it’s topshop saturday rush hour. pre-Christmas consumerism chaos in what seems like an unsupervised mad house. although I’m not employed by the mega brand, but working for one of its struggling concessions, I’m acquired to do one hour fitting room service. free labour seems strangely attractive to multimillion corporations.
while assisting screaming adolescents trying on identical dresses in five hideous colours (but who will ultimately purchase a tiny bottle of topcoat nail hardener for £3), I‘m simultaneously sensing the stern presence of a polished professional accustomed to less mess and quality customer service. blonde sendré highlights, lip coloured lip stick, faultless autumn nails, the powerful thighs of a horse, leather ankle boots prepared to step on you. she locks eyes with me, inhales the level of my insecurity and injects shot after shot of blame into my pathetic bloodstream. the word sorry flows like red wine-sick from my brainless mouth. “I’m very sorry about that, it’s store policy”, “sorry, there are only six items allowed in the fitting room”, “I’m sorry that someone poked me with a maternity hanger.” my soul gets drained from apologies and ultimately regresses to a disposable fork.
the occasional self-proclaimed humanitarian suffices among the consumer mad. clusters of Gestapo fashionistas are common. once they reported on a ‘disgusting anorexic’ avoiding the fitting room queue by changing on the shop floor. I ignored this so called issue and yearned for more people like her. the nudity stimulates an endless chain of restless children/bored lovers/wealthy grand parents that would otherwise succumb to the manipulative top shop pop music. but most importantly it decreases my work.