My second job is working retail. It’s a job I had all throughout grad school, and I like the discount and the people. In my retail career, I have seen some pretty odd things, but what happened the other day took the cake.
I was at work and it was pretty quiet—just me, the manager and another customer. We were helping the customer when I notice a skinny guy dressed like a total thug, skulking around the perimeter of the store. I assumed he was there with a girlfriend or wife, since men are rarely in our store unaccompanied. If they ARE alone, they either a) ask for help right away or b) stand around and look helpless until we rush to their aid.
I didn’t pay him much mind, but after five minutes I realized he dude was alone and that I should probably see if he needed anything. I approached him in the lingerie section and asked if there was anything I could do for him.
He was nervously fingering the panty tables. In a voice barely above a whisper, he said “I need some boy short panties for a show I am in. I just came from Vicky’s (Victoria’s Secret), and they told me to come here.” I asked him what size he was (12), and showed him what we had.
He picked up a couple pairs and said, “Can I try this on over my underwear?” I replied in the affirmative. He said very quietly, “I’m wearing lace panties. If I put these (boy short) panties over what I have on now, can you tell me how they fit?”
I was taken aback. I try to be as open-minded as possible, but I ain’t about to look at no one’s panties. Period. Thinking fast on my feet, I briskly said, “I don’t wear those, so I can’t speak as to how they are supposed to fit. You will have to figure it out yourself. Now, let me get you that fitting room…”
I went to do side work and about five minutes later I went back to check on him. He was gone. The panties were gone. I found them wadded up back on the panty table.
I told the manager (who was ringing up the only female customer in the store) what had happened and she said, “That dude comes in here all the time. He’s a perv and I just try and ignore him!”
“WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME!?!” I screeched.
“I thought you knew who he was,” she whined. Now, the manager has worked in the store three years, 30 hours a week. I have been back since Christmas and work only five hours a week. How the heck was I supposed to know?! I just started smacking her on the arm, yelling at her.
I later called Victoria’s Secret to find out the perv had never been in that day. I did, however, see him walking past the store every 30 minutes or so. Well, at least I now know to be on the lookout for this damn freak!
It’s a funny story as well as a learning experience. A good dear friend pointed out, and I quote, “First clue that it was a perv was his wanting to include you. That’s a total NO for regular trans* folk. Trying on undies is not a sexual thing, and this dude was obviously looking to get off on his exhibitionism.”
So my Spidey senses WERE tingling for all the right reasons. Ladies, if there are ever any men in your lingerie store wanting you to watch them try on panties, take a page form Nancy Reagan’s book. Just. Say. No.