07
Apr

“I’m fine, thanks.”

Translation? Leave me alone. This is my mantra when shopping. Given that I’ve worked retail many times in the past, you’d think I would be more sensitive to the pressure put upon sales associates. I’m not. Yes, I know they’re forced to offer their help. Yes, I know they’re encouraged to upsell whenever possible. I still don’t care. It’s annoying when they won’t leave you alone.

I’m like Rosie the Riveter of shoppers. I can do it by myself. Rarely do I shop without an agenda, yet when asked, “Were you looking for anything in particular?” I always lie and say, “Nope. Just looking.” Of course lying is wrong, but what’s more wrong is how they harass you should you let your guard down. I don’t need anyone’s help picking out body lotion or underwear. I already know what smells I like and what size I am. And when I am just browsing, please don’t offer me a courtesy shopping bag “just in case.” (I’m looking at you, Victoria’s Secret.)

I get it, though. A job’s a job; that’s why I always smile and politely nod when the salesperson first addresses me. I will give her my undivided attention as she tells me about the half-off sale on jeans and that all earrings are buy one, get one free. I’ll even thank her for that information before making my way toward the sweaters. (Wasn’t shopping for jeans or earrings anyway.) But usually these are the same people who come back two minutes later to see if I’m “still doing okay.” Yeah, I think I can handle the tank tops on my own.

Once my family and I were actually driven out of a store because of the incessant badgering. We had walked into Lush, a hipper version of The Body Shop, when we quickly realized the associates outnumbered us four to one. Within ninety seconds, we had been asked no less than a half-dozen times if we needed help. I imagined this is what it’s like to be mobbed by the paparazzi, but instead of camera flashes, we were swarmed by overly eager apron-wearing soap enthusiasts. Every time I attempted to sniff a Vanilla in the Mist or Pineapple Grunt bath sample, immediately two associates were flanking me and praising the life-changing qualities of each soap. We got out of there real fast.

Though the super attentive salesperson is no cup of tea, she still can’t compare to the “let’s be besties” sales associate. Ugh. Can’t stand those fakers. You think I can’t see your insincerity from a mile away? I don’t know if dudes have to endure this kind of indignation, but the epidemic has become rampant among women’s clothing stores. It’s redonkulous the way these chicks pretend to be your BFF as soon as you walk in the door.

First they lure you in by complimenting something you’re already wearing. Don’t believe it. Then they congratulate you on picking out what they think is the most fabulous dress in the store. Duh. They work there. You think they’re going to tell you that frock is a flimsy piece of trash? Once you get inside a dressing room, then they sweetly tell you that should you need anything – anything­ – just let them know. Great. Thanks. Should you make the grave mistake of checking out the goods in the three-way mirror strategically placed in their hallway, be prepared for an inundation of praise. “I love it! You look amazing! So hot!” Okay, maybe you do look decent in that dress, but not even Nobel Prize winners receive as much adulation.

Adding insult to injury is that as I’m getting older, these salespeople seem to be (or are) getting younger. The only thing worse than fake flattery is fake flattery from a sixteen-year-old who’s trying to make a commission off your gullible ass. Thank goodness for the interwebs. Hello, online shopping.

Image: maple / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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10 Responses to “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”

OH MY GOD! Say it sister!

Jackie
April 7th, 2011

I love the products at Lush but their sales associates are the WORST! I just repeat “I know your products well and I have my favorites, thanks!” and then I take advantage at the register and ask for a bunch of samples 🙂

Jacquelyn
April 7th, 2011

Totally laughing at the Lush reference! Worst shopping experience ever. Though INSANE, good thing we stopped in there– what would this post be without that classic story? 🙂

Jakayla
April 7th, 2011

Thanks, honey!

Me
April 7th, 2011

I know! It’s such a shame because I think they have great products, too! But I like the way you work the system… 😉

Me
April 7th, 2011

Agreed! And I always picture H throwing up her hands and yelling, “I have to get out of here!” Makes me chuckle every time. 🙂

Me
April 7th, 2011

I feel the exact same way. I don’t think it’s as bad for us guys, unless we’re buying a suit. But every once in awhile you’ll get that guy who tries to be your best friend and calls you bro. Thank God I’ve never had that experience while shopping for underwear though.

April 8th, 2011

As soon as you mentioned buying a suit, I thought back to that Friends episode where Chandler gets felt up by the tailor. I hope it’s never that bad for you guys in real life! 😉

Me
April 8th, 2011

HAHAHA can’t believe I missed this one. So good. By the closing line, I was ready to elect you mayor.

Bethany
May 20th, 2011

Thank you, sweetheart! That post was immensely cathartic for me. 😉

Me
May 20th, 2011