Tuesday, 1 May 2012

I'm Back!

So I have been a serious slacker on the old blog front for the last few months due to travelling around Asia and Australasia...I had a fantastic time, thank you very much! I am relocating to Hong Kong in under two weeks to begin another adventure, this time as a writer for a spa magazine, so I will try and keep my eye on the writing prompts and take part, but I will also be starting a new blog about my new life in the crazy city. I'll post the link to it on here once it's up and running.
The most recent prompt from inkpaperpen is to take the first line of whatever you have read most recently, then go away from your screen for 15 minutes. Then come back and use that line as the prompt. Here I go...

'I scowl at myself in the mirror.'

What will she think when she sees me?

I squint judgementally, my eyes carefully probing my appearance for any stray threads or smudges of make-up that I might have missed. My gaze suddenly homes in on a white-ish mark just underneath my arm. Damn, my deodorant must not have been dry when I put my dress on. Oh god, she's definitely going to notice that.

I freeze, listening for any noise. Deciding I'm alone upstairs, I hobble as quickly and quietly as I can in uncomfortable heels to the bathroom down the hall. I am just in the middle of sponging my dress with some tissue in an attempt to remove the offending stain when I jump as I hear her shrill, piercing voice calling me.


Throwing the tissue back into the sink and grimacing at myself in the bathroom mirror I walk as gracefully as I can manage into the lounge where she is waiting for me.

God she's scary. She's sat on the very edge of a sturdy looking armchair looking absolutely immaculate, peering up at me disdainfully as if I've kept her waiting far longer than the full five seconds it has been since she called my name.

I've been putting off this meeting for five and a half weeks. I didn't even really agree to today; Sean tricked me saying he'd arranged a surprise for me so I kept this afternoon open and it turned out that the 'surprise' was me meeting his mother.

When Becky from university's boyfriend told her he had a surprise for her, he took her to Barbados. My surprise doesn't evoke quite the same excitement in me as that would.

To be perfectly honest I've been dreading this moment ever since Sean proposed six weeks ago. It's not that I haven't wanted to meet his mother, it's just that when your fiance has only told you snippets of information about the woman that bore him and those include statements such as 'She made my last girlfriend cry' and 'She doesn't accept anything less than perfection'...Let's just say it doesn't make me want to run round to her house and ask her to help me pick a wedding dress.

I smile and sit opposite her on one of the too-squashy sofas as I see her eye sweep over me taking in every inch of my being. Her expression shifts from that of disdain to thoroughly unimpressed.

Ok this is the part where I am supposed to say something sweet and charming thereby convincing her that I am perfect daughter-in-law material.

"Hi Margaret," is all I manage...which probably would have been fine had I had not needed to cough and it come out unnaturally deep and husky.

I splutter embarrassed and repeat my greeting. She graces me with a nod and the barest hint of a polite smile.

I'm not sure this is going that well...And I've only been in here two minutes...And I'm pretty sure she just looked at the deodorant stain on my dress...Why is she frowning? It can't be that obvious, I sponged most of it out!

"So!" I say brightly, forcing a fake smile on my face, "We're finally meeting!"

"Yes...So, you're marrying my son."

She does not look at all happy about this.

I giggle nervously and fiddle with my engagement ring.

"Yep! Very exciting isn't it? I was thinking maybe June for the wedding and possibly the bridesmaids in plum, what do you think? Do you know what you were thinking of wearing?... I love that scarf, is it Hermes? Coz I saw one just like that in there the other day and it's just lovely!" I babble incessantly, nerves getting the better of my brain.

There's a pause for about a minute in which I glance around anxiously, still with a false grin plastered on my face.

Eventually she does a small cough, brings her cup of Earl Grey tea up to her mouth as if to take a sip, and says, "Did you know you have tissue stuck to your dress?"

Feeling my face flame scarlet I look down and there is a little wet clump of toilet tissue just in front of my arm where I was trying to get rid of the deodorant mark. I grab it, mortified, and ball it up in my hand hoping I am going to be forgiven for this lack of sophistication.

