Friday, July 1, 2011

The few, the proud....

the North Americans working at Selfridge's in Oxford Street are a unique bunch.  (Selfridge's, btw, was founded by American businessman, Harry Gordon Selfridge, in 1909.)  There were a few of us in the induction room yesterday.  The Americans were, by far, the most talkative, sort of, "go-getters" of the lot.  USers=chatty Kathies

The induction was more of an indoctrination, and for almost 7 hours we were treated to information on how Selfridge's Co. became the money-making monolith it is today and how to keep it that way.  It sure fosters my commitment to the "team" to know that I, at six quid an hour, am helping to ensure Selfridge's earns somewhere in the range of one billion pounds this financial year.  Ick.

Interestingly, the induction leader failed to mention that HG Selfridge died, after having lost his fortunes from both the crash of '29 and his free-spending ways, in dire straits in 1947.

Harry Gordon "There's no fun like work." Selfridge

During induction, I was fortunate enough to sit next to a lovely man from Manchester who had recently spent three years in Salt Lake City, Utah before moving to London for a job.  He and his partner intend to move back to SLC as soon as they are able.  Coming from CA, I would think that being gay in SLC would not work too well.  The Mancunian thinks that Mormons are "very accepting" people.  Who knew?!  And, it should be noted, that there are scads of gay Mormons dotting the landscape of UT.

Walking down to the employee locker rooms (where I don't have yet a permanent locker-the wait for one is some where in the range of four months) after the "show" in a herd of other employees, I couldn't help but overhear the conversation of a few nattily dressed young men (presumably from the men's finery dept., or whatever it's called).  One was telling the others of a particularly thick-headed custie that he had been dealing with during his shift.  The employee telling the story slipped into an accent that could pass for American.  Then, by way of making an excuse for the customer's denseness, he went on to say that the guy was an American.  (Yes, that explains it all doesn't it?)

I like to think that I did ole Harry Gordon proud when I reached out, tapped this employee on the shoulder and said in my California best, "Nice American accent!"  His friends fell out laughing while he mumbled something to the effect of, "Oh, the shame."


  1. -hate the job; just gave notice.

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