After I kept getting told I had the best job in the world, I pontificated that maybe I had the best job in the mall. That might be true. On the other hand, what is the best or worst job in the mall? You've gotta give it to Santa and some of his elves. I couldn't get close enough to confirm, but you've seen Bad Santa, right? It's gotta suck. You can't even eat in peace.
I took time away from my usual Abercrombie & Fitch spot**, where I rest my feet on breaks, to capture these Mall Warriors at work. These aren't the 5 worst, but here are The 5 people you meet in Hell (the mall.)
5. Jesus t-shirts guy-
This isn't a statement on religion. This is a statement on horrendous punny t-shirts. You can see the one that says "driven" with a picture of the nails on the cross, right? This guy just oozed d-bag and the shirts were cheap, tacky "jokes" that appeal to ... who? Not religious types, right? Teenagers who want to rebel but aren't emo enough for Hot Topic? I took this pic rather obviously and he asked why I was taking pics. I said I was keeping track of what was going on in the mall. He asked if I worked in the mall. Yeah. I do. Bitch. And if I didn't?
Why his job sucks: He has to deal with the kind of people who think these shirts are clever. And there's more folding than the encore of a Phoenix show.
4. Dead Sea products girl-
She insisted on using a scrubbing brush on my fingers. She holds your hand, looks in your eye and tells you she has an intriguing accent. She said it. Not me. She forces things in that kind pushy Israeli way that's sweet, but just a bit much. I told her I was Jewish and we counted to 10 in Hebrew together. Now my right thumb is shiny. I don't know why. I didn't let her finish.
Why her job sucks: She's touching way too many people's grubby hands all day. It's like a manicure while standing and for no extra money. And a whole lot of shtick. Oy vey.
3. Hot Topic Girl-
Yes, she has a tail on. Yes, her pink case iPhone is in her back pocket. I spent less than one minute in this miserable establishment and overheard a beaut of a convo. The stud in green was explaining how he wanted to plug his ears, but his parents were "very, very against it" and he was going to transition to it from smaller piercings. He's leaning down to look at the piercing options.
Why her job sucks: She has to facilitate conversations with these kids who have no identity and have to latch onto commercialized rebellion in the form of slogan t-shirts. It's the least punk punk BS imaginable. The kid is getting plugs to try to impress her. Or at least he's pretending to. And she can't laugh about it to his face. Having said that, she's the one wearing a tail. So, who's laughing at who?
2.Native American stand guy-
Why his job sucks: This is really sad. It's the combination of the worst part of all the jobs I've listed above except he has no food to give away. And if he did, it would have been taken long ago. Native Americans got as raw a deal as anyone in history. Instead of holding onto their pride, he's playing some random wind instrument while selling cheap jewelry and t-shirts like "Homeland Security since 1452." Ughh. What a travesty. That has to be hard to explain to his family. It's just a shame. I wanted to make this #1, but didn't want to end on a downer.
1. Sample Lady- She's positioned in the middle of the food court, the busiest, loudest part of the mall. As you know, I see her several times a day. I say thank you, but she never says anything back. Can you blame her? This job is a nightmare.
Why her job sucks: Everyone flocks to her and those samples last a total of two minutes with no thanks. As soon as she can put a toothpick through the chicken, someone has it in their hands, chomping on it in front of her with their fat mouths hanging open. Once the samples are gone, she has to awkwardly stand by the counter waiting for more, readying her toothpicks. "Want try Terriyaki chicken?" Yes. Thank You. I'm sorry.
*Raise your hand if you saw a Mitch Albom joke coming. Me either.
**Surprised that I spend my free time at the mall in Abercrombie? Quite simply, they have the most comfortable chairs and outlets so I can charge my phone. I'll even put up with the smell of the cologne that I literally saw being pumped through the vents and the just god awful music. One song goes "Put you on top and fa la la la la." Oh, kids these days.