Saturday, November 21, 2009

Retail Rant Revisited - Episode Three - The Horrors Of Glitter Lung

One day about three years ago, now, I arrived at work like usual. It was the start of the peak holiday season for us, (which means it was sometime in October.) I was working with Jon that day. Jon's a great guy - a very talented artist - but not very talkative. It was like pulling teeth to get him to speak sometimes.

But that never stopped me from trying.

Determined to always make the best of every situation, my mind raced for things I could try to talk about with him. I looked down and saw my slacks sparkling in the light.

"Now how in the world do I already have glitter on me? I just got here!" I brushed my slacks off in vain. "I swear, this stuff is everywhere this time of year!"

Jon looked across the table at me evenly, his expression unfaltering. "I think everyone who works here is going to die of Glitter Lung." Jon looked back down and resumed his work, as if his statement was something said every day.

I stared at him, open-mouthed. First, because he spoke without having been asked a direct question. Second, because he hardly ever tried to make a joke.

The giggles were coming. I felt them churning in my gut, clawing their way to the surface. I knew once they escaped, they wouldn't stop for awhile.

You see, in my store, EVERYTHING sparkles for the holidays - Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas most of all. Glitter adorns the silk flower bushes, the stems, the made arrangements, the ornaments, the wreaths, the stockings, anything and everything you can think of shimmers with the stuff.

And so, my co-workers and I shimmer with the stuff as well. We get it on our hands, our clothes, our shoes, our hair - nothing escapes the sparkly stuff during peak season. We track it home with us, so it invades our cars, our carpets, our laundry baskets. My poor husband glimmers almost as much as I do every year.

We make the best of it at work. Everyone is resigned to shimmery sheik for peak season. Glitter fights have been known to ensue. We've even swept it up in piles and saved it for future use.

We make our own fun.

Jon has since moved on to better and brighter things, but I'll always remember his observation about Glitter Lung, and how he stared at me in confusion while I struggled to breathe through my laughter. I shared his statment with everyone else at the store.

Needless to say, Peak season is now always Glitter Lung season.

Thanks Jon.

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