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murphblog: Thursday, July 3, 2008

There was a soft rapping on my door and when I opened it there was a lovely young woman who, I thought, was my upstairs neighbor and asked to look out my window. I invited her in then found she'd actually said "was you lookin' at me." I work at my laptop on the window sill across from the building I thought might be a brothel, and I guess it is. An enormous black woman tidies things up in front but no amount of her effort will tidy up the building, which is part of a row of otherwise well-kept two-storey houses. Well-dressed men enter all the buildings but they enter this one in numbers that lead me to believe they don't live there. I don't keep close enough tabs on it to see when they leave.

The young lady asked if I had a digital camera. She has one but the batter doesn't last very long. She said I was nice and asked if I'd like some company. I started to freak and got her out. Make a note to demand the landlord fix the front door lock. It won't be long until my laptop goes missing, I'm sure.

My Armani jacket has gone missing. The dry cleaner I gave it to on Monday was closed when I came home from work around seven to pick it up. None of the other dry cleaners were closed and I'm hoping this just means this one is more exclusive, somehow better. The man who took my jacket wasn't Chinese but probably Indian or Pakistani so maybe it's just that he doesn't work 24/7 and has a life. It is the eve of the 4th of July after all. I work tomorrow but the store closes early for the Macy's fireworks. We get a scoop of ice cream served by top management and double-time-and-a-half for working (Union shop).

Sales were slow with a few rushes in the afternoon. I rang about $1500, which was better than some of the others but only amounts to $90 in commission for the day. We hope Friday and Saturday, which I work, will pick up. The Spring/Summer line is now going on discount clearance and that means my take is smaller until we start getting the fall/winter clothes in next month. Some weeks are good and some are bad so you have to learn to budget when on commission, just like selling art.

We all learn to avoid the Chinese customers because they tend to open every shirt then throw it anywhere and, after doing this for a half hour or so, may buy one. Then, a week later, they return it, which puts us in deficit and oweing Macy's money. This is the actuality of globalized capitalism: Chinese ladies who shop as a hobby, fat Italians woozy with fat Euros who complain about how fat Americans are because all the small sizes are gone and Americans who gasp at the exorbitant prices we charge. I've thought of starting a "Lacoste index" to track all this. BTW, the classic Lacoste polos are made in Peru, as are Ralph Lauren. My Peruvian customers, whom I seem to have a lot of, find this all very amusing.