Agnes was probably in her mid 50’s, employed 40 hours a week (remember the days when retail could be a career?), qualified for 3 weeks of vacation, health insurance, life insurance and all the other normal work benefits. I am pretty sure she lived alone…
But what was striking about her from our perspective was the way in which she made her wardrobe purchases! Our department was “Better Sportswear”, which in those days meant blazers with matching skirts and trousers, and coordinating blouses, tee shirts, other tops, cardigans, and sweater vests. This was office attire, and we were expected to wear what we sold.
So twice a year, the week after the big delivery of new season merchandise, Agnes would stay in the store after her shift ended, and shop. She asked for the use of a small rolling rack, and she collected 15 garments. She then walked over to the shoe department and came back with 2 pair of shoes. Then she headed to the first floor and came back up with a scarf, and four or five pieces of jewelry. Always a brooch!
And then she didn’t shop again, at all, for 6 months:
- She didn’t care what went on sale.
- She didn’t care that she wore variations on the same clothing for half the year.
- She didn’t care if she wore only two or three colors for months on end.