"Where is the clerk?" I asked, for there was no one behind the counter, and no one seemed coming to attend to the customer.
"I have no need of the clerk yet," said Edith; "I have not made my selection."
"It was the principal business of clerks to help people to make their selections in my day," I replied.
"What! To tell people what they wanted?"
"Yes; and oftener to induce them to buy what they didn't want."
"But did not ladies find that very impertinent?" Edith asked, wonderingly. "What concern could it possibly be to the clerks whether people bought or not?"
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"It was their sole concern," I answered. "They were hired for the purpose of getting rid of the goods, and were expected to do their utmost, short of the use of force, to compass that end."
"Ah, yes! How stupid I am to forget!" said Edith. "The storekeeper and his clerks depended for their livelihood on selling the goods in your day. Of course that is all different now. The goods are the nation's. They are here for those who want them, and it is the business of the clerks to wait on people and take their orders; but it is not the interest of the clerk or the nation to dispose of a yard or a pound of anything to anybody who does not want it."
When he goes into the store, the speaker assumes that _____.
the store will have few good to sell
Edith is a shopaholic
stores in the future are the same as in his own time
most store clerks do not work hard