Just the Pants, Thanks

When did clothes shopping start to feel like running through an up-sale obstacle course?
I was recently shopping for some pants in a store I regularly shop in:
“Hi! Can I help you find anything?”
“No, thanks…I’m just looking right now.”
“Well, if you haven’t been in for a while, here’s a HUGE LONG EXPLANATION of our store layout and our current sales which are posted obviously all over the place.”
“Great, thanks”. Goes over to the jeans to pick out some to try on.
“Did you need any help with sizes? Sometimes different styles fit different ways and other obvious things that people who have shopped for their own clothing for 20+ years know already.”
“Yes – it looks like all these come in my size. Thanks!” Heads to dressing room.
“How are the sizes? Sometimes your size will change depending on the fit….yadda, yadda, yadda…”
“Everything fits fine, thanks”. Tries on 4 pairs of pants and a skirt, decides 3 pants work very well. Comes out of the changing room.
“How did everything go? Do you need tops too? How are you doing for bras and panties (??)?”
“I’ll take these three and these didn’t work. I don’t need anything else.”
“Oh – was it the size or the style? Is there something I can magically do to those garments to make you want to plunk down cash on them needlessly? Or something else I can do to make you spend money on other things you don’t want?”
“They just didn’t work. I’ll take these.”
“Do you have our uber-duber special membership card that gets you 1% off with every $3456 you spend in the month of May every second year?”
“I might…I don’t carry cards though.”
Looks me up in the system using my phone number and makes sure every single bit of contact information is still current.
“I assume you’ve started your spring time skin rejuvenating regime?”
“Um, no…I don’t even know what that means. No thanks.”
“What?? But you don’t want your skin to look horrible once sandals and shorts season is here!!!”
Just give me the pants. Just give me the pants. JUST GIVE ME THE FUCKING PANTS.
“So, you’re $2 short to get a $50 gift card…what would you like to buy? We have a giant list of useless things, these accessories, and OH YES, our amazing skin cream for the regime I was trying to sell you before.”
“Just give me one of those random accessories.” 
Idle conversation about the lack of a chip on my credit card, the weather, etc..
“Okay!! So, here’s a summary of your whole shopping experience. Here’s some other information that you will never use and is totally useless. Thanks for coming in, and remember, if you need tops, bras, panties, skin care, or ANYTHING else, come back! We’ll call you to remind you!!!”
“Thanks for your help – bye.”
Didn’t clothes shopping used to be simple?
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Comments on: "Just the Pants, Thanks" (14)

  1. Oh man. I admit sometimes I'm a horrible person and just say, “No thank you, I'm fine, please leave me alone.” Once (heavily pregnant at Target) I even said, “You're the fourth person who has asked me that… after person #3 it starts getting annoying.”

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  2. This is awesome. And so true. Most of the time, even when I am looking for something specific, I tell them I'm just browsing because I'd rather be left alone.

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  3. This post cracked me it is the paradox of clothing stores: you typically have to fight off sales people like flies, expect the odd time when you actually do need to try another size and you are peering out of the changeroom half-dressed and no one is anywhere to be found.

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  4. OMG I laughed so hard at this post! So hard that I forgive you for not liking Cannery Row ;D

    Sales staff in the UK at the time I left were generally much lower pressure than in North America; I had a hard time adapting. Just bloody well leave me alone! (And yes, I've worked in a retail clothing store. Hated it. I sympathise with those doing the work. I still want them to leave me alone). Canada isn't as bad as the US, but you're right – it is getting worse.

    Except at The Bay. No-one gives a shit at The Bay. It's actually quite refreshing, even when it takes half an hour to go from finding something you would like to buy to actually being able to walk out the door with it.

    p.s. you tried on four pairs of pants and three of them fit well?! Your hit rate is approximately 3,000 times better than mine! I'm an odd shape, apparently…

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  5. You bought 3/4 pairs of pants you tried on!? I recently tried on ~15 and bought 2 which is a record for me :).

    When I worked in retail (and thank god I don't anymore) we were supposed to do those annoying things to increase sales. Surprisingly it works well for many people who shop as a hobby.

    Wearing headphones usually keeps people from bothering me when I shop.

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  6. nicoleandmaggie – good for you! I should just say something next time.

    spacepotatoes – I do the same thing.

    Liz – so very true!

    Cath – The Bay is really nice for that. Though last time I was there, I actually had someone come up to me and ask if I wanted help AND started a change room for me! I nearly fainted.

    myscientficlife – these pants are all very stretchy, so relatively easy to hit the mark with fit. Headphones are a great idea!

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  7. I laughed and chucked when I read this. As others, I'm in the “3/4 is amazing” camp…. I'm 1/7 or so….

    anyway, I find it extrairritating when they continue talking to you about stuff you already said you are NOT interested in. I have ended up saying “I'm just visiting america” or “I'm an immigrant and can't have a credit card” when they want to sign me up for a cc or store credit. It's just easier that way, even if it isn't true.

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  8. Hahaha, all so very true! Here in kiwiland they also ask, preferably when you're in the middle of typing in your pin, “Are you having a day off? What else are you doing today? Blablabla?”.
    Chall I love your excuses for not signing up for stuff! Will start using those…

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  9. Headphones don't work, IME – you still get interrupted AND I have to keep stopping, restarting and rewinding my podcasts. Maybe I should listen to music instead of spoken word, so I won't care if I miss stuff…

    Like Chall I've also used my foreign accent to get out of store credit cards and other offers I'm really not interested in*, although it's not a ruse that's very compatible with having a Canadian debit and credit card…

    *also works when feigning ignorance of certain other Canadian customs. Sometimes.

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  10. Cath: “foreign accent”. It used to be foreign, now it's turning way more into a southern gobble with drawling 'r's and sad me ^^ I need to get back to my roots darn it 😉

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  11. Chall & Cath – that's a fun trick 🙂 Reminds me of that episode of Seinfeld when Elaine pretends to be deaf to get out of talking with the taxi driver! LOL!

    Nina – oh, that would be annoying!!

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  12. LOL!
    This was awesome!

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  13. Ah, The Bay… so true. So many employees buzzing around chatting with each other, so little chance they will actually help you.

    On the other hand, shopping there does have the benefit that when you go to pay for something, frequently it turns out to be magically on sale and cheaper than posted. Has happened to me many times. A nice counter-balance to the lack of sales assistance.

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  14. Richard – that is a definite plus about The Bay. I usually get some kind of unforeseen discount!

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