Odoriferous Reinforcement

Customer: “Do you carry poppers?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “…”

Customer: “…”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Do you carry solvents?”

Me: “Right this way!”

I’m slowly getting them trained.

Say It With Covers

Nasty-Pig-Reflector-Logo-Snapback-8132-Black-F__07970.1506031726.500.750Customer 1: [brandishing a Nasty Pig baseball cap featuring their iconic snout logo] “You need this.”

Customer 2: [pointing at said logo accusingly] “No! I know what that means.”

Customer 1: “Oh, really? What does it mean?”

Customer 2: “I don’t have to tell you.”

Customer 1: “No, tell me. What does it mean?”

Customer 2: “You know what it means, and I’m not going to wear it.”

Customer 1: [to me] “Children these days. How are we supposed to educate them?”

I didn’t have the heart to tell them that wearing a Nasty Pig baseball cap means, “I’m wearing a Nasty Pig baseball cap.” I mean, I guess you could go all hanky code with the color choices, but otherwise, the only message you’re sending is “I bought a gay hat.”

Adopting Standards

Customer. “Well, hello!”

Me: “Hi!”

Customer: “Are you for sale?”

[Inner Me: Did he just call me a hooker?]

Me: “I am off the market.”

Customer: “Is that negotiable?”

Me: “Alas, it is not.”

Customer: “That’s a shame.”

[Inner Me: The fuck it is.]

Me: [neutral smile]

Customer: “You’re probably too young for me anyway. How old are you?”

Me: “I’m 42.”

Customer: “Oh, my God, you’re a baby.”

Me; “Uh… thank you?”

Customer: “My youngest son is your age.”

Me: “Ah. Well, then.”

Customer: “Oh! We could be incestuous!”

And now I will never get “Dueling Banjos” out of my head. Thanks a lot, bad dad.

Notary Portent

Signing Agent Instructor: “A notice of right to cancel will only be included if the borrower is refinancing his or her primary residence.”

Me: “I’m not sure if this is the right career path for me.”

Signing Agent Instructor: “So this one time I was doing a signing at a Taco Bell, and I spilled my Coke all over the documents.”

Me: “This is without a doubt the right career path for me.”

Pick Me Up

Dear customer who constantly hits on me and can’t understand why I won’t reciprocate:

THIS. THIS is why I’ll never go home with you, much less ever love you.



Also, I have a boyfriend.

Who cleans up after himself.



PS: If you take the glass with you in the future, the answer is still no. I just wanted to be clear on that.

Signed, Sealed, Delivery Via Flying Lion TBD

Every year, my parents ask what I want for my birthday, and every year, I tell them there’s nothing I really want or need. And every year right after my birthday, I think of something I can’t live without, but it’s too late to mention it, so I just buy it myself.

My 2017 prezzie is as follows:

St. Mark PendantThis (extremely affordable; I am not breaking the bank on a non-milestone) pendant is crafted from an early 19th-century Italian wax seal and features the symbols of St. Mark the Evangelist, patron saint of notaries. So it’s a stamp of a stamp of the patron of stamping, and if there is anything on the planet more meta than that, I don’t even want to hear about it.

Incidentally, the ruling planets of notaries are Mercury and Saturn.

I’m sure you were dying to know this.

[awkward silence]

[shooting star, rainbow]

Don’t Bother. I’ll Write Myself Up.

[Carlisle often keeps me company when I work on Sundays. We were complaining to each other last night about how boring of an evening it had been and how something entertaining needed to happen, when two customers entered the store. Turns out, we are prophets.]

Customer 1: [slithering up to me] “Hello. My friend here is interested in leather but won’t admit it. Please help him.”

Customer 2: “Um… I’m really not.”

Me: “Is there anything you’d like to try on?”

Friend: “Nah. [patting his paunch] I’m not built for it.”

Customer 1: “Yes you are. See? She looks like you. [reaches out to touch Carlisle’s chest]

Carlisle: “Whoa, careful.”

Customer 1: “What?”

Carlisle: “I don’t know you.”

Customer 1: [with much smarm] “Well, I don’t know you either.” [tries to touch him again]

Carlisle: [firmly] “Please don’t.”

Customer 1: “Ooh, she doesn’t want strangers touching her? Listen, in this environment, you have to expect it.”

Me: “No. In this environment, people get to set their own boundaries.”

Customer 1: [righteously indignant, yet patronizing] “Um, this is the leather world. Have you ever even been to IML?”

Customer 2: “Oh, Jesus…”

Carlisle: “Yes. I’m a titleholder.”

Customer 1: “Oh, she’s a titleholder. Did you hear that? She’s a titleholder and doesn’t want anyone touching her.”

Customer 2: “Hey, seriously, knock it off. The owners wouldn’t appreciate you treating their customers this way.”

Customer 1: “Oh, you know the owners, do you? We’ll just see what the owners think.” [flounces out of the store]

Customer 2: “I am so sorry.”

Me: “No worries, dude. You didn’t do anything wrong.”

Customer 2: “Well… thank you.”

And then he ran after his albatross friend, who was already holding court at the main bar, literally screaming about how I had maligned him — like, he was going to speak with the owners himself and have me taken care of for being so disrespectful. I don’t know if the bartenders finally had enough or what, but a few minutes later he stormed out of the Ripcord, at which point Carlisle and I were crippled with laughter.

Granted, at its core, this incident is decidedly not funny — in fact, it’s just another reminder that we’re trapped in a society of victim blaming/shaming. In this case, a customer is threatening to have me fired, because I wouldn’t let him harass someone else on my watch; similar to how a Disney executive got fired for filing a sexual harassment suit against a supervisor, or how a black woman got arrested after calling the cops on the white neighbor who physically assaulted her son. This shit happens all the fucking time, and as such it’s no surprise that some douchebag’s immediate reaction to, “your behavior is unacceptable” is “and that is all your fault.”

From this perspective, the circumstances in which Carlisle and I found ourselves were demoralizing AF, but at the same time, the mansplained absurdity of the situation tickled the hell out of us. Maybe we would’ve been more unmoved if we’d been decked out in, say, casual sportswear, but to be dressed in leather while working in a leather store and have someone try to school me on leather culture was just the hilarity I needed to make it through the rest of my shift fancy-free.

PS: I’m also a titleholder and will be competing at IML this year, but, y’know, dude didn’t ask. I feel like that’s probably for the best.