“There is a dark invisible workmanship - that reconciles discordant elements - and makes them move in one society” - William Wordsworth

It's strange how you find yourself changing...I used to love wondering around a good old bricks 'n mortar store but more and more my inner curmudgeon is pushing me towards the...increasingly alluring...online shopping experience.

Case in point, a spur-of-the-moment venture into Barneys yesterday...part of an on-going quest to find some dark denim jeans for Mr. Heb (6'7"...won't shop online unless 100% sure size is correct). Ever wondered what kind of outfit gets you a virtually non-existent level of service at Barneys? Allow me to answer that...


I'm not sure if it was the sheer density of pattern...or the fact that my hair was decidedly un-kempt...or maybe they just didn't like brown...but an expedition to locate some APC jeans for Mr. Heb turned into a self-service experience. In a department with (optimistically) six other people in it, no one said hello. After finding the APC area...the jeans...and the size...we then showed ourselves to the changing rooms...where someone finally appeared and asked Mr. Heb is he wanted to try something on.

Now, while I don't enjoy a constant barrage of "can I help you?" or "that would look so cute on you" (especially in reference to something that I wouldn't be caught dead in)...I do like some assurance that I'm not completely invisible. Oh, wait...I wasn't completely invisible...I did get a very dirty look when I sat on a chair outside the changing rooms. Yes, I know they're the men's changing rooms...and, yes, I know that I am a woman...but only in certain parts of America am I treated like a perverted leper for taking a seat. It could just be that instead of obtaining a thrill from the fact that a strange man is getting changed (behind closed doors) several feet away I am waiting for the man I came into the store with to try on a pair of pants and ask the inevitable "does my bum look big in this?" question.

I'd love to say at this point that we removed ourselves from the store without making a purchase. However, Mr. Heb's jeans quest has been going on for some time now...the APC jeans fitted perfectly...and it would have been a case of "cutting off nose to spite face" not to have bought them. Now, if you'll excuse me, I am going to browse around a few virtual boutiques...


Post a Comment 11 comments:

  • Sal said...
    12:14 PM
    I've gotten the same treatment - at a far less hoity department store - for perching outside the men's changing rooms. Seriously. If we wanted real fun, wouldn't we perch outside men's LOCKER rooms?
  • ~Tessa~Scoffs said...
    12:34 PM
    but..that..coat! It's so..perfect!
    I think your post is a prime example of today's so-called sales associates and their lack of gracious helpfulness. They act as though they're doing us a huge favor by letting us in the door. I find the same appalling lack in bartenders. Does no one take pride in their work? Who's hiring these people?
  • jds223 said...
    12:45 PM
    Barney's is cool, hip and all, but for god's sake...they are salespeople. What in the World makes them haughty?! I've worked retail many times and this particular attitude...like they own the store, always stumped me. I found that the customers who were the most "unkempt" (I love that word), ended up spending the most. And...I think your mix of patterns is fabulous! So...fuck them!
  • 6:50 PM
    i totally prefer online shopping. customer service is one of the many gripes i have with real-life stores.

    as for your appearance... today i had to run out on a quick errand, and i wore my pajamas, a coat, boots and a hat. a man asking for money from everyone went silent as i walked past, and then he resumed. which would you rather, being snubbed by sales associates, or being snubbed by the homeless?
  • 6:51 PM
    ps i think you looked adorable.
  • Hebden said...
    8:12 PM
    Thanks everyone...I was feeling very down and bitter (gee, could you tell?) about the whole experience.
  • Anonymous said...
    8:27 PM
    Beautiful outfit!
  • 12:48 AM
    oh you really shouldn't. maybe they were utterly bummed out since they knew some of them were going to be fired next week, or maybe a few people already were. it's a depressing time in retail. probably had nothing to do with you at all.
    when i go into barneys, or a shop like the yy boutique, i always want to be left alone. i don't care what the reason is that my wish always happens to come true. ;)
  • 2:02 AM
    It's a shame that they didn't appreciate your business as they should, especially given the economic environment.

    I think your outfit is great; if their bad service is in anyway connected to what their snooty preconception of "fashion" should be, that's even more of a shame. As for being "unkempt"--if this is indeed "unkempt," it pales in comparison to the "bohemian" "style" sported by many big-spending celebrities and heralded by magazines as the best thing ever. How ironic.
  • susie_bubble said...
    1:04 PM
    Your outfit makes me miss posting on TFS WAYWT...
  • 4:19 PM
    Gosh, there is a great deal of worthwhile material above!

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