Thursday I took an hour of vacation time and went to JC Penney’s. Penney’s is a great old-fashioned source of decent clothing that is not horribly expensive. I usually find the selection better than the outlets or bulk stores. I wasn’t shopping for myself, though, on Thursday; I was looking for clothing for a woman named S__. She’s a mom, with an an eight-year-old and a baby, and she’s married. She’s a size five, and that’s all I know about her. She is one member of the family our Executive Team adopted for the holidays. All she had on her wish-list was clothing.
The store wasn’t too busy. Kit rang up the pair of black trousers, the two sweaters and the jacket I found. I asked her where I could find size five jeans. She looked befuddled. “Size five is almost a size four,” she said. I agreed. “Hmm, I think you want Juniors.” She started asking questions about the person the clothing was for and I had to explain that I didn’t know. She thought it was neat that our team would adopt a family. “A lot of the jeans are torn,” she said, “You know, it’s a fashion thing. I’d look at Arizona brand. If you want more colors, check out City Streets.”
Juniors was slightly more busy. City Streets had size six jeans (no size five) on sale for $14. I got in line. A few seconds later, here came Kit. She had gotten a break in Women’s and been called over here because they had a line. She rang me up.
I said, “Do you have sparkly holiday pins anywhere?”
“Yes, we do.” She started to point. “They’re right over…” she looked around. The two women working Juniors had cleaned out the other customers and were busy folding blouses. “C’mon, I’ll show you,” she said, coming around the counter and leading the way.
My own personal shopper at JC Penney’s.
She took me right to a display stand packed with glittery holiday earrings, pins and bracelets; Christmas trees, snow-people, stars, candy canes, poinsettias, bracelets with red beads, tennis bracelets with square red or green glass. I found a shiny Christmas tree pin with irregular red, blue and green beads, and a poinsettia pin. S__ is getting a pair of jeans, a pair of slacks, two sweaters, an aviator jacket (which she probably won’t need this year because it’s been seventy degrees here) and a pin; thanks to the help of Kit.
I didn’t want to cook so Thursday evening I stopped at our favorite pizza place, Mary’s Pizza. I ordered a medium Toto’s (Mary eldest son, not the dog from The Wizard of Oz) with no bell peppers, and added anchovies. The counter man was named Ian and he is also the evening manager. He told me it would be about fifteen minutes. I went next door and did some shopping. When I came back it looked like my pizza was done but Ian went into a huddle with the two pizza cooks. Then he told me it would be a few more minutes. I had a book so I didn’t care. About fifteen minutes later—so, yes, about half an hour, total—Ian came out with my salads in a plastic bag and two pizza boxes. “They made the first one wrong,” he said. “Instead of anchovies they added extra garlic, so I’m giving you both pizzas.”
“Oh, no, not extra garlic,” I said. “How would we cope? Seriously, you don’t have to do that.”
“We insist,” he said. “And besides, pizza freezes really well.”
As I left the two pizza cooks chorused, “We’re sorry you had to wait!”
So we got two medium pizzas for the price of one.
It was definitely Customer Service Thursday for me!