I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ignore Me You Will

On Saturday I dragged my friend 007 out for some serious clothes shopping. My clothes had sadly all fallen into a state of not being good enough even for bag ladies, so it was time to get rid of them and start again. Those who know me IRL know that I think going shopping for clothes is even less fun than sticking hot pokers into my eyes, so I needed a friend along for moral support. If I was a savvy shopper, I probably would have waited for Boxing Day.... but then I'd have to fight the crowds, the madness, the noise, the other people also looking for bargains. Given that I hate the experience to begin with, I'm not masochistic enough to try it when there are so many other crazy people out and about.

So off we went into the Melbourne CBD. Sidenote: I'm thoroughly urban, and I love love love large cities, and I love love love it when they are all gussied up for Christmas. It just feels like you can feel the heart of the city beating underneath all that concrete, as all the carollers and shoppers and kids wearing foam reindeer antlers cavort above ground. Melbourne's CBD is a shopping Mecca and there is nothing which you cannot find there - actually twice during the day we ended up calling directory assistance to find some stores and we realised we were only steps away from them!

I make no secret of the fact that I am large and lovely - which means my options for stores are fairly limited. That being said, I managed to put a sizeable dent in the old pocketbook (which also needs replacing. DH: That was an obvious birthday gift hint.). An interesting thing struck me about our shopping expedition - the amount of times the shop "assistants" did not want to actually assist us.

In every store which was NOT a large size store (because, you know, accessories clearly only come in 'small') we had a really hard time getting people to serve us. At David Jones (shmancy department store) several people actually walked RIGHT PAST us rather than offer to ring us up. Sidenote again - the directory lady at DJ's told me the large size section is "very popular" and yet it took 007 and I something like 10 minutes to FIND the place. It's way off in the back, in the corner, with NO shop assistants. Literally there was an echo as we spoke to one another.

Anyway in all the stores - DJ's, Hairhouse Warehouse, Catherine Manuell designs (cool bags, bitchy shop ladies), Myer, little Asian accessory stores, the Museum of Modern Art store and so on - NOBODY wanted to help us. I'm not sure why this is, other than perhaps shop chicks think that money from fat women is somehow not as good as money from thin women. It got to be quite annoying when, at one point, we literally had to chase someone down in order to take our money from us. There were several times when we would see 2-3 shop assistants chatting to each other, then look over and see us with arm loads of clothes looking for a register, and pointedly ignore us and keep chatting. In the large size stores, we not only had helpful and friendly staff, but we had people bending over backwards to help us - running to get different sizes and styles, suggesting other things we might try, having fun and ridiculous conversation, and so on.

Why is this? I mean I know there is the whole myth that fat people are somehow more jolly than others, and so fat shop assistants might therefore be nicer - but, seriously? Can the others really afford to ignore me? Now it might just be that this is coincidental ... that people who work in boutique stores are by nature friendly because they have to work harder for the sale, whereas chain and department store people will get the sale anyway. I don't know... but I do know that it was really rather frustrating for the both of us.

We had a fabulous day shopping, and laughing, and walking our feet off across miles and miles of hip city sidewalks, and that's really a lot more important than anything else. Still, I wonder if anyone else (fat OR thin) has had this experience in their Xmas shopping this year. Are people behaving differently because of the economy, or was it just bad luck on our part? Enquiring minds want to know.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Ok, Ok....indepth blog about your "adventures" on Saturday. Now I want an indepth blog about your "adventures" on Sunday.... how is it you put it?....Enquiring minds would like to know....