Mitchelson swallows his incredulity and covers it with his best
smile. He is hired as a greeter and cashier for £6.50 an hour (about
"My eyes accustom to the gloom. I confront tacky paintings of teenage
boys stripped to the waist in frames that aspire to the look of a grand
The theme of male near-nudity is pursued throughout. It has caused
trouble. One edition of the company's catalogue had to be recalled
after a storm over the explicitly naked photographs of young models."
After a few days of throbbing music and rippling abs, Mitchelson
thinks he's figured out the A&F game, and it's grim enough to send
him skipping back to the gutter press, notebook in hand.
"They trade on the inexhaustable supply of beautiful dimwits for whom
the excitement of being hired as 'model' matters more than the pay
scale. I got the impression that, ideally, they'd like us to pay them,
rather than the other way round.
The men who stood semi-clothed at the entrance earned an extra
£1 an hour. But they had the required A&F six-pack. The new way of
selling clothes seems to be not wearing them."
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