Author Topic: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag  (Read 14001 times)

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DottyG

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2013, 01:16:25 PM »
I read the clerks version and it seems plausible.

I've had clerks and others let me know one item is a better value over a different one, which is what the clerk claims she was trying to do.

But with limited English I can see it being misinterpreted.

My DD and I were at a place last year and a clerk with limited English skills kept telling us "No, No, this one better for you." We were looking at some handmade jewlry and she was trying to indicate the quality of the stone was better in a different one over the one we initially was looking at.

Having been in a situation where Oprah prevented me and my staff from getting to our own offices because she had arrived in the vacinity (insert trumpet fanfare here), I'm with the clerk.  I lost pretty much any respect I had for her that day.


ydpubs

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2013, 01:32:14 PM »
Being from Chicago and knowing quite a number of people who either worked for her or encountered her in person, I do not believe anything she says. I do not think she is a nice person at all and I do believe she was being retaliatory and lying about the incident.

The running joke about Oprah:

If Oprah is standing in a forest and there are no cameras around to record her, would she do anything nice?

No matter where you go, there you are...

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2013, 01:33:42 PM »
She always annoyed me by the way that she'd have guests on but would hardly let them talk.  She's ask questions but then interrupt their answer. 

"Oh it was a tough movie to make wasn't it?"
"Well it was a grueling schedule for sure, and-"
"Isn't that the worst when you have a schedule like that?  So tell me, how do you truly feel about the message of this movie?"
"Well I feel-"
"Because I think it's a wonderful message!"

Might as well just say they're there to give her something to talk to.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

MommyPenguin

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2013, 02:03:04 PM »
From articles I read on it, it sounds like the clerk said something more along the lines of, "Well, there's this other bag that is basically the same but for a better price!  You should take a look at this one!"

And, honestly, for her to claim it's *racist*?  If anything, even if it was exactly as Oprah had said, it was classist, not racist.  Didn't the exact same scene happen in Pretty Woman, something that we quote all the time?  We've had a zillion stories about it.  Claiming that something that *does* happen to people plenty, happened to her *because she was black*, seems the height of looking for racism.  And a bit suspicious, given that she's promoting a movie about racism.  I think it's all hype.  I'm inclined to believe the clerk, and I don't think any racism was intended.   Besides, Zurich doesn't have the same history of racial tension that we do here.

I think Oprah may be backpedaling because people tracked down where the incident happened and what she tried to make a general "racist incident that happened to me once" became a specific accusation, and she realized that her accusations could really hurt an innocent woman's career.

KenveeB

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2013, 02:04:07 PM »
She always annoyed me by the way that she'd have guests on but would hardly let them talk.  She's ask questions but then interrupt their answer. 

"Oh it was a tough movie to make wasn't it?"
"Well it was a grueling schedule for sure, and-"
"Isn't that the worst when you have a schedule like that?  So tell me, how do you truly feel about the message of this movie?"
"Well I feel-"
"Because I think it's a wonderful message!"

Might as well just say they're there to give her something to talk to.

She would also very piously announce that she wasn't going to have Political Candidate X appear on her show, because she's Not Political. Then she'd have Political Candidate Y on four times, go to rallies, and announce how wonderful that candidate was constantly.  ::) Just admit you're political and choosing who to support, it's your right. Don't try to act like you're all above it and then dive into the middle.

turnip

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2013, 02:15:06 PM »
Without getting into any discussion of Oprah's history or personality, I can't think of any reason a salesclerk's response to "Can I see that purse please?" should be anything other than "Yes, let me get that for you."   Insisting on showing something that is a 'better value' is really not the clerks call, and as a customer and as the clerk's employer I'd be pretty annoyed at that behavior.

Sharnita

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2013, 02:30:51 PM »
I don't think it alwaus will be "yes". If I go ask to test drive a Bently the amswer is unlikely to be "yes". It is likely to be "Thank you for you interest, may we kindly direct you to dealership down the road"

There are some businesses that are exclusive. There are some products that are exclusive. There are some restaurants and clubs where "normal" people can't get in for months (if ever) but the name Oprah gets a prime table as soon as the request is made.

turnip

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2013, 02:35:50 PM »
I don't think it alwaus will be "yes". If I go ask to test drive a Bently the amswer is unlikely to be "yes". It is likely to be "Thank you for you interest, may we kindly direct you to dealership down the road"

There are some businesses that are exclusive. There are some products that are exclusive. There are some restaurants and clubs where "normal" people can't get in for months (if ever) but the name Oprah gets a prime table as soon as the request is made.

