Back in the flower of my youth, I took a job at the local mall working as a minimum-wage cashier at a discount clothing outlet permeated with the distinct smell of moth balls. It was awful. My boss had a greasy pencil moustache and a lazy eye and was overly complimentary about the softness of my hands; my only customers were antique, gum-sucking grannies buying pre-soiled brassieres and underpants by the carriage full.
Meanwhile, across the way, my friend Josh had landed himself a job in a posh clothing boutique aimed largely at girls in their late teens and early twenties. It being summer, there seemed always to be a bikini sale going on, and I can’t even count the hours I spent watching him through the greasy yellow plate glass of my work store window, encouraging the buxom and spritely clientele — freshly emerged from the changing rooms in some impossibly flosslike two-piece to show off to their friends — to take a bounce on the complimentary trampolines that had been installed around the show floor. It was enough to make an undersexed teenage boy spill a vein in sheer impotent jealousy.
This memory came flooding back to me when I first saw the picture above of the Mall of America’s new Microsoft Store, which is currently under construction directly across from the Apple Store.
Can you imagine the poor suckers who will have to work there, fielding questions about Windows Phone 7 all day from guys like this, while just across the hall, while all the bright young things whirl about with their new iPhone 4s? Can you imagine the state of the soul of the pitiful worker who must try to remember some sad corporate spiel proselytizing some black plastic netbook when — right across the away — girls in bikinis tied together from FireWire cables jump up and down on trampolines while waving around their Pads?
The humanity, Microsoft!