Image is everything in Sin City. All the pretty girls get into the club; all the handsome guys get the pretty girls. It gets difficult to live here when you are overweight and it’s 114 degrees outside.
I am personally in the in-between zone when it comes to weight. I’m either the fat girl at Express or the skinny bitch at Lane Bryant. It’s uncomfortable, especially when dealing with, shall we say, “helpful” employees. They look at you with immense pity, because you Don’t. Fit. Into. Anything. It makes shopping for my size even harder than it actually is.
When I heard through a friend that there is a new store touting itself as the only plus size fashion boutique in Las Vegas I was excited to see it. Boutiques, as it was explained to me, work like this: they get in three of each size per item. When they are sold they never sell that item again. If I lived in a small town I suppose this would be an amazing bonus. As it is, I don’t think I would ever worry about something like running into someone with the same top as me. I guess I’m just not the average girl.
This store is firmly set in what I like to call “Vegas Style.” It’s a nice way of saying Skanked Out. Call me old-fashioned, but I think if you are overweight like me, you don’t want clothes that are going to draw attention to how big you are. Or are bright pink. When I walked into this store it was like walking onto the set of Saved By The Bell. The 80’s were back in a big, bright way, and it seemed like my five year-old self had personally decorated the place.
I barely had time to take this in, however, before I was bombarded by the employees. The overly helpful, frantic kind of employees – the kind that remind you of an overactive six year-old child. They are excited by anything and everything you touch. And they won’t stop talking. I insisted I was just browsing, and they continued to follow me around the store, noting how amazing it was that they stocked the store by color.
Not long after I arrived a man came stampeding into the store and started ordering the employees around. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that I was in the store he ripped those poor girls a new asshole in seconds. He berated them about how packing paper was left inside the jeans on display and other things completely out of their control. I gathered this was the owner – or at least a manager – of the store.
The poor employees had to do the stammer of weak explanation that comes with having an asshole boss. Immediately I understood why they had been so manic with me when I came in. The boss probably comes in all the time surprising them like this and unleashing terror down upon them. I remember thinking “they must have a really high turnover here.”
It was only a matter of time before I came under fire. “Hey, have these girls even helped you yet?” he rudely asked me. I had to make a decision: take this man on and tell him he was being rude or protect the employees. I chose to help the employees and simply replied, “They have being absolutely nothing but nice and helpful to me. Just fantastic.” You could almost see the relief in the poor girls faces.
I didn’t find anything to buy that day, but out of pity for the girls I returned a few more times and did buy a couple of items, strictly for clubbing purposes, because that’s all they offer there. Once I stopped seeing those initial girls I stopped going altogether. With the bad energy, it’s no wonder I never encountered another customer while shopping there.
This article was contributed to While Las Vegas Sleeps… by the lovely Ms. Paige Clarno.
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