An Open Letter to the Cosmetics Counter Girl And Her Friend From Today

Dear Cosmetics Counter girl and fellow cosmetics assistant

I was having a nosy earlier today around all of my favourite product stands on my break. Adding to my mental inventory of things I really, really want/need. I noticed your counter was very busy, it's a lovely thing a busy counter, especially for a nosy parker like me who wants to stick their fingers in all the new pots of eye-shadow and oooh and ahhh as is my want without getting glared at. So I was minding my own business squeezing tubes and rubbing shimmers on my hand as you were completing what looked to be a large sale with a customer and then I got the shock of my life. As the customer moved off to the next product stand you looked at your friend who was near you and laughed. Now I obviously didn't know what you were laughing at, it could have been anything, from the state of British Politics to Ren and Stimpy cartoons, when I worked on a beauty stand I often laughed at inopportune ways I'd tried to remove the foundation from the counters, so I didn't pay much heed. Standing quite near though as I was on the other side of the stand almost behind you and your friend I was pretty surprised when I heard you say 'God love her as if that'll help.' Still mildly baffled I looked up to see you both looking up at the customer who had walked away and was standing at the next stand over.

Granted surely what should have sprung to mind instantly was the first rule of bitching which is '1) thou shalt ensure the target of your bitching is out of earshot.'  I'm not entirely sure this girl was. She was maybe 10 feet away looking at products. I don't know if she heard you but I thought at the time, 'maybe they aren't talking to her.' Your friend helped though by saying 'I know I was laughing the whole time you were serving her'. So no doubt about it you were talking about the previous customer. I didn't really get it though, I took a look at the customer you'd just served, she was a woman perhaps in her late 30s, she was a larger lady but dressed really fashionably in my opinion and she was pretty and clearly a fan of cosmetics judging by the enviable expensive luxury haul she had in her bag. I really didn't see what was making you laugh at her? I mean hearing you snicker that 'like what's the point in that' I'm still mystified. What's the point in someone wanting to spend their money on expensive cosmetics? Maybe it makes her feel good, maybe she enjoys it. Or is the issue here the fact that you're looking at her and thinking her efforts with herself are pointless as she's not seeing the bigger picture?

Maybe I've read you wrongly, maybe you were looking directly at her and whispering about someone else, but it didn't seem like it. Either way it made me kind of disappointed and honestly it's made me hesitant about buying from your stand again. I do love my luxury products but I don't like the thought that I might be laughed at because I don't meet the criteria you feel are necessary before I wear your cosmetics. I mean whilst perhaps to some it may be preferable for me to wear a bin bag and not try, not waste my time on cosmetics as lord knows they might think I have bigger aesthetic problems, but I want to. It makes me feel happy. I don't think I should be judged by the people I'm buying the products from. This is not Pretty Woman, this isn't Rodeo Drive, it's a cosmetics stand in Belfast, it may be a higher end one but still! Surely customer service should extend until you're out of earshot? Maybe it comes from my hatred of two-facedness but it left me with a really sour taste in my mouth and I moved on to another counter as I didn't want to listen to it any more.

I'm not naming and shaming even though at the time I was really adamant I would, but mainly its because I don't want to lose someone their job, not that I have anywhere near that kind of influence, but it would make me feel bad. Be nice it won't hurt, everyone deserves nice things, don't be the nasty lady from Pretty Woman 'big mistake, BIG MISTAKE!'

Much Love

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