I love your Site, keep up the great work!! Now my story, in highschool
I decided to go to the prom, as I had always opted out before on any and
all school dances my mother was thrilled and told me, "The sky's the
limit" . I went on a shopping trip with my FSIL as she was a fashion
maven and knew the best stores and could help me (I am not very
fashionable, I prefer t-shirts and jeans). We went to a few stores with no
luck as I am a large girl (at the time appx. size16/18 ). We go into one
last shop for the day, and at this point I am very discouraged and about
to say forget it to the whole thing.
When we enter I was amazed at the sheer amount of dresses and
accessories they had and we start to look. Now, granted, we are looking at
dresses that are too small for me but we are only looking and I am
oooohing and ahhing but in no way am I thinking, "Hey maybe I
can pour myself in this dress 6 sizes to small," and then it
happened. From ACROSS the store a salesclerk screams at me, "You
can't fit into those," and comes running over to me. Now I should
point out that because of her outburst everyone in the store is now
staring at me and since it is prom season there are quite a few people
there. I am humiliated!!
But it gets better!! Loud enough for everyone to hear she says, "
We have a few dresses that would fit you, but not in this section,"
then she grabs my hand and pulls me to the other end of the store and
says, "These may fit you look at these," and proceeds to stand
there watching me. I look at the rack she has shown me which consists of
four dresses each one more hideous than the next, and since I am not
impressed with any of them I say, "Thank You," and begin to walk
away. She then grabs a dress from the rack holds it up to me and says
"This may work". I explain to her that I do not like the dress
and I am not interested in it. She leans into me and says, "Honey we
don't have much for you, and no one else will either you should try it on
at least ."
I am speechless and my FSIL says ok and grabs the dress and heads
for the dressing room. Once inside the dressing room FSIL and I are
talking about her rudeness and I tell FSIL I am not ever going to wear
that dress it is awful (a royal blue tea length dress covered in sequins
with a giant bow on each sleeve and a butt bow the size of Texas). FSIL
agrees and we start to leave the dressing room then the saleslady knocks
twice on the door enters and says, "Have you tried it on
yet?" I tell her no that I do not like the dress and we will go
elsewhere since they have so few items in my size that I find
Again the saleslady says to me, "No one else will be able to fit
you either we have the best selection in town for someone with your
build." I am floored but since we had been to a few shops that day
with no success I actually am beginning to believe her and I agree to try
on the ugly dress and who knows maybe it will look good on. I take the
dress and make my way to the curtained off area of the room, she insists
that I try it on in front of her. I say no and try to head to the
curtain area again she says to me, "You need to try it on where I can
see you," when my FSIL asks why she explains that it is store policy.
When FSIL points out that she had gotten a prom dress here the previous
year and was not made to try it on in front of anyone, the saleslady says
to us, "These are special circumstances she is different from you.
" I ask her what that means and she tells me, "You may get
something on the dress I have to be here to monitor you."
I at this point became livid and told her that she was rude,
inconsiderate and most of all just flat out cruel. I handed her the dress
and told her that I would be sure to tell everyone I knew that this store
treats people so badly and that she could rest assured that I would
contact her immediate supervisor and let that person know of her
As we were leaving she says to us, "I was only trying to help, you
will never find a dress to compliment you." On the positive side of
this story, I did find a dress to compliment me at another store, a
beautiful dress. And at that store the salespeople were kind and helpful
and I enjoyed them so much that when I got married I bought all of my
attendants dresses as well as my own there and I have recommended them to
everyone. As for the shop from hell, well , they are still around but we
did complain to the manager and owner and that lady was promptly fired.
Several years ago, I was a book buyer for a major bookseller. I met
with vendors on a fairly regular basis and most of the time it was
wonderful I saw many of the same people season to season, and we always
enjoyed discussing new books, as well as our families, vacations, etc.
The buying department consisted of a VP, with whom I worked
hand-in-hand, and me. My opinion was sought and valued on a very regular
basis. At the time, I was only 27 or so, and several vendors (always
seemed to be male, for some reason) didn't take me seriously. They quickly
learned that despite the fact that I was young, my boss utilized me as an
important decision maker, and had a very protective attitude towards me.
One day, a vendor came in and he, my boss and I were making small talk.
The vendor mentioned that he was from Colorado and my boss made a comment
about the University of Colorado having a great hockey team. The vendor
said, "Yes they have a great team," then proceeded to
TURN TO ME AND SAY, "not that YOU'LL be interested in this, but they
won first place in their division last year."
