Wow, where do I begin? It’s just too much juiciness to know where to start. Background. Yes, I’ll give you a little background.
For anyone that hasn’t read my previous posts, I work for a Southwest company that caters to cowboys, equestrian…whatever you call them and for lack of a better term, Southwest enthusiasts. The closest I’ve come to owning a horse would be the 10 My Little Ponies I kept in a My Little Pony stable.
So now I’m a boot Buyer for all of these horse enthusiasts and it’s been a learning curve to say the least. Bull shitting is an understatement when on the rare occasion I have to communicate with them and help them find boots. I have learned a lot about the nuances but seem to run into a new question everyday that I don’t know the answer to.
Today began a 4 day horse show event. Despite being part of the Merchandising team that sits in the office all day, we are required to work this event all weekend along with the store retail team. Although I have to work 12 days straight, it’s nice to get out of the office and gives me an excuse to eat more than I should since I’ll be on my feet all day burning calories.
I was trying to figure out which styles we should take to the show. To do this, you need to understand the customer. I consulted co-workers who have attended this before. Here were some of their comments:
“The customer is that older lady who has a pet horse in her backyard.” This comment gave me absolutely no direction considering I don’t know 1 person on Earth that keeps a horse in their backyard. Maybe it’s like that Amazon commercial with the midget horse and she buys a horse door?? I can’t even imaging cleaning up that amount of shit.
“They will try to bargain with you on price.” This is clearly absurd. This isn’t Priceline or Ebay. The price is the price is the price. This isn’t a negotiation.
“Don’t bring any fashion boots. This isn’t a fashion crowd.” Again, another reason why I don’t fit in.
The event was being held at a large, horribly old, expo center. I breezed past a long line of women to go in to the building 15 minutes before the doors were to open. My company had a pop up store and was favored by many for the boot selection. I was in charge of the boot department and I must say, I think we out did ourselves. 30 minutes later, the boot area was nothing but a sea of middle aged women wearing cowboy hats, windbreakers and hairstyles dating back to 1986.
I approached a lady and asked if she had any questions which she should have realized was code for ‘I’m just being cordial. I really don’t want to answer your questions.’
“I’m just looking for a good riding boot, nothing fancy. What do you suggest?”
Oh fuck…..I forgot everything I know about boots right when she asked the question. My brain has a way of being easily submerged into full blown panic if I don’t know an answer right away.
“Um, Ariat. Have you tried Ariat?” I asked.
I wanted to tell her, “I don’t know. Any of them? I mean, don’t wear stilettos but pick a boot. I don’t know. Your the one with a horse. You tell me.”
“Any of these,” I said vaguely motioning to 15 boots, ensuring my hand did not stay on one boot too long to incriminate myself for not knowing what a good riding boot looked like.
As I stared at a woman in disgust who was wearing her dog in some sort of dog baby bjorn, I noticed a woman walking around with a pair of boots I had just sold to a different woman minutes before that. The woman I sold them to, vowed that while she held her bloody Mary in 1 hand (this was 10:40 a.m.), she would hold on to the boots with her other hand and not let go. She was shopping with her friend who was holding a Miller Light.
‘That bitch stole that lady’s boots,’ was my first thought.
In lieu of accusing her, I went up and asked if I could help her with anything.
“Actually, I work here,” she answered.
Well now it made sense why she was holding the boots. She was helping a customer.
“What? Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know that. How long have you worked here? My name is Hot Mess, and you are?”
“My name is Debbie and actually this is my first hour,” she responded. Despite being uber frumpy she was very bubbly and I instantly knew why they hired her.
“Well welcome aboard!” I said as I shook her hand.
30 minutes later Debbie was no where to be found. I figured another department was short handed and had asked Debbie to help them. I was fine with that as we had more than enough people and actually, Debbie wasn’t even on the original schedule I had looked at earlier this week.
Debbie wasn’t on the original schedule because Debbie didn’t work for us. Debbie’s elevator didn’t go all the way to the top floor and was literally pretending to be a sales associate and helping our customers. Two other departments thought they too had a Debbie till the manager caught word and confirmed she had never hired her. Debbie was escorted off the property immediately.
Welcome to my world and to day 1. I cannot wait to see who will be my main characters for tomorrow. Lord knows there is enough people watching to last for years.