Wednesday, August 22, 2012

shops assistants

Shop assistants. Allow me for a sec.

"I love being assisted when I shop. Followed around like a laser beam, under the intense watchful gaze of the assistant. It isn't a shit shopping experience at all" - No-one ever.

I know some people who are happy to talk to shop assistants about, say, why that £200 leather skirt "looks really great on you," because they think this is a genuine compliment and not a sales ploy. And they have the balls to say this with a straight face as your fat rolls ooze out of the sides.

I don't want to be unnecessarily influenced when I am browsing through a rack of jerseys, OK. It's at this crucial time that I need to concentrate; stay focused. You see it coming slowly towards you in your periphery, and then circling, "Hi is there anything I can help with?"

Usually by the time the above conversation happens, I'm already out of the shop.

I'm sorry shop assistants out there, I know that unless you're working the aisle of Louis Vuitton that you probably hate your job, but I literally don't know how to cope with being circled. Especially in stores that are noticeably cramped.  The only thing that I know to do under these circumstances is flee.

I have run out of stores before. Fled. With wide eyes, promising myself I'll never visit again. And I usually don't. Take the Miss Sixty store in Covent Garden. Like their clothes; but can't spend more than 50 seconds in there. I'm approached the moment I step foot on the premesis. "HIYAH!"

OK breathe, just breathe. Man the fuck up. She just greeted you. You can handle that. Breathe. Greet her back. Try and show her with your eyes that you don't wish to be distur...."ANYTHING I CAN HELP YOU WITH TODAY?"

My eyes start darting wildly. Hoping to settle on something. Anything. This season's chunky knit. I take the stance of the cornered animal.

"I'm just browsing."


It's too much dialogue. I lose interest faster than Prince Harry loses his clothes in a £5000 a night suite in Vegas. (What a lash hero, by the way. True lad. If I was a ginger prince, I would also ship myself off to Sin City for some R&R. What a waste otherwise.)

If I have this kind of a stand off with a shop assistant, I leave. I can't bear it. I simply can't bear it.Let me browse. Let me peruse at my own will. I am able enough to find the relevant sections I need - jerseys, nude jerseys, coats, they're all usually in some kind of order, so why are you following me around?

I will definitely ask you if I need help, but I cannot comfortably shop with you watching my every move. It's completely debilitating. It's starting to ruin my vibe, I have to choose stores where I know I won't be bothered.

Until then, I'll just run out of the shops, looking sweaty and flustered. Or I can name and shame.

Zara (Sloane Square, Covent Garden branches ---> acceptably absent, nowhere to be seen.

Ted Baker (King's Road, Covent Garden branches) ----> pains me to say this, because Ted Baker is my favourite store, but sometimes your assistants can be really annoying. I've fled a few times.

Mango (Covent Garden) ----> Noticeable, hanging about on the store frontier, but not completely intrusive

Miss Sixty (Covent Garden) ---> Dude - you're closer to my face than that guy's armpit on the tube this morning

Warehouse (Oxford Street) ---> Simply superb. I didn't see you at all, in fact had to hunt you down to ask for my size.

Office (Covent Garden, Kings Road, just about anywhere)--> For a shoe shop you're fine, because I understand that you do need to hover more. But you also insist on window dressing while I am in the middle of stroking and sniffing the shoes. The last line was a joke. But why do you need to fiddle with the display when I'm actively shopping from it?

It has occurred to me that I look like a raging thief. But I'm also pretty certain that I am not alone here.

No comments: