18 February 2014


So I was in my local outlet of a nationwide chemist the other day looking for my fave facial scrub (FFS) when I had an awkward encounter with an employee.

I hadn't bought my FFS in a while, thanks to having a surplus supply after I thought I'd left a tube in a hotel in Barcelona and had immediately bought another one at the airport for fear of having a blocked pore for one day.

Then I found the lost tube in my suitcase so I had two tubes to get through. And I use it sparingly. I also went to Barcelona. Natch.

Anyway, it had been so long between tubes that when I couldn't find it in the aisle with the other facial scrubs, I assumed it was discontinued because clearly it was just me keeping them in business.

At the corner of my eye I could see a young man rearranging a shelf. As I shifted uneasily from foot to foot, hand on hip looking for the said FFS I couldn't believe he hadn't assisted me already. My internal monologue was ranting at him when finally he became aware of me after I exhaled loudly. He straightened up and asked if he could help. Without looking at him and in a very you are a shelf-stacker and I am a customer voice I said, "Yes, I am looking for a facial scrub, it's called St. Ives". He immediately reached down to the bottom shelf and grabbed a tube. "The invigorating one please" (such a cunt). He reached again for the correct tube. As he handed it to me our eyes met and I realised we had met before.

So did he.

It was one of the guys from the ill fated group speed dating night. One of the guys who gave me his number. One of the guys who I didn't call.

I took the tube from him and scampered into the next aisle and started perusing something, anything, to get away. I think I ended up picking up a packet of heavily discounted feminine hygiene products.

I wondered why out of all the shelf stackers I could have encountered that day, in all the chemists in London, I had to encounter him. Maybe this was a sign. Maybe it wasn't.

While I was walking up to join the snaking checkout queue, his boss gave an inaudible order to him and he walked to the cash register and logged in.

Shit. Shit. Shit. I'm going to totally get him. I looked at everyone already in various states of transaction ahead of me and tried to judge where I would land. It wasn't looking good.

As he called "next customer" and I walked up I thought if this was a film, I would go home, realise the immaturity of my ways, fish out his number, call him, well, text him, and ask him out on a date. Or right there and then in the shop I would perform some grand gesture and ask him out over the PA system or something wildly embarrassing although lovable like that.

But I didn't. I added a packet of chewing gum to my FFS. Paid. And then fucked off immediately, mentally scouring London for another chemist on my daily route so I would never have to go back there. Ever.

I told this story to a friend and she seemed disappointed I didn't ask him out.

"But you never know he could be really nice guy," she optimistically beamed.

Yeah he could be but if I didn't think anything was there the night of the speed dating event, there certainly isn't going to be anything there the day I find him rearranging the half off bin at Boots.

"Would you have asked him out?" I asked.

"Nup," she replied.

My point exactly.

If this makes me seem like a shallow bitch then so be it. I'm not going to feel sorry for someone and ask them out on a date just because they stack shelves at a chemist and I was a rude customer.

This isn't a Jennifer Lopez film, thanks.

1 comment:

  1. Baahah. I have asked out, or agreed to date, way too many guys in my day. I've finally just recently stopped doing so; I've just broken too many hearts and I feel so bad!

    Anyhow, I probably would have reacted identically to you in this situation lol. Depending on exactly HOW awkward I felt around this guy, I may have even left the line to "grab something I forgot" once I realized I'd be next in line in his queue.


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