Sunday, April 17, 2016
Regrettable Moments 2: "Shampooed"
When I took the job I was not long out of the dance world or fully acclimatised to civilian life, it must be said…
I had been assigned checkout duty, which seemed a relatively safe bet provided I didn't talk to the customers.
All went well for a while.
Then the owner decided he wanted to open a much larger supermarket across the road and get the existing staff to stock the shelves.
This was not what I had signed up for! I was taken aback. But then I decided: how hard can stocking supermarket shelves be?
As it turns out, it can be quite hard for some people. Not the stocking itself, I managed that quite well, considering. Considering I was not fully acclimatised. But the trouble came in the break when I was left with my fellow shelf stocker, an older woman in her forties with a bright orange bob, in the bathroom supplies aisle, with nothing to say or do.
There were no guidelines for such situations. Anything could happen.
Anything did happen.
Standing in front of the shampoos, leaning against the frozen foods chiller, I decided to make conversation by asking my fellow stocker what shampoo she used – as you do.
How was I to know she didn't have any hair?
Well, according to other staff members I later confessed to, nothing was ever more obvious than that bright orange wig. I was the only one who hadn't noticed it was a wig. I was, I am, also quite likely the only person in history ever to ask, without intent to cause harm, a totally bald person what shampoo they used.
The trouble was I was not fully acclimatised. I couldn't even have told her what brand of shampoo I used at that time - had she asked.