Off. A few months ago, from a part-time job that I didn’t particularly like, but felt was productive as it allowed me to do what I love – talk.(I know you were hoping I was getting laid, but more about that later…) I was working at an upscale Beauty Supply store, and I enjoyed chatting with women all day long, empowering them, and sending them on their way with a smile on their faces, with or without $350 face cream. When I have to do retail (believe it or not, in my extremely lucrative acting and writing careers) I have never had a sales “angle.” My only angle is that I want to connect with people, and it’s fine with me if that happens because of a cooling-lifting-radiant face-mask infused with hibiscus, hyaluronic acid, and the feces of the West African mountain lion.
My job has always been to make people feel better by exposing my own foibles/habits/mental-illnesses. This has the added benefit of making me feel less like I live on a continent alone – as if after North America, South America, Australia, Europe, Asia, Africa, Greenland and Antarctica comes “Susannaca.” You’ve heard of Disney, the most magical place on earth? Well, Susannaca’s brochures advertise the loneliest place on earth. Tumbleweeds blow through the streets, and the air is a rarefied combination of Carbon Monoxide and soot. All life has been extinguished by aliens/the GOP and I walk alone (like the Greenday song) in a pretty funky hazmat suit, if I do say so myself. And I do, because there’s no-one else to talk to.
Cut to: The cheery, flatteringly lit interior of the Beauty Supply.
Charming Sales Person (me) hereafter referred to as CSP: Hi are you looking for something?
Unsuspecting Female: Well my eyes are kind of puffy today because I’ve been crying because my boyfriend broke up with me he said I have a Personality Disorder well he’s the one with the Personality Disorder if he said that to me because I’m a good person, do you think I should get some work done? Maybe a bit more filler in the cheeks, lips and under the eyes and lipo on the jowls, knees and ass?
CSP: Hmmm… So it sounds like you need an eye cream, to soothe, nourish and moisturize that dry, neglected eye area…
UP: Why yes, I think that’s exactly what I need.
CSP: Let me take you over to this brand, that has a doctor’s face on the packaging so it must be a scientific breakthrough. A big breakup deserves an equally expensive cream don’t you think? Do you still have his credit card?
UP: Why yes, yes I do, that prick. It’s a Black Amex card.
(In case you don’t know what an Amex black card is, it’s for clients who spend more than one million a year and includes a valet service anywhere in the world, no credit limit (you can buy a plane with it) and other perks that us plebes have never heard of.
Cut to: An hour later…
UF is ready to leave the store. She looks radiant and content and is clutching three large shopping bags containing a dermabrasion system, Clarisonic skin scrubber, Laser Hair Remover, Neck lifting Serum ($750) and an eye cream containing the semen of the Goji-eating Himalayan Platypus.
So you see, everyone was happy? I got top sales per hour for three months in a row, because I figured out that women come into a Beauty store not looking for what they say they’re looking for. Everything the customer asks for is code for something else, the thing she’s really seeking:
Eye cream – usually denotes a special kind of comfort after crying.
Mascara – a more innocent time when she could get anything by fluttering lashes.
Mascara growth serum – Desperately seeking that time.
Eye shadow – doesn’t want to see husband’s affair.
Perfume – Hates the way she smells and suspects her man does too.
Large red hairdryer made by Ferrari company – A penis (obviously)
Tingly plumping lipgloss – Latent lesbian who doesn’t know pussy will change her life.
You get the idea. So on this fair morning I happened to walk into the store not feeling completely dejected about the lack of movement in my thriving career, and am completely in the moment, ready to be of service to all who come through our doors, whether tourist, local mom friend, or bratty teenager from Malibu High who will turn over every single item in the store in an effort to steal something, which I will thwart, and she will be so embarrassed that she will then be forced to buy an eyeliner (desire to look older and become sexually active.)
The manager calls me into the back and because I’m psychic I already know what’s going to happen. Sure enough she gives me my monthly gift card for top salesperson per hour, and then fires me. Really she just “didn’t need a part-timer anymore” but I’ve been fired from every non-show business job I’ve ever had, so this isn’t exactly a novel experience. I then have about ten minutes to make a Price is Right style grab for everything in the store I can still get at the employee discount (which was my main reason for working there to begin with.)
I was a little miffed (it was like dating an alcoholic, one minute you’re the bomb, the next he’s lit your fuse and exploded you.) But it turned out to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me. The fact is that going home that day inspired me to re-launch this blog, which is why you are reading this right now. Some days I am able to believe that negative events all come to pass in our lives for a reason (although I’m sure if I were a single mother who had been fired for no reason, I might feel differently.) This is one of those days.
By the way, I don’t really want to go in to the place I used to work, does anyone know a place around here that sells large, powerful, pink curling wands?