Coping With Coco

231612077_397951af4d I walked into Macy’s and nervously made my way over to the Chanel counter. It was my first day working as a freelance artist for the company, so I was a bit frazzled by the abundance of activity around me, along with the multitude of sales people trying to make me sample their perfume’s on the way in. I was immediately asked to check my purse, and brought to a strange back room location where I hung my purse in an unlocked closet and just hoped for the best. My purse contains nothing special for it’s grand size… the hypothetical thief who might acquire my purse would have to really enjoy things like stray nickels, lint, expired pepto bismol tablets, dysfunctional pens and old receipts to feel that they had made a score on my bag. When walking back to the counter I felt it only appropriate to inform the counter manager that this was indeed my first day on the job –perchance that would explain my deer in the headlights look.

The previous weekend I had just received my “training”, which was a three hour glorified tutorial on their skin care line, and how to sell it in all of it’s expensive luster. I am not especially familiar with Chanel products. I myself only own two things by Chanel out of my extensive makeup kit. One is a compact that is borderline ancient, and probably should be thrown out. The other is a lip gloss that I bought impulsively while I was going through a breakup (I was weak.) I,like most people, cannot afford to splurge on Chanel cosmetics… Oh well. During the course of the day customers would ask me which of the products I was using on my face: concealers, eye shadows, blush… and I would lie and come up with a comparable Chanel product that could pass off as what I was wearing.

Once I got started, I realized that it was not very hard. My first appointment was really easy… however I was slightly nervous and had a slight hand twitch while putting on her eyeliner. Oops. Thank goodness for the smokey look-eh? Anywho, after my first client the counter manager noticed my work and started to bring me more and more clients…her prefered clients. I sold a bunch of stuff, and all was well.

SIDE NOTE: To all of you ladies who come in to get your makeovers and think that you want to try something “new” and “fun” with your colors… you really don’t. Most of you will come in, ask for an outrageous purple or green shadow, which I will manage to put on your lids and even make you look hot… you will then look in the mirror in slight disapointment and disaproval. I will then coax you into telling me how you actually feel about this new “fun” version of you.. to which you will reply “It’s just not me”. I will assure you it is okay that you don’t like it, and change the colors back to your usual shades of browns and golds. I will perform at least 4-5 eyeshadow re-dos in a six hour period. You fear change… and it’s kinda annoying.

During the course of the day, I do not get to interact much with my coworkers, specifically the other artists working the gig. I briefly met one of the other girls names Yvonne, and had glanced at the other artist who seemed to be in her own isolated world. The isolated artist had brought in a whole holster of her own brushes… it was full of MAC, NARS, etc… which struck me as strange since we were working for Chanel. After my lunch break, business has slowed down a bit and due to some local wildfires we are beginning to experience no-shows for the event. This provides ample time to get in some good conversation with the other artists. Yvonne was doing a makeover and an older woman, and I was left to talk with the holster clad other artist. Her name was Amanda. Our conversation went as follows:

Amanda: What did you eat for lunch?

Me: A slice of Pizza.

Amanda: Oh. I had a salad. And a glass of wine. Two glasses.

Hmm… awkward first interaction. She is confessing to me that she has been drinking on the job. Interesting.

Me: Oh. I see.

Amanda: I just haven’t really been phased by anything lately. Last month I got plastered at an event where they served champagne.

Me: Oh no.

Amanda: I dunno. (she shrugs)

LONG AWKWARD PAUSE ENSUES…

Amanda: My husband died two weeks ago, so I dunno. I just am so angry, but I don’t feel anything. Nothing phases me.

Me: OMG. Are you okay? (I give her a hug… not knowing what else to do in this unexpected death confession)

She began spilling the details of her life to me… how her husband had passed from a bad case of pneumonia…How she was coping or not coping with the use of marijuana. She explained to me some weird medical condition she had where she cannot digest food… and then she went on to discuss with me her addiction to Xanex. This is all within the first 15 minutes of saying, Hello.

I felt so bad for this woman, but at the same time I was baffled at the situation. Why do people always feel so comfortable spilling their lives to me? I did not know her. At all. It makes you feel helpless when there is a person talking to you about this sort of situation, and you don’t even know them well enough to let them know they could call you to talk about it… etc. I felt miserable for her.

I watched as she sloppily sold some bronzer to an old rich woman, and interlaced her sales pitch with casual hints about her husbands recent death. This was not good. Not good at all.
The end of the day.  We both walk back to pick up our purses from the less than secure purse check location.  I watch her walk away, wishing I knew what to say, or how to help her, but instead I just choke on my lack of words.  I just hope that she will be okay.

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~ by soartsyithurts on December 6, 2008.

One Response to “Coping With Coco”

  1. My god.

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