Wednesday, September 06, 2006
My bartending gig tonight was quite the show. I managed to obtain the job without an interview, an official hiring, or even a face-to-face meeting with The Boss, though not for lack of trying.
The event was an invitation-only "private shopping night" at a very chic and ultra-expensive department store downtown. As far as I could tell, these events are the store's attempt to "thank" their wealthiest and most important clients by giving them a night of free food, drinks, a hired DJ, and even a few fashion models strutting around the floor. Private shopping nights also give these well-heeled individuals the rare opportunity to have the store to themselves so they can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on Armani suits and sparkling Dolce & Gabbana tops without having to deal with the riffraff that never come into that department store to begin with. Am I bitter? Nope. But I am terribly, terribly amused by rich people and their peculiar habits and neuroses.
I ended up solving my fashion crisis this morning by wearing a rather short black skirt that I'd forgotten I even owned since I never actually leave the house in it. It only comes as far as my mid-thighs, and with the compulsory long-sleeved white blouse it made me look 98% like a naughty little schoolgirl. The only thing needed to complete that picture was for me to undo the bottom three buttons of the shirt and tie the ends together a la Britney Spears circa Hit Me Baby One More Time. Oh yes. If only Curlz had been in the house to lend me her cross-continental fashion advice. But let's face it, whoring it up can sometimes be ridiculously amusing, and after a half hour I was pretty much past the self-conscious stage and well into the working it zone.
What I didn't get past was how fucking badly my feet hurt after five hours in heels, even my relatively comfortable Ecco heels that I just about never wear because, well, I'm not a high heels kind of girl. And after five hours of running around back and forth, and up and down escalators, down stairs and ramps, and in and out of service elevators, I was ready to personally hunt down the dude who came up with the idea of high heels and kick him sharply and repeatedly in the balls until he apologized. Then I was ready to chirp "thanks!" do a little spin in my ruffled skirt, and saunter away.
Most of the cushy jobs had been taken before The Boss sent me an email asking for help, so I was left working the Women's Wear floor with a tray full of little black and white cupcakes with the Burberry logo stamped on top. Even the food was designer. I had a hell of a time trying to get these teeny tiny women squeezing into the latest little Gucci number to actually eat said cupcakes, although there was a hell of a lot of ooing, ahing, and cries of "oh so cute, but I couldn't possibly!"
It was abundantly clear to me that everything in that store was out of my price range. At one point, though, I couldn't help myself, and I wandered over to the corner where Gwen Stefani's new clothing line, L.A.M.B., was on immaculate display. I adore Gwen Stefani and her fatal attraction to cuteness, and that little gray hoodie with the lamb on it was beyond adorable, and so me. But there's no way in hell I was ever pay $175 for a tiny piece of cotton, not even if it could make me a sandwich and give me an orgasm.
I learned a few other important things about rich people and their funny little world, including:
1) Fake tan looks really, REALLY bad on immaculately-preserved 50-something women wearing fur wraps in September and far too much pastel makeup.
2) Running into Boss #2 from the bookstore, while par for the course, was not something I particularly wanted to have happen. Fortunately she has the poor peripheral vision and deadly claws of a velociraptor, and I managed to avoid her until she left. But it did strike me that there was something very fundamentally unfair about the fact that she can afford to shop at that store when she pays her employees less per hour after nine months on the job and two raises than I was paid tonight to smile and hand her teeny tiny little cupcakes.
3) Little rich children need rich cream-coloured little sweaters to go with their designer golf shirts, mini ties, and tiny red velvet hair bows.
4) Dogs are generally not allowed in department stores in this city unless they're seeing eye dogs, or unless you're wealthy enough to not even need to ask if you can drag your enormous three-legged white malamute on a leash around the store all night. No, really.
5) A single mini cupcake apparently has more calories than four gin and tonics and three glasses of wine. Yeah, right.
6) Male models are probably not gay if they check you out first.
It was a funny evening indeed. My coworkers were all really interesting and adorable people, and I got along with all of them alarmingly well. I genuinely hope The Boss calls me for another gig, but this time I AM LEAVING THE HEELS AT HOME!
The skirt might stay just because it's growing on me....