I was shocked, but quickly recovered, and in the most innocent
way, said, "Why WOULDN'T I be interested in that?" Said vendor
stammered "Well…uh" since he couldn't very well say,
"You're a GIRL!" Need I say that this vendor never received ANY
BUSINESS from us?! What a moron alienating customers like that!
A few years ago I got it into my head that I absolutely needed a
rocking chair, so I dragged my then boyfriend to a nearby chain furniture
store. It was me, not the boyfriend, who dealt with the salesman. I was
the one who asked most of the questions, my boyfriend being quite content
to, except for a couple of inquiries, stay out of it. It was MY credit
card, with MY name on it, that I gave to the salesman. It didn't take a
brain surgeon to figure out that I was the paying customer.
After the transaction was completed and my boyfriend and I are on our
way, the salesman thanked us for our business, and initiates a hand shake.
To my boyfriend. That's right, to my boyfriend. The boyfriend was a little
slow on the uptake, not really expecting the gesture, but nevertheless
responded because, well, it's beyond rude to ignore the offer of a
handshake. I was a bit miffed when he shook my boyfriend's hand before
mine, considering I paid for the damned chair. Assuming I was next, I
started to extend my arm when I realized he had absolutely no intention of
shaking MY hand. I was so nonplussed I just continued my way out the door,
and by the time we got to the car I was livid. It was MY money that this
yahoo had just made a commission from and yet it was my boyfriend he
thanked. To this day I regret that I let him get away with that behavior.
I should have canceled the whole transaction, but not before telling him
For a little background information, I should begin by saying that this
last summer I shattered my back. I broke 11 vertebrae. Because of that, I
had to have roughly 12 hours for reconstructive surgery and I actually
died on the operating table. My spinal cord was perforated but not
severed. So after a 3 month hospital stay and another 6 months of physical
therapy I was up and about. I could walk with a four-pronged cane, but not
really well. One could look at me and tell something was wrong. On one of
my first major outings, I went to a really well known store to buy some
new clothes. As I was looking around, and carrying at least $200 dollars
worth of clothes-because no one had offered me any assistance- I tripped
over a rug and fell. I fell hard enough that my knee split open. Instead
of rushing over to ask if I was okay, the sales girl that had seen this
happen started laughing and walked away. I was so hurt and embarrassed, I
crawled over to a cabinet to get up, as I couldn't stand up on my own yet
and then left the store- with everything laying where it was.
No one, as far as I'm aware, cares much for telemarketers. I try not to
be rude to them because, after all, who knows if they have any other
options but that unpleasant job. The business model is at fault, not
necessarily the employees who implement it.
But there are limits.
One day I got a call from someone offering a subscription for a weekly
news magazine. I told him I was already subscribed to it, but thanks for
calling. He then told me he could handle the renewal of my subscription.
Renewal time was over three months away and so I informed him. I added
that if he called within two weeks of my expiration date, I'd be happy to
handle it through him. He agreed to this, thanked me and hung up.
Well, he called again the next week about the renewal. I reminded him
of our previous conversation (I didn't expect him to remember every
customer he talks to, but did expect him to keep records or at least make
notes). He interrupted me and said renewal now takes three months to
process. He is concerned that I might miss a single issue of this fine
weekly. The sooner we act, the better.
I know this is simply not true. I've been subscribed to this particular
news magazine for over ten years and no subscription renewal had ever been
dome earlier than three weeks prior to expiration (twice I'd even renewed
after expiration and didn't miss one issue). I told him this, but he
persisted that it would take three months, and may I give him my credit
card number and expiration date? Give my card number three months early to
a voice in the phone I don't even know is legitimate? I wasn't born
I told him at some length I'd never been asked for a card number for
renewal. Rather the person on the other end asks "Should we still
charge your Visa card 9999?" referring to the last 4 numbers on the
card, then ask for the expiration date. He tells me he doesn't have my
card on file (likely not even my subscription, either, and he plans to
sign me up rather than renew it).
I again told him it was still much too early, but renewed my offer to
have him call me two weeks short of expiration.
And than it got bad.
He called me an "ignorant know-it-all" and other less
pleasant names. He went on to say he would cancel my subscription and
blacklist me so I'd never get that magazine again. I figure if someone
insults me on the phone he's not entitled to any courtesy from me, so I
just hung up.
