Coming from a morning meeting in Ortigas, I dropped by SM Megamall to buy a laptop bag. I entered a store and found myself the only customer at the time. I was sharing the room with one saleslady who was busy at the counter.
After finally choosing the bag I wanted to purchase, I approached the saleslady and gave her the item. And then something weird happened.
She looked at me from head to toe and then stared for a few seconds. It wasn’t condescending. It was weird, but not condescending. I was wearing black pants, a T-shirt hugged by a black blazer, and leather shoes. “Miss, kunin ko na ‘to.”
She took the item and began preparing the paper bag.
Saleslady: Sir, ilang taon na po kayo?
Yoshke: 24. Malapit nang mag-25.
Saleslady: Ano pong trabaho n’yo, sir?
Yoshke: Sa Marketing ako. Bakit?
Saleslady: Wala lang, sir. Alam n’yo sir, magka-edad lang tayo. Gusto ko rin po mag-marketing dati. Nung high-school ako, gusto ko yung ganyan. Marketing, advertising. Ganun.
Yoshke: San ka nag-college?
Saleslady: Naku, wag nyo na alamin, sir. Hindi rin naman ako nakatapos. Pero matalino daw ako, sir. Nasa top ako ng high school.
Yoshke: O, ano nangyari?
She paused. I swear there were some tears building up in her eyes.
Saleslady: Napa-barkada eh. Ganun talaga. Tanga-tangahan ako nun eh. Kaya eto ako ngayon.
Yoshke: OK naman yata ang buhay mo kahit ganito.
Saleslady: OK naman nga. Wala naman problema. Pero syempre, nanghihinayang lang ako. Nung pumasok kayo, naiinggit lang ako ng konti. Normal lang naman siguro yun.
By the time she finished saying that, she handed me the paper bag with the bag in it. I smiled and bade goodbye. Before I left, the saleslady called on me and gave me the free mouse that came with the bag. “Ay sir, yung free mouse, muntik na.”
“Haha, oo nga pala. Salamat,” I responded.
It was weird because I never wanted a marketing job. (I would fall in love with it eventually, but I certainly didn’t like it at the time.)
I walked out of the store not feeling sorry for the girl. I was happy for her. It takes wisdom and humility to succeed in life. Likewise, it takes wisdom and humility to recognize the mistakes and bad choices you made in the past. I hope to meet her again one day and hopefully she finds true happiness. It may not be in the form of a marketing career but something she longs for just as much.
There was one shoe store in SM Megamall that had been holding an attractive sale for a long time. One night, while looking around, I found this pair of leather shoes and it cost only P600. Since then I had always been tempted to buy ’em but I was worried I had been spending too much on not-so-important things.
One day, I dropped by the store again but after a minute of staring at the shoes, I decided to just get them another day. On the way out, I saw the “Last Day of Sale” signage so I was forced to buy those right then. One saleslady assisted me. She was very goodlooking and very attentive to my needs. We had a short conversation.
Saleslady: Ayan sir, kasya na yan ha.
Yoshke: Oo nga, finally. Kunin ko na ‘to.
Saleslady: Ay sige, sir.
Yoshke: Miss, meron din ba kayong mga pang-lalaking bags dito? Yung medyo fashionable na duffel bags.
Saleslady: Ay sir, naku, puro pang-babae lang po ang mga bags dito. Sa Forever 21 po, meron nun.
Yoshke: Oo nga eh, kaso isang klase lang. Tsaka ang layo ng Forever 21. Pagod na ko maglakad. Haha.
While waiting for my payment to be processed, we talked about so many things. She kept on asking information such as where I was from, what my hobbies were, why I loved traveling. I’m used to having small talks with strangers especially those who had been helpful. Soon, I left the store.
An hour later, I came back. The same saleslady greeted me. The first thing she noticed was the Forever 21 plastic bag I was holding.
Saleslady: Uy, binili nyo rin yung sa Forever 21!
Yoshke: Wala na ko makita iba eh.
Saleslady: Bakit kayo bumalik sir?
Yoshke: Sabi mo kasi kanina, bumalik ako kaya ayan, bumalik ako.
Saleslady: Hihihi, ikaw talaga sir. Wag ka ngang ganyan. Ano nga sir? Ano kelangan nyo?
Yoshke: Naghahanap kasi ako ngayon ng bag na pambabae.
Saleslady: Ayun sir, marami nun dito.
Minutes before, I realized that a female friend’s birthday is coming up and I needed to get her a present. Thus the return.
Saleslady: Anong klaseng bag ba yung gusto nyo, sir?
Yoshke: Halimbawa kung ikaw ang bibigyan ko, anong bag ang gusto mo?
The saleslady picked one and showed me.
Yoshke: Eeeh, ayoko naman nyan. Andaming burloloy.
Saleslady: Eh sabi kasi kung ako eh. Haha. Eh mahilig ako sa ganyan.
Yoshke: Brown or black sana na simple lang. Pwedeng pang-office pero pwede ring pang-gimik.
The saleslady presented me one bag after another but none of them, I was sure, was something my friend would like. So I decided to leave.
Yoshke: Sige Miss, hanap muna ako sa ibang stores.
Saleslady: Ay sige sir, sayang naman. Sir, sign pala kayo dito sa record namin para makareceive kayo ng text pag meron kaming mga bagong supplies.
I was given a sheet with so many names and phone numbers written on it by different people.
Saleslady: Ang swerte naman ng girlfriend mo, sir.
Saleslady: Para kanino ba yung bag, sir?
Saleslady: Sa girlfriend nyo siguro sir, no?
I gave her a smile and left. When I got home, my phone beeped. A text message. Unknown number. “Sir, ako po si $%^$, yung saleslady sa &^%$%. Para sa girlfriend nyo po ba yung bag? May girlfriend na ba kayo, sir?”
Girlfriend, wala. Boyfriend, meron.