RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#409: Mirror Mirror
Our original store was my favourite. It was this teeny tiny little CD shop in the middle of an uncool mall. It was small and the rent was too damn high, but it was a cool place to work. It was the best place to work. There were only three of us back then: The owner, myself and T-Rev. Because we had to make due with such a small store, space was a commodity that we were constantly trying to make the most of.
One clever thing the owner did to make the store appear larger was install big mirrors on the rear wall. The mirrors started about waist-high, from about where our CD shelves were also placed, and went to the ceiling. If you looked in, the illusion was a store that was much deeper than it appeared.
The crappy thing about mirrors or any glass surface in a store is that they attract fingerprints and smudges like a magnet. Kids with sticky, dripping hands love to touch anything. The mirrors looked good, and that was the main thing. In fact, when they were clean it was enough to create an optical illusion for some shoppers….
I was working one evening as an old man in a walker was browsing our easy listening section near the back. After letting him browse for a few minutes, I approached him to ask if he needed any help.
“Yeah!” he responded swiftly. “Is that section back there closed to cripples and old men?”
“I’m sorry?” I responded, confused at first what he was talking about. The isles between our shelves were narrow but accessible. Maybe he thought we had a back room with washrooms he can use.
“No you can browse anywhere you like, is there something I might be able to help you find?”
“Just a way to get back there!” he responded testily.
“Back where?” I asked. I was still confused.
The man pointed towards the mirrors, apparently not noticing our reflections in them.
“Oh!” I said finally cluing in. “These are just mirrors, there is nothing back there at all. See?” I waved to myself and showed him.
“OH!” said the old man, quite embarrassed. “I’m sorry to bother you!”
“Not a problem sir!” I said to the man with a smile. “It happens, it used to confuse me too when I started shopping here,” I lied. I felt bad for the old guy. Just another day in the life of the Record Store!