Jan 26th, 2003

Retail Hell

I went shopping yesterday, and almost came to the end of my patience with the human condition. Every single store I went into, and I was only shopping independently owned boutiques in a small downtown area, had the shoddiest, snottiest help I've ever had to deal with. It is a miracle that I didn't turn into Edina on the spot and tell each and every one of those ratty-assed salesgirls to "get over the attitude, sweetie, you only work in a shop."

Store the First: I go in to pick up my new glasses, which I had confirmed on Thursday would be ready for Saturday pickup. They were, to a certain degree: the one pair wasn't ready because THEIR vendor had sent the lenses without the requested coating. The other pair WAS ready, except for the tint, which hadn't been applied. Could I come back in 20 minutes to an hour. Sure.

Store the Second: My favorite up-scale shoe store is in the middle of their biannual 2 for 1 sale. There are two sales clerks. One is behind the register, the other on the floor. I walk in. I am ignored. I peruse the sale rack, all the while overhearing the girl on the floor in a deep, and to me, personal conversation about breast enhancement surgery. The customer is showing off her new size D- es, but they may be considered C+s. They are discussing the exact size in ccs, and I cannot remember the difference between 500 and whatever the other number was.

Even while she is vaguely considering getting a shoe for me, my clerk is discussing her upcoming boob job with the other customer. This is pissing me off, big time, and nobody is catching the vibes, although, frankly, I think that they are capable of being picked up on a seismic scale.

For what it's worth, these two women were conscious of the impropriety of discussing their boob jobs with the general public: each talked about the dos and don'ts of telling your very young daughter about what Mommy had done. Each concurred that small girls are town gossips. Even a third customer contributed to that discussion about what a six-year-old knows about plastic surgery. For what it's worth: this conversation took place on Saturday, January 25, 2003 on Sunset Drive in South Miami, Florida in a shop called Capretto's. The sales clerk in question is 5'10" tall (I know this because she justified wanting D cups by repeating the phrase: "I'm five-ten, I'm a big girl." over and over. I don't know her name, but perhaps you do. She's having surgery on February 8th at Baptist Hospital as part of a symposium and the fee for the Vanderbuilt University surgeon is only $1,500 which really ticked off the other customer, who had paid $6,500 for her tits.

Hey, bitches: there WAS another human being who spoke English within 3 fucking feet of you. If you think it's inappropriate for me to repeat all this, well think about it the next time you open your fucking traps in public and announce with pride the inner workings of your petty little lives.

PS: I don't care a rat's ass about you, your tit size or the number of children you have.

Store the Third: The shop was completely empty, except for exhorbitantly priced slips of chiffon, poorly sewn into size 0 slut wear. I was asked twice in five minutes if I'd like a bottle of water.

Store the Fourth: In the middle of another sale, all clothing is in a disordered heap in the middle of the room. Nobody asks me anything.

Store the Fifth: Not only do they not carry what I am looking for (very expensive, over-dyed embroidery floss), they "don't pay any attention to what the other shops sell" when I ask if their competitor shop down the street carries it. They argue with me when I tell them that when I stopped in the previous week an hour and a half before their posted closing time, the store was locked and shut. They give me the fish eye and they get none of my money, despite the fact that I like the canvases they have.

Store the Sixth: My glasses still aren't ready, but the sales girls insist on having me wait, while they pour me a glass of wine, offer me nibbly things and apologize for the delay.

OK, readers, which store am I going back to? Of course, the one which offers service. I will never stop doing business with Edward Beiner Opticals, because they understand the concept: If you want me to pay more for something, then you have to offer something more. And they do. They offer service. They remember your name. They are customer-driven.