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To all those luxury shop assistants

This post is dedicated to all of you who don’t dress up to go shopping and will go in shorts and a t-shirt to buy a R1000 shirt at a luxury retail store. To those of us who get neglected at the perfectly manicured hands of luxury retail staff:

Hi there

Hi there. Hi there. Hello? Excuse me? Hi there.

Hello. Hi there. Hi there. Hello.

Oh no, I must be wearing my invisibility cloak today, silly me! I’m sitting in the corner of your boutique store, and oddly enough I’m not standing here for my health, neither am I keen to wait for you to make a four course meal in the backroom.

I see you there at the till, Mr Luxury Shop Assistant. You haven’t so much ignored me as you have actually refused to believe that I actually exist in this time and place.

Yes…I am wearing Billabong shorts. I am wearing a R50 white t-shirt from Woolworths. But the watch that perches on my wrist is worth more than your face and that of your partner, and the company I keep is worth more than your entire world.

I see you there at the till, baton twirling, cleaning your nails, rubbing moisturiser into your hands, looking at your newly bleached teeth, dreaming about your new herb mint face mask and making balloon dogs as in store entertainment for yourself. You seem to have an awful lot of time on those pedicured hands of yours.


Shop assistants: Flamboyant

When you do eventually take note of my meaningless existence, you mince over to me, making sure to catch a glimpse of your wiry body in the mirror on your way over, and offer the following:

“Hi can I help you?”

I’m going to get you now, oooooh!

“Yeah do you think Vivian Westwoods spring collection of 2008 was more ethical and flamboyant than the Tom Ford runway show of the same year?”

“I don’t know” You say, dropping a slight hint of a giggle.

“Well then you can’t help me can you?”

Shop Assistant sits quietly.

I shmooze off to the shoe section. I caress a pair of R5000 brogues that no doubt had their beginnings in the hands of some underpaid sweatshop worker, who will never even see 1% of the sale of these shoes hit his pocket.

“Garcon!” I snap. The shop assistant is now making himself a coffee in the backroom. Skip the sugar and the milk my boy, you’ll never be able to fit into your leggings if you add those.

I crank on to the shirt section.

“Hi there” I shout across the shop.

Assistant crawls over.

“These slim fit shirts use less fabric than regular shirts don’t they?”

“Yes I think so”

“So why are they R300 more than the regular ones?”

“I don’t know sir”


So…you’re an assistant. You work in a shop the size of an average Bishopscourt child’s playroom, and still you don’t really know what’s going on inside the store. The only things you know are the basics.

Do you have a large in this shirt?Let me check.

Do you have a size 9 in these shoes? Let me check.

Do you have these socks in purple? Let me check.

In fact, the only reason you know these things, are because you need to keep checking them.  Well I can also do these things, I’ll have you know. I can also moisturise and dress perfectly and gel my hair and primp and preen to within an inch of my life. But I’d at least bother trying to do some work while I’m in the shop. I might care to learn about the brands and what my store actually stocks.

I might even care to help the gentleman who looks like he’s going to the beach in the clothes he’s wearing, because he might just drop a few grand in the shop today. He might even refer his friends to that store, and you may even get repeat sales.

A man in a suit walks in and he is good looking. Now I’m sitting in the corner like an orphan child, and suddenly Mr Latin Lothario cruises in wearing his Brioni suit and with his Botox wife attached to his arm. Now the sales assistant jumps to attention.

“Morning sir! And how are you today? Fabulous!”

I can see the shop assistants face sparkle with delight as he is sure that this is going to end in a sale. He is going so far to help the gentleman in his Brioni suit, the only thing he isn’t doing is being his right hand man for all occasions, and finishing his sentences off for him.

I quietly slip out the back door as the sales orgy goes on inside. I’m fairly sure I heard screams of delight as I left the store.

I guess I’ll just have to go back to the house then and amuse myself.


A basic activity in my average day

I’ll buy the clothes another time at your opposition.

P.S Your poker straight GHD hair sucks.

Sean Lloyd

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