Advice from a store detective: “Something is always watching you.”
“One look at you and I can’t disguise
I’ve got hungry eyes
I feel the magic between you and I”
– “Hungry Eyes”, Eric Carmen
After campaigning for months to get a job with the Canadian government, I finally landed a position at a postal outlet in a local drug store. As someone who was partial to writing long, rambling hand-written letters and stuffing them in decorated envelopes, it seemed like a dream job in paradise.
This, unfortunately, was not the case. It wasn’t exactly the adult-style benefits and pay I was hoping for – minimum wage back then was approximately $6.65, and I attempted to scrape by with the best of them. But a philatelist I was not; working at the Post had all the trappings of another boring service industry job.
Except for Susan.
A burly, top-heavy alpha woman who possessed a lion’s mane of perm and the steeliest blue-eyed gaze, Susan was the plainclothes store detective. And she was really good at her job – it amazed me to see her grapple with at least one sulky teen a day, reprimanding them in the same office where I had been hired.
Susan was also really good at making me squirm and blush. She had a way of giving a compliment that could be taken into a completely sexual realm of connotation.
“Something is always watching you,” she once told me while I was on my coffee break.
A couple of days later, I realized that she probably wasn’t flirting with me. That is, unless a dire warning could ever be considered sexy.