In Oxford, MI. In the middle of a major blizzard. Cold hands. I stop by the local K Mart to buy gloves. I am more than familiar with K Mart’s stock of gloves stock. More than I should be. I bought my first pair of the season (black with fake fur and thinsulate lining) in early December. Lost those right away. Very quick. Even for me. Bought the second pair in late December. (blue with fake fur and thinsulate lining). So I went into K Mart to buy my third pair for the season and there were none. Not only were there no black or blue gloves (with or without fake fur lining) there were no warm gloves, only the little thin things with matching scarves made somewhere in China that doesn’t know what mid-western cold is all about. So I crossed over to the men’s department. No gloves AT ALL. Finally I found an employee — usually more rare in large box stores than gloves in July. Or, make that gloves in February.
Where are the gloves?
There are these. (she points to the tissue paper gloves)
No, the gloves you had earlier in the season.
Like, ski gloves?
Yes. Ski gloves.
I just put them away. They are all in the back room in a shopping cart.
And the men’s gloves?
All put away.
I know that you have to do what they tell you to do at the main headquarters, but has anyone looked outside? There’s a blizzard.
She shrugged, sighed and said she had to make ready for spring goods. She also stepped out of her corporate ordered role and took mercy on my cold hands, leading me to the back room where I found yet another pair of blue gloves lined with fake fur and thinsulate. This time half price.
I felt as if I had rescued them from death row. Where do gloves go when bouquets of sleeveless tops arrive in all their pastel splendor? Well, one pair came back to the hotel with me. Saved, not by a blizzard but by a non-characteristic bout of assertiveness on my part and a little kindness on the part of the woman in the blue smock.
Doesn’t it feel good to know we are revamping our schools to adhere to a business model? Like business knows what it is doing. Right. Sometimes it seems I am always working with (mostly) women who are working around some arbitrary, misinformed, ill thought out direction from some administration totally out of touch with the blizzards blowing and drifting about in the real world.