When I began my work in retail, I never thought I would learn about life in space. But I now know that at certain times of year, or when it rains or it's very hot or humid in summer, traffic will be up in the mall.
Mall traffic is not an indicator of a spike in sales because sometimes the crowd consists of a large amount of alien visitors, like Sunday.
Just to be clear, there are differences between male aliens and female. To avoid confusion, I refer to males as maliens and females as femaliens.
I knew Sunday that a spaceship had landed when a malien rushed towards the counter with a bag featuring our company logo (they are always in a rush) while another was on the phone discussing an unusual problem. (When they land, they have access to our telephone lines also.)
I motioned to the rushing malien (not yet sure he was an alien) and whispered:
"I will be right with you." He rolled his eyes, but they each rolled in separate directions.
It is not their fault, but aliens have no sense of Earth time. Earthlings say one year and they think we mean one light year. I have compassion about that and I can sometimes explain our system right. Other times, communication is so effed up that I give them what they want. The company calls it customer service, but I am ensuring that they don't blow up our planet as they leave. (Do I ever get any thank-you notes for that?)
"Listen, I shop there all the time. I purchased a turn table about one year ago, but we just used it for the first time and it doesn't--"
Stop right there. You do not shop here all the time, I thought.
"We haven't sold turn tables in a few years," I said. "Do you have a receipt?"
"Of course, I do not have the receipt. I just want it fixed."
The malien at the counter had grown impatient as well, his eyes bulged and his cheeks turned dark green. Maybe they were married. I was the only manager on duty, so there was nothing I could do to fix both problems at the same time. (I wished I could go home and BBQ.)
The femalien on the phone continued.
"I don't want a refund, just a store credit for the next time."
The next time what? I wondered, but I did not ask. I knew she meant the next time the ship makes another landing.