Click to use the Talking Dictionary 53. Mend the Car, Fend Off the Men (1)


53. Lisa got into her car. She hoped it would start. Twice in the past month, the car had not started the first time she turned the key. It had started the second time she turned the key, but that made her nervous. Sooner or later, she might have to turn the key three times, then four times, then four hundred times. "Sooner or later," of course, might occur at the worst possible time in the worst possible place. Besides using the car for school and personal errands, she needed it for work. Without the money from her two jobs, she couldn't pay her bills.

She had called her mechanic. He said to bring the car in when she had time. When was that, she wondered. She said she'd call him back. She had two jobs. Her day job was at Koss, a popular clothing store on Foothill Boulevard. As a new hire, she was at the bottom of the ladder. Her assignment, five days a week, was to rehang clothes on hangers.

She worked near the dressing rooms. Customers were allowed to take a maximum of five clothing items into the dressing rooms. They were given a tag with a number on it. The number matched the number of items they were taking into the dressing rooms. They returned the tag, with the items, to a worker when they exited the dressing rooms. The tag number and the number of items had to match, of course.

Lisa was not the worker who handed out and retrieved the tags. She was the worker who hung all the tried‐on clothes back onto the hangers. Large signs in the dressing rooms said "Please Hang the Clothes Back Up on the Hangers," but most customers ignored the signs.

When she didn't have any clothes to hang up, she kept busy folding clothes, picking clothes off the store floor where people had just dropped them under the racks and rehanging them on the racks, or putting clothes in their appropriate sections on the racks—small, medium, large. She also patrolled the store, picking up trash or out‐of‐place items that had been moved around by customers and looking for spilled liquids that needed immediate mopping up.

Eventually, she hoped to work her way up the ladder to be a cashier. Her boss, whom she had caught eyeing her a couple of times, had already offered her a cashier job, but there was a catch. She had to go out to dinner with him. She had demurred. He was, in a word, creepy. Further, he was fat, with a pock‐marked face and a thick moustache, which he stroked far too often. She didn't know which he loved more—himself or his moustache. 4.7, 460


53. Copyright © Mike Carlson. All rights reserved.