It was my first work day back from vacation.  I was recharged, refreshed, and ready to go…..or so I thought.

The manager phone rings.  Having answered the same lady’s question phrased differently on 4 different calls, I anticipated it was her again.  Instead, I’m greeted by a very matter-of-fact male voice.  “You need to understand. I have a $1500 cat.”

He began by asking if I had a very tight pullover sweater for the cat to wear.  Suggesting that there aren’t many clothing options for cats and that they are typically less enthusiastic about dressing up, he said he wanted to use the sweater as a harness.  Apparently he had already tried to walk the aforementioned cat using a harness.  The (apparently gold and diamond encrusted) cat had escaped.  I could hear his frustration growing as I attempted to explain that if the cat had escaped a harness, that a sweater would be fairly easy to get out of too.  At this point he became slightly snippy.  He explained his intent was to put a collar through the neck of the sweater, then use the collar to walk the cat.  Hearing that he intended to use a collar, I (apparently VERY stupidly) asked if he had simply tried using a collar.  It seemed to me that if a harness pulled off, a sweater would pull off, and if a collar had already pulled off, the two things together would result in a very peeved escaped cat.  Unexpectedly, he began a verbal tirade, culminating with the question, “Would you escape if I poured a rubber suit onto you?”……..click…….

My many years in the retail world means I am rarely surprised anymore.  I gave up being surprised by people a long time ago.   Now, instead, I might find myself intrigued, baffled, shocked, dismayed, or even disgusted, but rarely am I surprised.  In my pause after the phone line went dead, I was surprised.  I enjoyed that moment a little.  Surprises can be fun….and sometimes a little rubber suited weird.

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