I take a breath to say something witty and right this gone-slightly-wrong meeting, but before I can utter a word, she speaks again.

"Was that there to cover the stain?"

Not my best but going to put that down to being out of practise! Feel free to leave any comments, as I will do on all of yours too :)


Monday, 7 November 2011

Write on Wednesdays...We are Learning to make Fire

Having had an unintentional break from blogging for a month or so, I am back with this week's Write on Wednesdays challenge.

This week, the task was to..."Write the words of Margaret Atwood at the top of your page "We are learning to make fire". Set your timer to 5 minutes. Write the first words that come into your head after the prompt. Stop when the buzzer rings."

So here I go!...

"We are learning to make fire!"

She looked at him blankly as he began scrabbling around on the floor looking for "rocks" and scraping them together with a look of intense concentration.

Glancing around surreptitiously and realising she was in the minority, she hesitantly crouched down and began half-heartedly searching the tiled floor for imaginary flint along with everyone else, simultaneously cursing her friend Laurie.

"Yes well done, that's good! Now imagine you have made your fire! You have produced it from your bare hands for the very first time! You look at it in wonder!"

As everyone else started staring at the tiles with wide eyes and open mouths, Poppy slumped onto the floor in a state somewhere in between despair and hysterical laughter.

She had been moaning to her friend Laurie that there were no places to meet decent and interesting men any more when her friend had informed her of what she'd done just before she met her ideal-in-every-way husband to be. And who can argue with the advice of a woman who has the perfect man? So Poppy had gone home and written a list of all the qualities, traits and interests she desired in her ideal match. Adding 'interested in theatre' had been an afterthought. She'd only put it down because the 'interests' column had looked a little bare with just 'likes to shop' written underneath the heading. She'd once gone to watch Grease the musical and thought it was pretty good so she thought why not? It wouldn't be horrible to go to watch a feel-good show every now and then!

However, upon showing her list to Laurie, her friend had pounced on this particular item, much to Poppy's dismay, and signed her up to amateur dramatics classes, saying that she was sure to meet her perfect man there as they would have theatre in common.

Getting carried away with Laurie's excitement, Poppy had gone along with this sure-fire plan and had even got her hopes up thinking that there would be some handsome banker-come-musical-superstar just waiting for her in community theatre.

However, as she stood there watching the males she had had such high hopes for pretend to pick fleas off their fellow cavemen, she resolved to give up trying to meet a man. Grabbing her bag and heading out the door, she made a mental note to put on some lipstick and play the damsel in distress in the DIY store on her way home.

That was some very speedy typing and definitely one of my less successful attempts but I'm going to put that down to being out of practise :) Next week's will surely be an improvement.


Friday, 30 September 2011

The Rise and Fall of the 'Digi-Date'

As some of you may or may not know, I have been off the single market for sometime. However, with many friends and aquaintances who are unhappily single and seeking, I fear I have developed a rather warped image of the modern dating scene. In the movies, a girl meets a guy, there's a few shy smiles, then phone numbers are traded, a date planned and the relationship blooms from there. But it appears, or so I hear, that things have changed. Long gone is the organic dating style of a girl and a boy having a real life, face to face conversation. Nowadays we are faced instead with navigating our way through the complicated and frankly highly frustrating world of texts, emails and instant messaging. I use this latter phrase loosely however, as on more than one occasion I have been subjected to a female friend's tormented anguish at being able to see on their mobile phone that their current male love interest has read their message on various forms of 'instant messaging' but has, for some unknown reason, not bothered to reply. In my opinion this somewhat dilutes the sensibility of naming such a technology with this title. I personally would have opted for 'occasionally instant, most often very long-winded messaging'...but I suppose that might not have cottoned on so quickly. Of course as the friend I come up with all the unlikely reasons for why he may not have replied, my personal favourite being the wonderfully vague 'maybe he's busy!'

