Trust and Transactions
you enter my department as a blank canvas, open and ready for opulence. i say welcome to men's suits. how may i assist you today? your face lights up like a firework as you sense that i am here to give you nothing but world-class customer service. i tether my ears to your every word to make sure i don't miss even a whisper of your needs. i measure you to get a gauge of your size—go up one or down one depending on the cut. just like an artist struck by inspiration, i take flight and tell you to just enjoy the ride!
i show you modern fits, slim fits, urban fits, extrapolate on the current trend. tell you the old stuff always boomerangs back around, but classic fits never go out of style—they're timeless, just like a love story. you try on the jacket i give you, fits as if it were designed exclusively for your stature. i ask, how does it feel? comfort is important! my eyes dart right, dart left, gaze up into the fluorescent lights for a brief moment. you step in front of the mirror. i say, confidence is important too; your confidence should shoot to the moon. you want to feel invincible like your throne is right behind you. of course you smile, give me your spiel on how sharp the suit looks on you. i say, yea it isn't my first day!
i show you more selections that will fit you right off the rack. there i delve into where your drape should end, how your jacket sleeve should end at your wrist bone, how you always want to show a quarter of an inch of your shirt cuff—the minor details more than matter—like engravings in an antique. i shed a little light on wool-blends, worsted wool, super 200's, what breathes well, what's not going to burst into flames in the summer time. i sprinkle geography on you—differentiate between the italian designer and the american, the notch lapel verses the peak—what's screaming i'm fashion forward, what's whispering i'm conservative.
i toot all my horns over my ten plus years of experience offering guest elite customer service and leaving my name embroidered in their memory. i push the sale with nothing but personality and a smile big enough to fall into so it will outshine any area in which i may lack. for instance, being in the middle of the sale and i haven't looked you in the eyes yet. like there is red tape all over my windows to the soul. i carry on—my eyes roll past your face as i lead you to the fitting room. as we walk, i quiz you for your dress shirt and tie style like i'm trying to snatch an image out of your brain. i say, the accessories are going to bring the outfit to life; i'll show you!
here you slide into the suit then morph into a walking mannequin. i holler, welcome to royalty! all we need now is a red carpet! the lights above transform into stage lights, and the platform for alterations becomes your stage. the tailor comes out with wings embedded in his back to take your suit to new heights. your face illuminates with satisfaction as we wrap up alterations. from there, we journey to the shirts and ties, belts and socks; it's like you're walking into a carnival full of colors and astonishment. my hands move like a card magician, flaunting off all the accessories.
i show sleek shirts, shirts with flair, some soft enough to feel like you are cloaked in a cloud. i promote the perks of a high-performance shirt, the spread collar—great for bowties, the pinpoint collar for the corporate look, the convenience of a non-iron—simply leave it on the hanger when you are not wearing it. i present one with a high cotton count tell you, that shirt might outlive you! i pull out a textured one, a french cuff one. i disclose, whites are must-haves and your closet can never have enough of those! i deliver all this with a vast smile in my voice as you reach the pinnacle of the trip, all while keeping my eyes fixated on the product rather than using them to help back the words that leave my lips.
while looking at the why get a monogram sign beside you, i unveil, for this occasion, you need a colored shirt to brighten up the outfit. you ask, are you sure—like my words are starting to be made of faux leather and polyester. our wave length weakens. i reply, absolutely—making sure you can hear the positivity in my pitch and not second guess my craftsmanship. i resume. i style your suit like an interior decorator would a living room—everything must be perfect in form and function. i demonstrate how stripes and plaids complement each other like black and white piano keys. i select a necktie that does more than make a statement, but sings a song, tie up a double windsor—a symmetrical triangle knot centered right below your chin.
like setting the table on thanksgiving day, i lay out cufflinks—gold and silver, some that even glimmer through the cracks of the case, suspenders with snaps, buttons, tie clips, silk hankies, cloth hankies, lapel pins— the ones that look like carnations stolen from a beautiful garden—all the endless combinations of a suit. i say, i bet you didn't know you were going to come in here today and get styled from your drawers to your jacket! you laugh loud enough to awaken people on the other side of the world.
there i ask, do you have a nice pair of dress shoes? but i don't even give you time to think about it. i immerse you in wing tip oxfords, round toes—hot off the press, some derbies, some slide-ins, some with rubber soles that are so comfortable they feel like an old friend every time you slide your feet in them. you try them on. i say, you look like you just got in from paris! bonjour! of course, you laugh like i'm something out of a comedy series, but i make sure you understand your outfit is like a emotionless love letter without the perfect pair of shoes. you nod and we narrow down a shoe, one that exudes class and simplicity, which go a long way.
we finalize it with a matching belt and socks that encompass every color of the outfit. i look over to your reaction, proud yet on pins and needles knowing i nail everything in the sale but perhaps not the eye contact—that's inviting but not too invasive and feels like a long warm shower on a cold day—all because i haven't learned it yet—like a youngster that never got the swing of a riding a bike.
you look up and tell me, well, i cannot thank you enough. i interject and say, you don't have to. i am glad i was able to make this experience easy for you, and now you are 100 percent ready for your event! at last, i bring my eyes up to yours to seal the deal. you shake my hand and walk off into distance with your outfit. i stand still—fingers tightly crossed that you leave my department feeling completely sold, but i know deep down that my wavering eyes may leave a little doubt in your heart.
we are the eye contact that becomes uncomfortable.
we look away like we have low self-esteem because
we have low-esteem. we make you feel nervous,
even though we do not mean to. we are the fast name
introductions that bomb rush out of our mouths
while shaking hands. we are the other person's name
which we will forget as soon as we do not say it right.
we are the over-enunciated words, the squint they give
us back. this is the other side of english, chopped and
confused. we are the words that stick to the side of our
mouths, the burst of spit that lands on your face when
we are struggling to get one word out. we pray about it.
we pray about it. we pray about it. we are the hand
movements that are out of sync with what we are
saying. we are you know what i am saying, you know what
i mean! we do not know what to use first: tongue, teeth
or breath. we run out of breath trying to test it out. we
are the kings of repeating ourselves. we are the nods
you give us as if you understand us the second time
around. we know it is hard on you, but harder on us to
deal with it. of course we pray about it. we pray about it.
we pray about it more than ever when the stakes are high
and we need the foundation of words to serve us like the
sun serves daylight. so we are left to find our own little
way through the dismay, so we tell statements, not stories,
the fastest you have ever heard. we are the conversation
that runs short and the smile we have because we are glad
it is over. we are the biggest comedians, jokes we can only
make out; we have so much life within us yet none in front
of people. we pray about it day and night. we are the phone
conversations that are hard on your ears. we are feedback
we don't want to hear, the cringe of an echo, the dread of a
cold call, pull our hair out if we have to break down complex
information, shoot us before you make us publicly speak,
we can't get past the phone interview for a job. we have a
degree, but cannot verbally deliver. we are crossed fingers
in hopes that our words fell out right, but unfortunately our
facial expression remained neutral. we dash from confrontation,
we call it no drama. we absolutely get ourselves, but sometimes
we don't. we do not even know it's a speech issue, we think it's
just a small issue, something we haven't fixed yet. we are all over
the place, cannot contain the words so they won't spill out at the
same time. we even trip up asking God for help, but we still pray
about it. we pray about it. we pray about it this confusion
we cannot fix, this circus that lives in our mouths.