vendredi, septembre 19, 2008

My daughter and I were at the Exton Square Mall tonight. She wanted jeans. Both of us wanted some earrings to show off our newly pierced ears. After finding the jeans in one of the ubiqitous shops aimed at teenagers, we walked by a jewelry store on the lower level. Red signs had been pasted to the glass: Going out of Business! Forty-Sixty percent off!

One woman, the manager, looked over some forms. Another, her face tired, waited on us. Walking past the amethysts and the emeralds, S saw a lovely critine pair of earring barely within our price range. As the salesperson rang up our jewelry, I asked her why the store was closing. The chain had gone bankrupt, she told us.

Times are tough, I said. The other woman agreed, adding that she was aware of a couple of the other mall stores that would be gone by Christmas. It's been slow the last two holiday seasons, she said. Meanwhile, managers of those enormous banks get millions of dollars in severance. Won't you get severance? asked the saleswoman. No, my superiors will, she said, but I'm a peon.

Whitehall Co., it says on the box.

Jewelers since 1895.

As I walked away with S, I wondered where they, and many others in the mall tonight, would find new places to work. We are so fast to bail out the men and women at the top of heap-but what will become of the middle-aged saleswoman who needs to pay the mortage or see a doctor?

Are there no poorhouses?

Aucun commentaire: