Go Away!

What’s been your experience with shop assistants over the last few weeks? Helpful? Bored? Can’t be bothered? Kindness personified? Manic expression in the eyes with a few clumps of hair missing? I worked in retail many years back and, I must confess, I can’t help but feel sorry for shop workers in the weeks leading up to Christmas. For this reason I do everything in my power to be patient..

What’s been your experience with shop assistants over the last few weeks? Helpful? Bored? Can’t be bothered? Kindness personified? Manic expression in the eyes with a few clumps of hair missing? I worked in retail many years back and, I must confess, I can’t help but feel sorry for shop workers in the weeks leading up to Christmas. For this reason I do everything in my power to be patient..

The problem is I’m not, patient that is and this morning I found myself having to grit my teeth to avoid screaming ‘GO AWAY!’ at the top of my voice. When you walk into a shop over here the nearest assistant will say ‘bonjour’ and then ask if they can help. As I knew exactly what I wanted I said bonjour’, gave her a pleasant smile and said no thanks (or non merci to be exact). Excellent! This was going to be a quick trip in and out of the store and then home to my blog. Or so I thought…….

I paused to look at some eye shadows (yes I was make-up shopping) and a young woman asked if she could help.

“No thanks I’m just looking” I’d already found what I needed at this point

“Well, you should know today that with X, Y and Z brands we have 25% off”

“Ok, great thanks” Can I communicate ‘I’m not interested’ telepathically I wonder?

“What is it you’re looking for in particular?” We were almost shoulder to shoulder by this point

“Nothing thanks, I’ve got what I need” Smile very slightly strained

“Well, if you’re looking for mascara we have this” Air hostess style pose adopted and said mascara indicated

“No thanks, no, I don’t need mascara, I have what I need” Holding up selected product and pointing at it did not constitute a big enough hint apparently

“Perhaps a lovely bronzer to give you a glow for Christmas” Box of brown dust with suspicious looking sparkles held at smile height and then shoved under my nose.

“No thank you, no bronzer” I decided the time had come to move away with some real purpose so I strode briskly to the other side of the counter and towards the checkout.

She followed me.

“This is one of the brands where we have 25% off today, do you know it” Double handed gesticulation which at once indicated the little counter and blocked my escape to the checkout

“No not at all” My answers were becoming shorter and shorter along with my temper

“It’s marvelous, you really should try it. Would you like me to make you up and you can see for yourself” She reached for a pink jacket thing which resembled a strait jacket and tried to usher me towards one of those tall stools (do you know the ones I mean? About 5 feet high with a three inch round seat?)

“No……thank you” blank stare, no smile.

“Perhaps some perfume? We have a great selection”

I honestly thought this was going to go on all day with my only means of escape being pretending that I was going to vomit or hitting her over the head with a a florescent pink blusher blush which I’d noted in case of emergency. It was then that I heard the words

“Excuse me madame, can you help me” from a very well to do woman standing just behind my stalker shop assistant.

Just like that, the woman turned her back on me and her radiant, possibly surgically fixed smile, onto her new victim customer and departed without a word. Well!

What about you? What’s been your worst experience at the hands of a well to do (or not) shop assistant?

Let me know, I’d love to hear from you

Lisa x


Author: All About Life

Middle-aged 20 something

35 thoughts on “Go Away!”

  1. Lol Lisa. I know the type, though I don’t go in shops any more. God, I think I would have lost my cool long before you did! In fact it might have been a police emergency. Nha!

    I have a pot gnome that my mother once gave me, and on it, it says “GO AWAY.”! Sounds like I ought to send him to you lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think the only reason I didn’t lose my cool was that I find it very hard to speak French when I’m anything other than calm and there’s really not much point in ranting at someone in a language they won’t understand ;O) x
      I should definitely keep a go away pot gnome in my handbag for emergencies ;O) x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I once went for an interview for a minimum wage job in a small branch of Times Past, or is is Past Times? – Anyway, it turned out this was part one – She wanted me to walk the shop floor for 20 minutes demonstrating my ‘skills’. I hate the idea of pouncing on customers, from both points of view. As Iof course did not know where anything was, or prices etc my customer interaction with the two customers was zero. No job success.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would be paranoid that she thought I was a shoplifter!
    When I worked in retail, the only customer I think I ever annoyed by being overly-helpful was the actor who played Mr Wycombe in Pride & Prejudice. I made a fool of myself following him around the store!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LOL! Omg I hate when that happens. It’s like they’re so busy trying to make a sell, they’re not hearing that you don’t need any help. Like they are forcing products on you that you have already stated you’re not looking for. Good thing that well to do customer chimed in when she did. I can imagine you were about to bust! 😂

    My experience would have to be when I had an assistant follow me and my mom all over the store, after we told them we were just window shopping. Like seriously… they had become like a shadow following us around. We couldn’t shop in peace. They eventually got tired and moved on to someone else. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think we have the opposite when we go shopping. We can never find anyone to help us find stuff. Seems like the whole store is deserted of workers. We don’t go to the mall hardly ever, but those kiosk shops people are the worst at bugging a person as we walk by. My advice on that…don’t look at them, don’t talk to them, and keep walking.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I noticed a child in a shopping cart being a real pain to mom and screaming to annoy everyone. From at least 30 yards away I calmly locked on the young lad’s eyes and gave him ‘the look.’ He saw me, stopped screaming, and was quite happy to be with his mother and not ‘that evil man over there.’ Sometimes it works on adults. One young lady from half-way across Target yelled, “May I help you, sir?” I walked toward her asking, “What do you have in mind, young lady?” In home depot and Lowes, when I know what I want and where to get it, they stalk me. When I need help, they all leave the store for as long as I am there.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am the reason those cosmetic counter ladies don’t stand in the aisles of stores and squirt you with perfume anymore. I started loudly telling them “I have allergies and an attorney” as I started walking in their direction to get into or out of the stores.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have the opposite problem. I am invisible in shops. I have been into both the Manchester and Covent Garden Apple stores with actual money to spend – twice – and on all four occasions was ignored whilst the staff were in a corner having a chinwag. Same thing happened in the Lancaster PC world last week. I eventually ordered online.
    The one exception is the art supply shop in Lancaster, where I have never yet managed to browse the mysterious upper floor because staff appear like Mr Benn as soon as I step in the door, and insist of fetching whatever I am looking for.
    Both extremes are equally annoying. But not as annoying as being ignored in pubs when trying to buy a compensatory drink afterwards:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Blimey! I’m surprised you were ignored in the Apple stores – aren’t they supposed to be known for their good service (presumably to make up for their overpriced but very pretty products)
      Love the idea of Mr Benn in the artshop :O) x


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