just an aside ….

By robynjay On November 17th, 2010

Dear retail assistants,
I am now officially over your terms of endearment that you feel are an essential aspect of providing me with customer service.
In the last month I have been called:

  • darls
  • darling
  • love
  • lovie
  • sweetie (by a 20 yr old)
  • gorgeous (also by 20 yr old) , and
  • dear

I’m just waiting for sweetie, cupcake, honeybun, sweetpea, sugar plum, princess, precious or perhaps poppet is awaiting me ?

Male assistants are a little more cautious:

  • madam (well it’s an option if the consultancy doesn’t work out)
  • ma’am (am I THAT old?)
  • miss (has been a VERY long time)

or best of all…

  • mate (by a young Indian guy)

The terms are typically used in conjunction with short queries – “chips or fries love ? (read any of the above options) and replace extended phrases such as “would you like ….” or “hi” …. or “excuse me..”

I just hope I can cope and my hormones don’t get the better of me. A  ‘ grumpy old woman’ moment in public won’t be pretty.


CC FlickR image by ginfox

however simple ….

By robynjay On January 17th, 2010

Yesterday, in the back room of the church at the Balmain Market I found a veritable treasure chest of Thai silk clothing and textiles. A few items were hung but most were tied in twine in carefully arranged piles on a trestle table.

The stall was run by a Thai woman and a younger helper who I am guessing was her daughter. The older woman appeared to be instructing the other as I perused their gorgeous wares. I was quietly and respectfully showed to a small makeshift changing room when I made my difficult selection.

My purchase was laid out on the table and the item meticulously folded. ‘It is all handmade’, the stall-owner said, and she stroked the fabric as she quietly explained to the other how to fold it. The shirt was then placed on a sheet of simple, hand made rice paper and the older woman stepped her apprentice through a fold that culminated in a tucked in corner that necessitated no adhesive.

In two hands the parcel was handed to me and I was graciously thanked for my purchase. We exchanged a smile and feeling as though I was carrying treasure I left the building contemplating what I had just witnessed. Seconds later the young woman ran up and gave me a small shoulder bag – ‘this is for you, for free’, she said.

The parcel sat for a day unwrapped.