hen I worked in a women’s clothes store alongside university, we were expected to deliver a certain caliber of personal service in the fitting rooms. I enjoyed my time at this station, chatting to women, getting to know them if only for a short while and helping them feel confident in their appearance. Worst case scenario I was bored and tired if the interactions weren’t stimulating. On one occasion, however, I was left drawing the curtain, instead to conceal myself, as I burst into tears.
The lady I had assisted was looking for a dress to wear to a party. I complimented her as the dress fitted well. She pulled and tugged at the modest V-neck, attempting to close the gap of absent fabric across her chest. I asked her what it was that she didn’t like about it so that I could find a suitable alternative for her. The customer let go of the neckline and revealed a scar obviously from a mastectomy. “I can’t have this showing. It’s so ugly and I don’t want everyone to stare.” She left the shop without a dress; the process was overwhelming for her, she explained before departing.
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