I think bringing in other comparisons is going to seriously cloud this issue.  She wasn't asking to test drive a Bentley, she wasn't trying to get reservations at a restaurant booked months in advanced.    She was in a store asking to get a closer look at a purse that was for sale.

If the clerk decided that the purse was too 'exclusive' for Oprah Winfrey, then the clerk made a serious mistake and should be making groveling apologies.    How can we possibly excuse the Clerk's behavior in this matter?

Sharnita

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2013, 02:46:38 PM »
Because I think there are items, purses included, that   are meant to be exclusive. The problem in that case would be failure to recognize that Oprah belonged to the most exclusive customer base, not being exclusive. It's a purse that costs more than a lot of cars - I am not surprised to learn that they don't show it to everyone.

Yvaine

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2013, 02:57:07 PM »
I don't think it alwaus will be "yes". If I go ask to test drive a Bently the amswer is unlikely to be "yes". It is likely to be "Thank you for you interest, may we kindly direct you to dealership down the road"

And I would think that business was wrong to do that. How do they know whether you can afford the Bentley or not, just by looking at you? They don't. They'd be stereotyping based on things like how you were dressed. And a rich person could dress down just as easily as anyone else. They have a legal right to not show you the car, oI think, but it's bad business practice and it's rude.

turnip

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2013, 03:00:06 PM »
Because I think there are items, purses included, that   are meant to be exclusive. The problem in that case would be failure to recognize that Oprah belonged to the most exclusive customer base, not being exclusive. It's a purse that costs more than a lot of cars - I am not surprised to learn that they don't show it to everyone.

That is a huge problem! If you are going to sell a $$$ purse to only the 'right' people than you'd better be darn sure you can identify the 'right' people.   If you can't, than you are bad at your job - _and_ rude!     

I just don't see any other possible conclusion.   

Sharnita

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2013, 03:41:29 PM »
In general, there are a variety of cues on both sides that would probably signal that the customer is "exclusive enough". Perhaps a language barrier prevented Oprah from giving the xies  and/or the cashier from picking up on them. Realiztically these places/products/systems exist. Realistically Oprah has voluntarily participated at least occassionally.She certainly isn't the only one, she won't be the last. I am sure this cashier is not the first to be imperfect as far as the sustem goes, and yet people are still willing to participate.

Oprah had a beef because Hermes would not open just for her but it didn't make her say "I guess that the exclusivity thing isn't all it cracked up to be". Now if it is an imperfect system, ss systems tend to be, it is one she has opted in to. There is no evidence that there.were race based issues.

turnip

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2013, 03:52:19 PM »
In general, there are a variety of cues on both sides that would probably signal that the customer is "exclusive enough".

But it's completely beyond the pale to imagine that skin color could be one of them?

Quote
Perhaps a language barrier prevented Oprah from giving the xies  and/or the cashier from picking up on them.

If the clerk doesn't expect to encounter wealthy, English speaking Americans than he/she is extraordinarily bad at their job.

Quote
Realiztically these places/products/systems exist. Realistically Oprah has voluntarily participated at least occassionally.She certainly isn't the only one, she won't be the last. I am sure this cashier is not the first to be imperfect as far as the sustem goes, and yet people are still willing to participate.

Oprah had a beef because Hermes would not open just for her but it didn't make her say "I guess that the exclusivity thing isn't all it cracked up to be". Now if it is an imperfect system, ss systems tend to be, it is one she has opted in to. There is no evidence that there.were race based issues.

I don't care about Hermes and I don't care about Oprah particularly - I care about etiquette and this clerk failed at it.  Nothing in Oprah's checkered past changes that.

Yvaine

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2013, 03:54:57 PM »
I don't care about Hermes and I don't care about Oprah particularly - I care about etiquette and this clerk failed at it.  Nothing in Oprah's checkered past changes that.

This. I don't care if Oprah is or isn't a nice person and I don't care that she really is rich--I would feel the same way if Jane Smith went to that store and was treated like that. It may have been racist, it may have been classist, but either way I think it was rude.

Sharnita

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Re: Oprah Winfrey claims sales assistant refused to let her see a handbag
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2013, 03:56:38 PM »
You can also imagine it is height, weight, religion, age, nationality, dietary preference. It is definitely wrong to make accusations based on those imaginings.