And even if a girl is blessed with being in contact with a guy who is interested and therefore does reply on all these different forms of messaging, the female (and possibly the male, although I am still to conduct research in this area) is then plunged into a world of confusion, attempting to decipher the 'hidden meaning' that could be present in a basic 'yeah I'm good how are you?' kind of message. And believe me this is not a short winded process. This continues even after she might have lost interest in this poor fellow, or in a more optimistic outcome, once they begin a relationship.

So let's take a more positive look at this digital dating and assume that a man and a woman have been technologically chatting via various mediums for a couple of weeks and have covered a majority of topics in which both parties successfully avoided giving any answers that would make the other dismiss them as a no-go. At this point, a date is discussed, accepted and planned. They arrive at said rendezvous, both full of hope at what the evening may develop into, and find that actually they have nothing to talk about. They've already spent two weeks messaging about all the things that would normally be talked about on the first and maybe even second date. But as they have never (or only briefly) met, they do not know eachother well enough to delve into the more serious or personal topics that a third or fourth date might bring. All the fizz and sparkle that was present in the messages somehow dwindles into nothingness when not being typed with a Qwerty Keyboard.

Something to consider methinks when beginning a typed relationship with a potential mate - do not discuss first-date material! Stick to name, date of birth, occupation. Leave hobbies, work anecdotes and where you last went on holiday for real life, face to face interaction. And no, talking via a webcam does not count.

I feel we should revert back to the original form of dating. In my opinion it appeared to spawn a great many successful relationships, so as my mother would say, 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'. Why did we even attempt it? I worry that this may have been a clever ruse by mobile telephone companies to increase their user's text and email usage. Stay tuned for my investigation.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Songbird...Write on Wednesdays

I have been a bit lax lately with my blogging, apologies for those who have been eagerly waiting with baited breath for my next post...I'm sure there are oh so many of you...

This week's 'Write on Wednesdays' challenge was to write your interpretation of the lyrics to a song, between 50 and 200 words. I decided to use one of my favourite songs of all time, 'Iris' by the Goo Goo Dolls...

I would give up everything just to hold you, kiss you, touch you. Just one more time, for one more minute. Only when I am with you do I feel whole. Nobody in this cruel world can understand what I am feeling...Only you. I feel lost, incomplete, like I'm drowning. I struggle to breathe as if all the air has gone from the world. All the smiles. All the life. Gone. Just like you.

Write On Wednesdays


Monday, 5 September 2011

A Rare Moment of Romance...

This was a rare moment of creative emotion, and an opportunity for anyone that fancies giving this a read to witness a first draft. I'm thinking this is most likely a 'to be continued' jobbie...

As he took one final glance over the strong broad shoulders that she loved so much, the tear that fell from his seductively blue eyes almost broke her heart. It was taking all her strength to let him walk away without begging him to stay with her. Her frazzled mind was occupied by the sole thought 'How will I cope without him?'. She would miss the devotion, the intimacy, the romance...but most of all she would miss her friend. The conversations that were about nothing in particular but could feel fascinating and last hours. The hysterical, stomach-bursting laughter. His smile that could melt her heart and make her breath catch in her throat. His soothing, velvety voice that would wash over her, calming her even during the most frenzied panic. The way he would hold her too tight, protecting her against the world and shielding her from harm.

Theirs was an intense, fierce love. She could feel the heat of their passion inside her whenever they were together. The tenderness, eagerness and infatuated craving they had for one another was something neither had ever experienced, and knew they could never feel such a way for any other. For some, finding 'the one' is a gradual realisation. For her, it had hit her square in the face the first time he had left her. She had realised that she could live without him, but that she never wanted to.

Watching him walk away had awoken in her a frisson of butterflies at how their relationship might change throughout their time apart. But those were nothing compared to the all-consuming flutters she felt when she thought of seeing him again.


