Exploring a Day in the Life of a Retail Store Clerk

Mark Espinosa

Birthdays were always such a weird day for Kathy. Her ideal birthday was a quiet evening at home with a good book and her cat, Miles. It was through a series of unavoidable and unfortunate situations that Kathy found herself at the local watering hole with a few old friends the night of her 27th birthday. Her secret would have stayed secret if it wasn’t for the charming bouncer who decided to surprise Kathy with a “chocolate cake-infused” vodka shot. After that, there was no stopping the alcohol infused freight train that Kathy suddenly found herself strapped to. After (way too many) drinks at the bar, Kathy’s friends felt like buying her a present. They all discovered that the only store open that late at night was the mysterious shop at the edge of town. The sign had been worn away by years of neglect, but Kathy could clearly make out the words “magic” and “occult.” The necklace on display next to the register was the item her friends all zeroed in on. The shopkeeper said it was “the perfect item for one looking to gain a new perspective.” Sold. Another birthday in the books. It wouldn’t be until the next morning that Kathy would discover that she was now being followed around by her great aunt Zelda. The same aunt who’s funeral Kathy had attended 15 years earlier. You can imagine Kathy’s surprise when she awoke to discover the ghost of her dead aunt hovering over a dirty pile of laundry that she had been neglecting for weeks. Zelda seemed equally surprised. Once the initial shock had died down, Kathy and Zelda seemed content with their new supernatural arrangement. Which meant that Kathy was late for work and would be bringing her great aunt along for the ride. She had to first explain to her that she was a manager at the local sex shop...

Kathy explained how sex shops have changed greatly in the years that Zelda has been “away.” Zelda seemed hesitant but what other choice did she have? They were now bound to one another in some magical way! Kathy opened the shop and was immediately greeted by a customer looking for lube. He explained that his girlfriend had been “experiencing insensitivity to the lube they had been using.” Kathy asked “was it a water-based or silicone lubricant?’ The customer didn’t really know the answer to that question. Kathy gave her chin a little rub and then asked “Well, do you find that you have to reapply the lube after a while or does one application last a really long time?” This seemed to jog the customer’s memory. “It does tend to lose its slickness after a while of activity!” “Ahh, you’re probably using a water-based.” Kathy used this opportunity to explain how some people can react to some of the ingredients in water-based lubes and that they should try using a silicone one. The customer agreed to this recommendation and left the store with a smile.

There’s not really a lot of education out there in the general public and we’re the best educational option for a lot of people.

“That was a very personal conversation,” Zelda said while hovering near a pile of discount cock rings. “Why didn’t they go to a doctor with that information?”

“Well,” said Kathy, “A lot of medical practitioners aren’t really that educated on lubricants and the huge varieties that are available now. Actually, the education around them is greatly lacking in our society.” Zelda gave Kathy a little nod of approval and continued to haunt the dildo section.

The rest of the day was pretty routine for Kathy, besides the fact that her dead aunt Zelda was now floating about. Eleven o’clock meant that it was time to receive a series of prank calls from the local teenagers. Zelda asked, “Does this sort of thing happened a lot?” “Yeah,” said Kathy “Our school systems don’t really educate children about sex so their curiosity is expressed through juvenile tomfoolery.”

Kathy then went on to explain to a customer holding a packer why someone “would want to buy a flaccid penis.” “Actually, these items aren’t generally used for penetration, but for gender expression.” This interaction was immediately followed by a slightly tipsy bachelorette party who decided to grab some of the larger dildos off the wall and hurl them at one another. “That was slightly obnoxious,” Zelda proclaimed. Kathy didn’t seem to mind too much. “Sex is still a stigmatized thing in our society and some people have a hard time in our shop. They generally try to mask their insecurities by acting out.”

Zelda was transfixed by Kathy and the interactions she was having. Which is a high compliment coming from a ghost. Each new question that Kathy received was more interesting than the last: “Isn’t anal sex exclusively for gay men,” “My girlfriend is Asian, what’s the best sex toy for her,” “I have a latex allergy, does this mean that I can’t use condoms,” “Is it weird that I’m a heterosexual woman and I like to watch gay porn featuring men,” “What’s the difference between a vibrator and a dildo,” “How come I’ve never had an orgasm,” “Do you sell de-sensitivity cream,” “What’s your favorite toy, beautiful?”

At the end of the day, Zelda just floated there in complete shock. Kathy smiled and asked “I hope that wasn’t all too much for your fragile ghost heart?” They both shared a chuckle. Zelda seemed to imply that she thought their situation meant that she would be teaching Kathy a lesson and helping her gain a new perspective on reality, but, the opposite seemed to occur. Zelda had no idea the type of questions and interactions that Kathy would be receiving on a “normal” day at the sex shop. She was impressed by Kathy’s ability to answer every question in a way that didn’t shame the customer, but slowly guided them to a more enlightened perspective. “There’s not really a lot of education out there in the general public and we’re the best educational option for a lot of people,” Kathy proclaimed. As Zelda felt her work was done, she began to fade away and return to where she came. Before she evaporated into a beautiful ball of light, the last thing that could be heard was “Keep up the good work!”

As national sales manager of Pleasure Works Wholesale, Mark Espinosa believes that as the industry progresses alongside communications technology, it’s important that we always remember that we get to say that we “give people orgasms for a living!” So, why not have a little fun in the process?