Fringe Benefits

Do you get an employee discount if you don’t plan ahead and accidentally wear a red top and khaki pants to Target?

I caught myself before dressing, but I still managed to wear a pinkish-coral top and light brown pants. No one asked for help finding the shoe department, but no one offered to help me find anything either.

Ibis has a bright orange vest that he would inevitably wear every time he’d go to Home Depot and he’d spend half his time helping do-it-yourselfers find things.

And let’s not get into the time I wore a Redwings jersey to a game and Babcock asked me to fill in on the third line… What? That totally happened.

Have you ever accidentally dressed like a store employee? And more importantly, were you helpful or malicious? πŸ˜‰

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.


  1. Liaa

    I don’t always carry a purse and if I’m also not wearing a jacket, I do get asked to help find stuff. I usually help them find thing but I mention I don’t work there so I don’t look like an idiot walking around looking.

  2. It doesn’t usually happen to me in stores but I will invariably be asked for directions in cities I don’t live in. It must be the herd of children I have following me at all times, I look like a tour guide.

    • Stacey, yet another side effect of raising a child army…

      My college boyfriend taught me to always look like I know where I’m going so I don’t get mugged (for looking like a tourist) so I end up having people ask me for directions a lot too.

  3. ab

    That is too funny about Ibis! I was at target as seasonal help one year. “Can I help you find something?” *sigh* Now I run from the tan & red people on sight! (I did still always help someone with that lost face & never wore the color combination again.)

  4. Back in the 90s I wore the blockbuster uniform practically every day – denim shirt & khakis. I never thought be malicious, though. LOL!

    @Stacey – that is hilarious that you have a “tour guide” look. That would be a good character trait in a novel.

  5. Nadine

    LOL- This post cracked me up!

    I’ve been asked “Do you work here?” when I’m not even remotely dressed like the employees but I guess I just look like I know the place, lol.

  6. robinaltman

    LOL! I’ve never done that! Yet I’ve mistakenly asked innocent customers for help many times. A pathetically many times. I also once asked a kid who was wearing a uniform from a fancy shmancy private school, whether she enjoyed her job at Chick Filet.

  7. Funny!

    I haven’t. But I’ve been on the other end. In my defense though, the Wal-Mart employee was still in her garb, and was hovering around. How was I to know her shift was over and she was doing her personal shopping?

  8. husband

    I wasn’t necessarily giving the right directions thou, come on I had to get a bit of fun out of it. If I liked the way the question was asked i would gladly answer the right way, if not they where about to waste 5 minutes looking for something non- existent. I’m sorry that was not nice.

    • Penguin

      I would have done the same thing, if the person was snobby or rude I would have sent them to the back of the store or the opposite direction they should have gone.
      I often get asked for help in stores, most of the the time they are courteous and I help if I can, I remember this lady in Meijers that was rude and demanded that I help her(I was not an employee), I wonder if she ever found what she was looking for? πŸ˜‰

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