More Reasons to Hate Shopping

Yesterday, in an attempt to beef up my professional wardrobe, I went shopping. I normally take the extreme casual approach to business wear but working in a metro marker, I don’t know how much  longer I am going to be able to away with that.  I decided to quit cold turkey and find my own way of playing the corporate game.

As a so-called “in betweenie” I thought I would press the easy button and head to the mainstream store hoping that with enough patience and luck i would be able to find something in my size, not too tight, not a curtain, and not some god awful loud pattern. (Not that I have anything against loud patterns, but I’m more of a basic palette person)

Now, I already hate shopping but this was a really unpleasant experience. Finding my size was a scavenger hunt. I know this means nothing to the FA big picture and should be expected but it is still frustrating. Really, really frustrating. I saw so many 4s, 6s, 8s, and 10s I was almost tempted to take it as a sign and play the fucking lottery. Maybe it was some sort of retail prank show. But there was no Ashton Kutcher waiting at the register when I went to pay for my 2 shirts that took me forever to find so I guess not.

Of course, this was nothing new. What I didn’t exect however were the dirty looks I got from the ultra trendy staff. My non working alter ego is a raging hippie, so apparently my jeans and john lennon t shirt was not the uniform. They were looking at me like I didn’t belong there. No one offered to help me. I had to practically help myself into the dressing room.

After being looked up and down by the fitting room attendant, dressing and undressing were very awkward. That is something I normally do liberally and with pleasure. What a terrible feeling.

So, a day later, I am so angry that I let these douche bags really get to me. I don’t really like shopping (mostly because I am indifferent to fashion) but I have learned that finding my own unique way of adhering to the appropriate dress rules for every occasion can be creative and fun. But I just couldn’t manage to set my mind to it after encountering the same treatment in three different stores.

And then to make matters worse, I vented my frustrations on the phone to my mother who “shared” my opinion and voiced her own. She wishes that mainstream stores had more options for “today’s woman” as she says. I love my mother and I know she means well but what does “today’s woman” really mean. As far as I know, yesterday and the day before that the average woman was my freakin’ size. It makes more since to call it since the beginning of time woman! That would at least be somewhat accurate.

I don’t know what’s worse…the fact that only smaller women are permitted by society to shop in public or the fact that treating a person with dignity isn’t a universal rule. I suppose they are one in the same. It’s just so annoying.

13 Responses to “More Reasons to Hate Shopping”

  1. August 16, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    I can relate to this. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t shop at Lane Bryant’s brick and mortar stores. Yeah, they’re for plus-size women, all right, as long as you’re not a super-plus size. Every time I’ve ever been in a LB store, I get ignored. If I ask for help, I get that stare and the long-suffering sigh that tells me I’m a pain in their ass and they wish I’d go shop at Omar the Tentmaker’s and leave them the hell alone so they can talk on their cell phones or with their co-workers or help thinner patrons. So, since the LB catalog isn’t affiliated with the stores and I don’t get ignored by them, I shop by catalog or online. The store doesn’t want my money enough to train their employees to treat every customer with the same amount of respect, then they aren’t going to get my money.

  2. August 16, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    I used to hate shopping, too. One approach that has worked for me has been to shop at a department store — like Macy’s — where they have plus and not-plus sizes. The one near me has a great section. And if you manage to go when things are on sale, it’s really not that expensive. The staff tends to have less attitute (although finding the staff during a sale is it’s own problem).
    I wish you better luck the next time you head out to shop.
    I rarely have time to shop these days, so I recently did some online shopping and it’s worked out okay. Not perfect, but okay.

  3. 3 yellowhammer
    August 16, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    I never buy anything in a store where the staff is rude to me. If they can’t be bothered to help me, I can’t be bothered to help boost their commission. I’ll storm out of anywhere when faced with rudeness– I even stormed out of an Arby’s once when the kid behind the counter looked at me and sneered “What do YOU want?”.

    I recommend next time there be much more storming out– and a nice phone call to the manager. If the manager is rude, try to find out who the district manager is. There is some one along the line who will be upset that their staff didn’t do the utmost to convince you to spend your money there.