A Great One Liner...(write on wednesdays)

This week's write on wednesdays prompt was that of the 'great one liner', which I have to say struck me as a hell of a challenge, but I've given it a go...(as I am such a rambler I apologise for there being 2 sentences rather than just the one!) Feel free to leave any comments ...
It only took one fleeting moment, one meaningful glance, one heart-faltering look...but she knew their relationship would survive...She smiled, feeling strong, and waved him goodbye.
There's one person that will know how this feels. I actually really enjoyed this.

Versatile Blogger

Today, I very kindly received the Versatile Blogger Award from Sarah Mac at People Don't Eat Enough Fudge :) I have been reading Sarah's pieces for Write on Wednesdays each week and have been thoroughly enjoying them and learning a lot from her techniques, so to have someone express their enjoyment for my ramblings too has put a great big grin on this little person's face :)

I have been told there are 'rules' for things you must do when you win this award that you must share seven things about yourself, so here I go...

1. Both my first name and surname are hyphenated...yes my parents were obviously trying to be funny...they failed in my opinion.

2. I have a massive love for Skips and Lemon Fanta.

3. I can quote along with pretty much any Friends episode.

4. My boyfriend only moved to Hong Kong 3 days ago and I am already missing him.

5. I think I have a slight shopping addiction.

6. I have a fear of heights, yet am planning to do a skydive.

7. My favourite colour varies between red and blue depending on my mood.



Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Take a walk...Write on Wednesdays

For this week's write on wednesdays challenge, we were instructed to take a walk and come back and write about what you encountered, writing in such a way that your sentences feel the way the walking felt.

I started to do this, and wrote a few lines, but then I admit I got distracted by a little seed of inspiration for a piece of fictional writing so decided to follow that instead! Apologies for not following the instructions!

I hope you enjoy it though, let me know with your comments what you think :)

This was the first few lines that I wrote...

As she took her first reluctant step off the moss-strewn patio she gasped as the soft spongey grass squidged underneath her bare feet. Wrapping her cardigan tighter around her, she began a slow meander across the field behind the manor house in which she was staying. After only a few steps the feeling of the dewy morning grass curling up between her well-manicured toes made her smile.
She couldn't remember the last time she had felt this peaceful. She paused in her walk to peer up into the towering oak tree that was a short distance from her, and watched a playful squirrel scurrying up the tree's gnarled old trunk.

But then this was what I decided to go with...

She sighed grumpily as she picked her way across the uneven terrain. Stumbling slightly in her Versace pumps she peered up ahead where her boyfriend of a few years and his parents were striding enthusiastically across the golf course, looking as if they were having the time of their lives in their hiking boots and waterproof jackets. Louise on the other hand, had been thoroughly unprepared for this 'casual stroll' as they had put it. Wanting to impress the potential future parents-in-law, she had thought she was being sensible when she had packed pretty, demure outfits that were extraordinarily unsuitable for any kind of serious outdoor activity and provided her with no more warmth than a pair of knickers. And as for shoes, Ricky's mother had frowned rather confusedly when watching Louise line up her choice of footwear for the few days that she was there.
When the 'fantastic idea' of a bracing stroll had been suggested this morning, Louise had glanced nervously over her shoulder at her new designer pumps (a necessity for a day out), sexy heels (a necessity for a night out) and cute beaded flip flops (a necessity for a sunny day) and gulped anxiously at the thought of trudging through a cow-pat covered field and ruining one of her best-loved pairs of shoes.
She had attempted to tempt Ricky away from the walk and into a more fashion-friendly activity (such as shopping or sunbathing), and failing that had even resorted to muttering seductively and lying on the bed provocatively to attempt to escape from the hell of having to brave the 'great outdoors'. Unfortunately her adorably laid-back boyfriend had merely grinned at her cheekily and told her to wait until this evening whilst simultaneously tying up his hideous yet 'practical' walking boots and ushering her out the door.
Louise had just been stood by the front door miserably slipping on her pumps, when Ricky's good-hearted mum Sandra came wondering out of the kitchen carrying a pair of the oldest, muddiest, grubbiest wellington boots that she had ever seen. As Sandra thrust the offending boots in Louise's direction, she suddenly cottoned onto the fact that she was supposed to wear the revolting things due to her lack of walking attire. Trying not to recoil in horror as the dirt-ingrained wellies were dropped too close to her pretty shoes, she had murmured a few pathetic explanations and excuses for why she would be fine in her pumps. Despite her understanding that the boots she was being offered were probably the most sensible option, the thought of putting her delicate foot in some skanky thirty-year-old wellie boots was more than she could handle.
So now here she was, staggering over hidden molehills and trying her best to keep up with the others and make a good impression, whilst all the time thinking unhappily of the sunny pub gardens that her and Ricky could be sat in right now enjoying a glass of Pimm's.
Looking up she suddenly realised that the others had stopped and were waiting for her to catch up. Feeling a little flustered at being caught so obviously out of her comfort zone, she giggled awkwardly and plastered what she hoped was an expression of 'I'm having a lovely time' onto her face.
'We were thinking of walking over to the lake so you and Rick can try out wakeboarding or even rock climbing if you fancied it!'
Louise looked desperately at Ricky for help just as he smirked good-naturedly at her ridiculously horrified expression. 