But that's not all. He called again the next week and demanded I either
renew now or miss out on the magazine forever. Just an ultimatum, not a
single word of apology for the last time. I told him I wasn't interested
anymore and hung up. He kept calling me daily for a week, but at that
point I just refused to take his calls (all the calls were to my office).
I'm still subscribed to the weekly and haven't been harassed into
renewing again. A funny tidbit, though: after renewing that time, I
started receiving two copies of every issue and I never found out why. Had
the persistent telemarketer called again, I'd have told him this with the
greatest of pleasures.
I'm not sure what category this falls into. There is a gas station and
small store across the street from my work. I have worked here for 6
years. This store runs out of everything all the time, even gas!! One time
I went in to order a milkshake and she had me go to the back of the store
to fetch the ingredients to make it. The worse was when I went to pick up
lunch for me and my co-worker. Simple, a grilled cheese and a BLT. A young
kid was working there (the only one) and after waiting 10 minutes for him
to even look my way, his response was: If I wanted my order I had a better
chance of getting it, if I made it myself. My jaw dropped, but I walked
behind the counter to get ready to fry some bacon. The entire time he kept
yelling at me that I was doing everything incorrectly (sorry, I had no
training). When I was all done, I didn't get a thank-you or an employee
Being a larger woman, I have patronized several chain stores that carry
larger size clothing. While
shopping for pants one afternoon, I was having a rather hard time finding something that fit. For some reason,
pants have to be 1 to 2 sizes bigger
than anything else to fit properly. While
trying on clothes, I came out of the dressing to get a better perspective in the big mirror.
Talking out loud to myself, I said that I don't understand why pants
have to be a bigger size than
other clothes I buy. A gentleman (and I use the term VERY
lightly) that worked in the store was nearby stocking the shelves. He heard me talking to myself and felt the need
to comment on what I had said.
His response..."IT MUST BE ALL THOSE COOKIES AND CAKES YOU EAT."
Now, putting aside the fact that my eating habits are really none of
his business...THE MAN WAS
WORKING IN A STORE THAT CATERS TO LARGER SIZED WOMEN!!!!!!!!
That comment was so incredibly crass and rude that I just stood there dumbfounded with my chin on the
I promptly spoke with the manager (who was also a large sized woman)
and told her what the guy had
said to me. She stood there for a moment with the same
expression that I must have had on my face when he made the comment to me. She assured me that it would be
addressed...then I walked out of the store
without buying a single item of clothing!!!!!! merchant0508-03
I live in a rather large yet rural college town; the population of the
university exceeds the population of the town, so you can imagine the
sorts of places there are to eat. My friends and I, in our endless quest
for good pie, often go far afield to neighboring towns to try their
We thought we hit the jackpot with one little family-type place, with
homemade pie and potable coffee. One night, we all decided to take a trip,
the six of us (mostly graduate students and teachers, a couple writers --
not a rowdy crowd), and get some pie after dinner. We show up at 10:00 PM,
unaware that the restaurant closes at 11:00. I had skipped dinner, so I
ordered some chicken strips. Our waitress was a bit curt with us, but
that's not unusual so close to a major university. After my strips, I
order a slice of cherry pie ala mode, and the waitress actually snorts at
me. Now I'm suspecting something is up. She brings the pie, and it occurs
to me that the restaurant may be closing.
"I'm sorry," I say, "are you closing soon?"
"Yes, in twenty minutes." The restaurant is still full of
people, mostly farmers and one friendly man with a loud voice and speech
"Oh, okay, I'll eat fast then."
Actually, that's what I meant to say. I said, "Oh ok -- " and
stopped, because she had turned around and walked away.
Fine. The key to etiquette, I firmly believe, is not noticing when
other people behave rudely. I ate my pie (angry as a man can be while
eating a pretty good cherry pie ala mode). Despite our misgivings, we all
left 15% tips. Someone in our group who had been a waitress pointed out
that she may just be tired and stressed from a hard day; I'm a teacher, so
I can dig stress.
On the way out, the man with the loud voice and the slurred speech --
and, I see now, the characteristics of a Downs-syndrome victim -- said
something to one of the cooks. The waitress made eye-contact with my
friend, snorts again, and rolled her eyes at us as if expecting sympathy
for having to put up with such people.
My friend has a close relative with congenital brain damage. We all
turned around, without a word, walked back to the table, and took our tips
back. We've been back to the place since, but haven't seen that waitress.
Probably a good thing; when I think back to that day, my commitment to
nonviolence wavers. merchant0605-03
Page Last Updated May 18, 2007