I'm shuddering. The Kiddoe Lady just came through the door. She's very nice. But she always calls me Kiddoe. Its probably just a reaction to spending ten months on tour with every set of kitchen volunteers referring to me as "The little girl with the headscarf," but I hate being thought of as a child. Sure, I'm short. And I sometimes don't wear a ton of makeup. One guy, in conversation as I was straightening out a rack of shoes, said, "You can't be old enough for that. You can't be any older than 17!" Actually, I'm 25. And two jobs ago, when I was 23, everyone at work thought I was in my 30's. Maybe it was the suit and heels.
Back to the lady. She's very chatty. She doesn't just want to come in and buy anything, but she has to discuss her purchases with us. And what she's going to do with them, and why she wants them. There's a certain type of customer that does that - usually very old widows in a nursing home for whom the store is their only social outing - but she doesn't fit the profile. She's perhaps in her 60's, but she has the look of a retired teacher. And at the end of it, when she's being rung up, she always manages to slip in a kiddoe. One day, after completing a very simple transaction, she told me, "You did a great job there kiddoe." It left me confused. Does she think I'm one of the program women who are here to learn basic job skills? I guess I should be thrilled to know I did well, but tacking the kiddoe on the end makes one feel like a child who's very proudly showing her mother a drawing of a tree. Or perhaps a frog. Definately green anyway. But you have to bolster their self esteem. Maybe it's a latent cocktail waitress vibe. When I worked in the bar, people who bothered to converse with me were amazed to find that I wasn't a single mother with several illegitmate but charming children. (Actual quote one time: "Where did a girl like you come up with a word like that?") It's certainly not my clothes that are the problem. We're fairly casual around here - too much hauling to break out my suits - but I usually wear nice jeans and a sweater. I digress. Maybe I should wear my assistant manager nametag more often.