Thursday, 18 August 2011

'Piqued'...Write on Wednesdays

This week the challenge set was to write for 5 minutes on the basis of a word cue. That word was 'piqued'.

A state of vexation caused by a perceived slight or indignity; a feeling of wounded pride.tr.v. piqued, piqu·ing, piques
1. To cause to feel resentment or indignation.
2. To provoke; arouse: The portrait piqued her curiosity.
3. To pride (oneself): He piqued himself on his stylish attire.
Her curiousity was piqued by the smell. Glancing around, she slowly edged her way out of the museum tour that she was supposed to be listening attentively to, and peaked around the corner. Her heart leapt and fell at the same time at the sight that was now before her.
Oh how she longed to go and join that queue, grab a tray and begin the tantalising decision making process that had been the focus of her day for so long...which of these cakes, tarts and pastries do I want? She was salivating at the thought.
She suddenly realised how she must look; an overweight, fashionably disadvantaged girl/woman (she wasn't quite sure yet) staring longingly open-mouthed at the little museum cafeteria as if she hadn't eaten for four days, rather than a mere four hours.
She tried to tell herself that they wouldn't serve the Belgian buns that she loved so much in such a small cafe, and even if they did, they wouldn't be as delightful as the ones from the bakery down the road. But even she knew this was a farce.
It was irrelevant of whether she thought they would be more or less delicious. She still wanted one. She could almost taste it she wanted it so badly. The soft smooth icing, the sweet carby breaded goodness, the little cherry on top...oh how she wanted it.
No come on. You've lasted three days on this diet and you are not going to be distracted from an educational museum tour by a stupid pastry.
But a little food devil's voice in her head counteracted the sensible angel on her shoulder.
But surely you deserve a treat for being so good for three days. I mean, how many calories can actually be in a pastry? Forty? Fifty? Hardly any. And you can choose one with cherries or apple in so that you're getting part of your necessary 5-a-day as well which is good for you. So actually if you think about it, it's better for you to eat a cake now, otherwise you'd be scrimping on your fruit intake...But what about the museum tour?
She pondered this, torn, for all of about thirty seconds.
Okay so what I'll do is, go and get the pastry, sit down and eat that because I need a rest after all this walking (from the car park), and then I'll go to the museum gift shop and buy a book about the exhibit that I'll read tonight while I watch that cooking programme. Ooh I wonder if they've got any of that fudge on sale in the gift shop too, and the biscuits...
Feel free to leave any comments!! This piece sums me up to a tee to be honest!
Thought I'd post this one too, it was my first attempt but I didn't feel it was really going anywhere so I tried again. Thought I'd post it anyway:
Her curiousity was piqued by the gossip. The words 'bad hair day' or 'awful outfit' could always be counted on to prick up her ears, much like a cat to the rustling of a bird in the tree.
At this moment she was attempting to feign disinterest in the other mothers in the playground's animated conversations. Taking a surreptitious step backwards so she was better in earshot of their bitching, she strained her ears to hear a name so that she too could revel in the fashion faux pas of whoever today's victim was of the Trendy Mums' gossiping.
It had only been three short months since she herself had been the subject of these bored women's mindless chatter. They had decided to move Marcus from the village comprehensive to the private school in the next town. On that first fateful afternoon when pick-up time came around, Rose had rushed back from her part time stint as a receptionist, changed swiftly out of her smart work clothes and into the first wearable items that she could lay her badly-in-need-of-a-manicured hands on. Sometimes this kind of thrown together outfit ends up looking vaguely passable, but unfortunately on that day, the first garments that had come to hand were an old pair of flurorescent green leggings that she had worn to do her exercise video the previous day, with one of her husband's faded yellow and black rugby shirts. The overall effect was of a bumblebee sitting on a leaf.
So you can imagine the glances, sniggers and stares that she received when standing next to the immaculately and fashionably dressed private school mothers whilst waiting for her son to come bounding out.

