Atlantic Avenue with New York Harbor, walking home
I found myself in the bowels of Macy's today. And not just any Macy's. The white elephant Macy's in Brooklyn's Fulton Mall. A massive, throw-back era department store, the black sheep of Macy's Manhattan, the Macy's that time forgot, where the clock and its inventory seem to have stopped somewhere in the last century.
But I was on a mission and I was not allowed out until I had accomplished it. In short: jeans, and cashmere. Simple, really, and not subject to Fashion.
That's another story.
Waiting to pay the cashier who looked like she wasn't about to give a damn - a very buxom girl, pierced in tongue and nose, head shaved on one side, dressed in Macy's black - I was talking to Vince in my head, imagining myself on the phone, trying to explain just where in the store I was in case we were trapped by fire. Ever since dating a carpenter obsessed by egress I tend to look for exits when I'm in any large building, and let's just say: Macy's must never burn down. Because no one will get out.
The cashier turned out to be very friendly. Very polite. Also funny. And hates shopping with fellow humans about as much as I do. I'm waiting for Cyber Monday, she said. See you there, I replied. She belly laughed.
The opposite of the indifferent and studiously ironic service you will receive in your pick of hipster merchants on the fashionable drag.
On my way out, in Handbags, I screeched to a halt. I felt, suddenly, the horrible void where my Canon camera should be, hanging over my left shoulder. Half way up the first escalator I knew I had forgotten it on a chair (leaking foam stuffing) in the shoe department at the very beginning of my two hour shop. After assessing the potential loss - older camera body, very nice lens, memory stick...I decided that everything would probably be OK. Because it usually it is.
And thirty minutes later I left triumphantly, camera swinging.
It had been spotted and collected by a girl named Yvonne, who has been working for Macy's for three weeks. She sent me to the top floor, where all the staff offices are, and I waited there while they traced it and brought it to me. At every step of the way, from reception, to supervisors, to managers, to floor staff, everyone was kind, helpful and genuinely concerned. And then they gave me a couple of postcards for more deep discounts.
I have inherited my father's absent-mindedness. Case in point, the laptop, passports and money left behind at JFK a year ago. Returned, every crisp dollar counted, noted and left unmolested.
Most people are good...
So. I'd like to go back and give Yvonne a thank you gift. She'll be working tomorrow. First, I thought a bunch of flowers. Then I thought an Amex gift card. I'd kind of prefer the flowers but you can't spend flowers. Then again, you don't receive a bouquet of flowers every day.
What do you think?