  4. August 16, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    I don’t know where you guys are from, but I’m from Montreal, and every time I go shopping in the States I’m amazed at how cheery and helpful the salespeople are. (I mean in stores in general since I can’t comment on plus-size stores.) Here, nobody says hello to you unless you’re shopping downtown, and you often do have to help yourself into the changing room. Today a saleswoman said “Donne moi ca!”-“Give me that!”-to my sister in the changing room in the guise of checking her items. Actually, everytime we’re down in the States I forget how hyper all the sales assistants are and the first few times I get asked “HELLO!!!! HOW ARE YOU FOLKS DOING TODAY?!?!?!?!” I kind of stand there in a stunned silence. Anyway, I know that’s off-topic… kind-of… but just wanted to mention it.

  5. August 16, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Aww. I’m sorry you had a bad shopping experience. I don’t do well with being ignored, so I morph into Super Annoying Customer, have the rude salespeople bring me all these different clothes (and this works great when buying shoes as well), then tell them never mind, I’ll shop elsewhere.

    Yes, I realize how horrid this is for the folks who have to put the stuff back (I work retail too), but when faced with extreme rudeness, I sometimes can’t help myself. It’s another thing I have to work on, I reckon.

    And this: I saw so many 4s, 6s, 8s, and 10s I was almost tempted to take it as a sign and play the fucking lottery. really made me crack up laughing.

  6. 6 Shinobi
    August 17, 2008 at 8:40 am

    You know where, (surprisingly) I seem to have consistantly good customer service? Torrid. For some reason the people there always seem to be super friendly. Maybe it is just the 2 torrids that I go to that are super good.

    Unfortunately I can’t always say the same for their clothes. :-/

  7. 7 Lisa in NY
    August 17, 2008 at 9:38 am

    I have so much sympathy. I too am in-betweenie (14, hourglass — probably really a 12 waist and 16 chest/ass) and I go through this a lot.

    I second Macy’s. Liz Claiborne runs a bit big and is professional-looking, I got a great knee-length sateen skirt there recently. Style&co. is a house brand that goes from I think 4-18 and is decent quality for its remarkably low price range — mostly casual things, but some of it falls into that category of “yeah, I can make this work as part of my semi-grown-up suit.” It’s my new favorite thing this summer. (I got SHORTS for crying out loud, WOMEN’s shorts not men’s giant cargoes, nice long below-the-knee linen ones in my actual size that are cut to fit the leg without being cut so narrow that it’s hopelessly pear-incompatible.)

    I also recommend cultivating a magnificent blithe insouciant spaciness and just ignoring the shit out of the snotty people, which is how I shop the top end of Banana Republic for on-sale work trousers. If you don’t have the adrenaline to go the confrontational route, I mean.

  8. 8 intellectualfeminist
    August 17, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Thanks everyone for commenting and the wonderful recommendations. Sometimes I wish I could act like more of an ass sometimes but angry letter writing is about as confrontational as I get sometimes. Not to mention, I just moved here so I haven’t really got my retail stores mapped out all the way. But I will definitely keep some of these ideas in mind. That is the type of situation that I don’t think I could tolerate twice.

    What is even more upsetting is that if this were a racial or gender issue I would have been all up in arms about it. Those are two things I have been battlig for years so I am unafected by the cliche responses I get from that. I wish I could be more confrontational when it comes to FA issues and less afraid of where those confrontations could go.

  9. 9 Mo
    August 17, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    I’ve had that too at various stores. I pretty much will just walk out if someone’s rude to me. I figure if they don’t want me to actually shop there, they must not want my money. For wonderful customer service, I have to recommend my local Avenue shop. They always greet you, don’t pester you, yet are attentive if you need the changing room. I even (when I went wild on summer tanks) had an attendant offer to put my many purchases up at the register so I wouldn’t have to carry them all over, even though it’s a small Avenue. They’re nice like your favorite aunt or something.

  10. 10 sara
    August 17, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    I think you should send a letter directly to the store. The employees need to realize what they’re doing and how they treat people.

    I’m so sorry you had such a terrible experience!

  11. 11 keshmeshi
    August 17, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    What drives me crazy is that clearly these stores get far more in-betweenies than skinny shoppers. But do they plan for that? Apparently not. They should stock many more 10s, 12s, and 14s to meet demand, but I guess they’d rather put a buttload of 0s, 2s, and 4s on sale at the end of the season.

  12. 12 Grandpa Scheme
    September 3, 2008 at 2:06 am

    You’re definitely a dedicated shopper, but some people take it to the next level…

    Check out: You Ain’t Artsier than Me… @ http://getyoursorgohome.wordpress.com/

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