Friday, 5 August 2011

The Life and Lies of a Retail Shop Assistant

Having worked in retail both full time and part time for over five years I have come across such a vast array of customers that I am pretty sure I must have seen just about every kind of human being that walks the planet.

The customers that enter the shop that I am employed by (that sells shower gels, body lotions, hair care, make-up, etc) begins at one end with the well-dressed, wealthy woman who strolls in in her clippy-cloppy heels with her designer bag thrown casually over one arm. She spends hours looking, applying and generally criticising the excessive amount of eyeshadow colours that we sell, before eventually telling me in a drawling accent that we do not have the exact shade of teal that will match her dress for some function or other. She says this despite us having, if you ask me, an unnecessarily large variety of different shades of greens, blues and all the colours in between (and if you didn't think there was many colours in between blue and green, trust me there is. I spend about an hour of every day cleaning them...yes my life is that thrilling).

At the other end of the spectrum however, we have the chavtastic teenage girls who come sauntering in in pink velour tracksuits and fake Burberry caps and wander around the shop, picking things up and putting them back in completely different places. They also tend to enjoy smelling different flavoured lotions and announcing 'eww' to the whole store before making a very inept comparison that a strawberry flavour shower gel 'smells like sick' or some other equally unpleasant bodily expulsion. These customers never buy anything (or if they do, it's a foundation that is far too orange for their skin tone and/or the soap that they were caught attempting to steal) and are, in my opinion, a lot worse than the rich snooty women.

However there are, of course, also all the customers in between.

These include the mothers that come in looking overly exhausted with six kids in toe, all under the age of ten. These women appear to completely ignore the fact that their 'little darlings' are running, screaming all over the shop, bashing into old ladies and knocking their handbags flying, throwing lip balms at eachother and having a fight with the hair brushes, brandishing them as swords. Usually after about twenty minutes of this chaos the mothers give up what they were looking for and march the kiddywinks home, hopefully to throttle. Unfortunately this is not the case for all customers. Some of these mothers act as if their children are not even there, asking me for advice on blusher or facial wash as if we've got all the time in the world when in fact the display of hand creams that took me an hour to put together this morning is being brutally dismantled as we speak. Others decide to have a screaming match with their children over whether or not she will buy one or all of them their own personal shower gel to the point where I am desperate to hand over all the shower gels in the shop just to get them to leave. These people, I am unashamed to say, make me want to cross my legs tightly and make a mental note never to procreate.

