“Loving you changed my life. It should come as no surprise that losing you has done the same.” —Chloë Frayne

My next project was to find a place to live nearby where I was working. The good news was that I didn’t have too many problems in finding a place to live in somebody’s basement for a reasonable rent.  Nevertheless, I became tiresome in a week or two as I knew nobody around where I was living and there was nothing there for me to do during the day to keep myself occupied. Hence, I decided to try to find a part time job in some other fields than computers.  I lucked out and ended up working in a men’s wear section of a department store in a mall called, Westwood Square, which was very close to where I was living.

Westwood Square was opened in December 1968, one of Mississauga’s earliest enclosed malls. The intention was to build a small area for residents to shop, however, as time went on, the mall started to renovate and expand.

Lynda used to work for the same department store but in the household section. She was young robust, peppy, and energetic. Even though she used to work part time but she was a top salesperson in her section.  Lynda was known in the department store as a person who can sell snow to Eskimos.  She was well respected and she appeared to be very broadminded. There was an English lady working with me at the time, Lynda knew her and she used to pop in our section to chat with her.  From time to time I used to get to say hello to Lynda and she used to call me Mr. Ali.

While I knew how to buy suits as I always like dressing up but I had no clue about how to sell suits. I had no experience whatsoever working in a store either but I was extremely keen to learn every aspect of the salesmanship. The section manager was very impressed with my educational background and appreciated my enthusiasm which was the only relevant asset that I had brought to the job. He was a very smart guy and he was in the suit selling business all his life. He taught me how to start a conversation with a potential customer, how to gauge their sizes, and how to draw their attention to the colours and styles of the suits that are available on the rack. He was a good teacher and it didn’t take too long for me to start selling suits on a consistent basis.

The next thing I knew that the Store Manager popped in our section to tell me that he was reasonably impressed with my progress and he also told me that he had put my name on the list to page me for verifying the identity of the customers, if they were writing a cheque to pay. In all honesty, I was surprised as I was only working there part-time for a short period of time but I wasn’t going to be ungracious. Besides, I liked to hear my name on the PA system whenever they used to page for me. I only used to get only 3 or 4 calls on my shift.

On one weekend there was a Sidewalk Sale in the mall where all stores were allowed to display their selected reduced or discounted merchandise outside their store (Sidewalk).  Employees used to dress up funny and play loud music just to get customers fervent. I noticed that Lynda had a beautiful bright dress and a funny hat on and she was jiggling to the music.  I don’t know how I managed to ask her if she would like to go for a coffee on her coffee break. Mind at all.

I wasn’t sure if Lynda would show up as we didn’t know each other except to say hello now and then but I was wrong.

Our Story – Chapter 3