So back to Macy's. I discovered the store a couple of years ago. Well actually, it had been there all along, but I discovered its clearance racks a couple years back and was kicking myself for not walking through the doors earlier. So when I heard the news that liquidation was starting this week, I headed for the mall. A footnote here. I rarely buy anything at full price. I understand the principle of markup and know that overpriced items will eventually come down. So I watch. And wait. And when the prices are slashed at no less than half with an extra twenty or thirty percent off, I hit the racks. And that's what I did on Tuesday of this past week.
Tuesdays are relatively dead at the mall and the Macy's store was no exception, liquidation or not. There were shoppers and a few clerks attending them, but it already felt as if the life had gone out of the store. A couple of girls in cosmetics were chatting back and forth, and a few of the shoppers were conversing over pieces of clothing. But it felt eerily quiet, a hush seemed to have settled over the place. I carried a blouse to one of the scanners to check on the price. It was gone, already pulled off the wall. Someone was certainly in a hurry to get this place closed up. And then it occurred to me. There was no music coming from the speakers. Even that had stopped.
I was looking through some blouses on a long rack when I noticed a middle-aged woman wearing a name tag hanging a few items on the other end. "Is this hard for you?" I asked her. She looked up and after a moment nodded her head. "Yes it is," she responded quietly. And as she started to walk away she turned back towards me. "Thank you for asking."
I still think Mary was right. In reflecting upon the horrific events taking place in our world, the closing of a store seems pretty small. But to someone out there, it's anything but small. I know nothing else about that clerk, how long she'd been working there or how much she relied on that paycheck coming in. But I do know one very important thing. She appreciated my caring enough to ask.