The final customer category that I feel should be mentioned is my favourite one. It is the men that come in looking sheepish, totally overwhelmed and downright confused when presented with and told about the seven different ranges of facial skin care, all suited to a specific skin type that can be ascertained after completion of a short skin consultation. This can be a little daunting for them when all the wife has told them that they are to buy is a face cream. I enjoy these customers in particular, as they can usually be persuaded to purchase a variety of different creams just to ensure that one of them will be the one that their spouse has requested. While some of these products are eventually returned or exchanged by the sighing wife who explains that she thought her hubby would know what skin type she was, these male customers help to add a little entertainment into my otherwise dull day-to-day experiences, especially when they come over to you and mumble incredulously, 'I'm sorry but what on earth is body butter? Is it edible?' After a long pause I begin to explain kindly that 'No, Sir, it's for your skin' before they look utterly perplexed and swiftly get out the list of products they have been sent into purchase. I have a message to their wives: Men DO NOT listen when you talk about how your combination skin is really improving as a result of using this new skin serum, no matter how much you rave about it and ask him if he sees a difference.

I have a few other messages for various different types of customer...

1) Despite being merely a lowly shop assistant, I do have a name, and a name badge on which my name is displayed. Therefore YOU, Mrs Customer, have no need to refer to me as 'Oi' or 'Help?!' as neither of those words is, in fact, the name that I was christened with. On the other hand, having my name displayed does not mean that you have to use it every two seconds...for example, 'Hello Zoe, please could you help me Zoe to find some body scrub please Zoe'...it makes me wonder if you've been secretly stalking me for the last twenty years and I begin to panic before I eventually remember that my name is attached to my chest. So please, use my name, but not excessively. I appreciate that it is a nice name and you may wish to say it frequently but please, Mr Customer, once is quite enough.

2) The shop sells various products for feet, and so when you come in and ask me for a foot cream, I can, of course, point you in the right direction and answer any questions you might have about their ingredients. However, I am by no means a doctor and as much as you obviously think I really want to...actually, what I do NOT need under any circumstances, is for you to remove your shoe and sock (that is usually wet with sweat and reeking a rather pungent odour) and show me your grotty, mould-encrusted foot and tell me that you've tried everything and what do I think?...If I could, trust me I would tell you what I think, and that is that you should remove that foot (if you can even call it that) from my vicinity, go home and wash it you filthy woman, before going to see a specialist and having it chopped off.

3) If we do not have a particular product in stock that you deem so important that you cannot live without, it is not, in fact, some personal vendetta that I have for you involving my decision to prevent you from wearing lipgloss or moisturising your arms. When I attempt to offer an alternative product, I am not, in fact, trying to give you a skin reaction or stop you looking attractive; I am actually, although obviously this is unclear to you, trying to help.

4) As I have worked for this company, in this exact store, for quite some years now, I do in fact know whether, in the last two years, we have sold ready-to-wax strips or green mascara. I am not lying to you when I tell you this, and despite your insistence that we did use to stock these products, it does not make it any more correct, as I promise you we never have done. And when I suggest that you are maybe thinking of a different chain of shops who perhaps sell the product in question, this is not a brutal insult to your memory, it is merely a suggestion, for which I apologise for even thinking.

5) The customer is, in my experience, most often wrong. However, as I am a good employee and as I have been told frequently, a good and helpful salesperson, I have perfected the art of lying to customers all in the good name of the customer always being right and 'helping them to enjoy their shopping experience'.
-->For example... I may say: ''Yes madame that bright red eyeshadow does really suit you, I can see why you've been wearing that same shade for twenty years...unfortunately we don't sell that colour'' ...but I mean ''You look like a drag queeen, let me show you the make-up remover.''
-->Another example of something I said today to a woman with a beard, ''Yes of course I can show you where the perfumes are kept'' but I wanted to say ''These are the waxing strips and razors...use them.''
-->And finally the most common one, ''Wow yes you do look young...50?! My goodness what's your secret?'' but oh how I wish I could say, ''Here's the anti-aging cream for your only-too-obvious crows feet.''

Anyway I think that's probably enough ranting for one day. All I ask is that next time you are in a shop and decide to whack out a disgusting ailment or shout 'oi' at a shop assistant, you will take a second and remember the wise words you have just read. Shop assistants are people too, and yes, sometimes, we may lie :)