Almost every time I go to a department store I am mistaken for an employee. This is not an exaggeration, people. I am talking 9 out of 10 times. Doesn’t matter if I’m browsing alone, shopping with girlfriends, or looking at ties with Nate, someone will undoubtedly come up to me and ask, “where is the maternity section?” or, “Do you have this in blue?” It has been happening for years, and it happens everywhere – Gap, Dillard’s, Target, etc – I have no idea why.
It used to be this incident was confined to department stores, mostly in the clothing sections. But it’s getting worse. The other day I was at Wal-Mart and a woman asked me where the marshmallows were. At first I thought maybe I just looked like a person who knows where the marshmallows should be, but then she noticed I was holding a basket and a purse and realized her mistake. “Oh, I’m sorry, you’re wearing the same pants as the people who work here.”
Honest mistake. I was able to tell her where the marshmallows were though (baking section, on the bottom shelf – one of the trickiest items to find!)
When this happens it is usually awkward for both the mistaken shopper and myself, though I am getting pretty used to it.
But the other day, something happened that even I couldn’t believe.
I was shopping at Costco, pushing a cart three times my size, maybe four. It was after my clinicals at the hospital, and I was wearing – get this – BRIGHT BLUE NURSING SCRUBS. And squeaky white nursing shoes.
This is literally what I looked like:
(with matching bright blue pants that you can’t see in the picture.)
A woman walked up to me and said, “Excuse me, where do you keep the Epsom salts?”
I was speechless. I looked down at myself to make sure I hadn’t unknowingly changed into a Costco uniform. Then I looked back at the lady, who was still looking at me, waiting for an answer.
“Ummmm…. I think they might be next to the pharmacy, like by the soap?”
She then asked if I could show her where that was.
I escorted her to the Epsom salts.
She never seemed to realize I was not a Costco employee, and, in fact, wearing nursing scrubs.