Conversations with a Sales Attendant

I am all for equal wages and I support it wholeheartedly but there are some exceptions to the rule that need to be considered before we start making our rightful demands. I may receive a lot of flak for what I am about to say now. Last evening I went to a store to stock up on my innerwear. It was pretty late and all the lady attendants had already left. I was quite lost as asking for assistance over cup sizes and fits that I prefer was a little uncomfortable for me. I mean I was not a perky 20-something on a lacy lingerie shopping spree, I was on a mission to pick up some comfy, functional intimates (yes, boring is generally how some of you may describe it). Gauging my hesitation, a young man from the men’s section, came to my rescue. Now here is the fun part, seeing him I was relieved because he was really young, not more than a couple of years older than my own son, hence, yet to join the University of Creepology. At the risk of sounding rude, I have to state that in my experience as a woman in this country, it’s always the men above 35 who gave me the creeps, especially when it came to discussing something as private or personal as women’s underwear or hygiene/sanitary products. Forgive me if it sounds like an accusation. I don’t intend to generalise or hurt any particular age group’s sentiments. I am truly thankful for the well-behaved, respectful exceptions, which no doubt form the majority of the men’s population in our society.

Anyway, coming back to the lad at the store, I gave him my specifications in terms of the material, cuts etc, I mostly lean to and he gladly helped me by fetching them. Let me warn you, I am a fussy shopper and I like to try on a million options before I decide on one. So, I took my own sweet time in trying on the pieces. He stood a little far away from the women’s trial rooms and patiently waited for me, handled my queries, and ran back and forth from the innerwear section to the trial rooms to fish out items that fit my demands. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and get confused with the endless collections on display at a store like M&S.

I ended up buying most of the stuff I tried on (thankfully) and this sweet fellow assisted me throughout with his tireless smile. God bless him because by the time I left the store it was very late and it had started to pour. I am sure he was the last few of the employees to leave the store at night.

So my question here is, the concept of equal wages, should it be implemented without addressing the issues like the male employees are asked to stay back until 10 or even beyond and attend to fussy shoppers like me without showing any sign of any tedium whereas the women employees can leave as soon as the clock strikes 8?

Or maybe, instead of making demands for equal wages, we first ensure that our streets and public transport are safe enough for the women workforce to travel without fear or hesitation at night. This will give the hardworking womenfolk an opportunity to also work as late as their male counterparts and make some extra wages. What do you think?

pic attribution: Google


3 thoughts on “Conversations with a Sales Attendant

  1. That’s a great observation. Male employee always complain with unfair treatment when it comes to staying back (not on overtime). The normal time for the male employees is 9-10 pm depending on industry/location whereas for females it is 8-8.30 pm. It is not just safety in night rather many female employees are also homemaker and have kids to take care of. As a country, a lot needs to be done in the retail sector.

    Liked by 1 person

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