So ive been helping out my sister by tending her shop for last two days. Its been an interesting experience so far.
I get a call from “the boss” inquiring if I’ve opened the shop. I think she might have a camera because for the past two days she has called me while I approached the door to open said shop.
I settle in and see that the neighbors are cleaning their floors and tidying up but I can’t be bothered so I kick and shove whatever litter is in full view to the corners.
I switch on my laptop and get online while I listen to a movie. I have developed a low attention span and can barely sit through a movie so listening to one while catching up with blogsville works just fine.
An hour goes by and no customers so I lock up and go to another friends shop within the building. I stay there until I begin to feel guilty and go back to my own
A Muchomo guy walks by, I remember that he has my “balance” from the other day. I ask him for it, he responds by asking me if I have “change” which I do not considering I have not sold a thing since morning. I think he secretly plans to pay me back in meat which explains why he aks me if I want another kanyama. i think to myself “Its 10:00am you drumhead so no I don’t want your beef (assuming it actually is beef)." I choke on my thoughts and politely decline.
An hour or so later a suit clad serious looking man walks into the shop, briefcase in tow. He offers himself a seat and steadies it next to mine. He opens the briefcase and alas the're no papers but lots of jewelry and hair accessories. I tell him that I won’t be buying but he won’t hear it and insists I try them on. The man speaks to me in lutooro all this while and doesn’t care for my blank face when he goes on and on about a frilly hair band in his native tongue. He senses our “talks” have reached a wall so he sweetly (I think) bids me farewell in Lutooro and walks out. At least this sales man offered some entertainment value so he leaves me happy.
Its lunch time already and while I haven’t sold a thing, my body doesn’t care, its got to be served so I boil water, make cereal meal and eat. I am having typically breakfast food for lunch because my options are limited. Most of the food you can get in the mall i would only recommend for builders/construction workers. The cooks make up for the poor taste or the lack of it therefore by heaping so much of it onto the plate.
While I try to watch a movie, a smartly dressed older woman walks in. I sense a potential customer so i pause it, greet her and offer my shopping assistant services. She smiles sheepishly declining my kind offer and walks around the store. In tow is another gentleman, a carpenter I presume from the saw dust on his lashes and hair. They keep touching things here and there while she instructs him to take notes in his dirty hand book. I inquire of their play and she tells me she likes the design and layout of the store so she is “checking it out." I let them “check out” till they tire and leave. Ugandans are really special people!
A young girl walks into the store but before I have a chance to say my hellos she chirpily says “I’ve come for the purple skirt”. Her tone suggests said skirt was broadcast on the news last night and we should all know about it. It turns out this is a special client who only comes in to pick up specific outfits. After trying on at least 20 other outfits, she pays for the great “purple skirt” and walks out. I have money now but technically I haven’t made any because “purple skirt girl” had called in advance so that was already expected. I’m annoyed because she has left me a heap of clothes to fold…mssscchhhewwwww
I’m not too bothered about sales but I find myself polishing up my “shopping assistantry” skills when a bunch of ladies walk into the store in the evening. “If only they could each buy an item” I hear myself wishing. The gods were smiling upon me because they did and what a joy it is to make money.
The boss comes in and we close. I could actually be good at this
I understand why many of these women tend to be on the heavier side of the weighing scale. Granted selling clothes and jewelry can be a lot of work but technically all you do is sit around all day and eat. If you’re lucky to have a colleague then reel in the gossiping and that has been known to awaken fat cells. I kid you not.
For boredom if no other reason one may find oneself sampling the entire range of products offered by mobile salesmen; Nsenene (fried grasshoppers), Muchomo, kabalagala (pancakes) etc. It is infact possible to spend more than one makes on a bad day. There is also the random “special” soap seller who when allowed will spend a good 15 minutes telling you about his virginity soap. Now if this doesn’t make for an interesting day as a shop attendant, I’m not sure what does.
Happy week ahead