arrived at work with a large shopping bag. It was filled with the flotsam and jetsam of a three-month relationship: CD’s, DVD’s, a toothbrush, a couple of sweaters, running shoes. She took the escalator up to the second floor and dumped them in front of Abby and said, “Give these to our friend.”

Abby, of course, felt so embarrassed. When Connor heard about it, he felt humiliated. Mattie felt great!

Have you ever done anything like Abby? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants, to cheryllavinrapp@gmail.com.



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