Monday, November 17, 2008


Saturday after a rudimentary bit of housework, I set off for the near west side of the City with specific shopping goals in mind.
There was hopefully going to be new nail polish for my toes, possibly and MP3 player and some cotton yarn for a dishcloth.
First stop was Ulta for a little set of OPI nail polish that was in the previous Sunday paper. I love OPI but it's rather expensive for my budget so the chance to get 3 tiny bottles for $4.95 sounded like a mood brightener. I enter the bright store populated with a lot of staff, all young, thin, and dressed in black. I didn't see the product at the front of the store and when I asked, I was told they'd sold out. At which time, the associate turned back to her coworker to continue their conversation. Now, I really hate to be smothered by sales people, but I would have thought a good thing to say was something like, "I'm sorry, we've sold out. We do, however, have these whatevers that are also really cool and a good buy." Or perhaps, "Would you like to see our other OPI polishes?" But nada. I wandered around a bit, finally found a little set of red and green polish, paid and left. I felt rather invisible. Was I just not dressed appropriately for such a spiffy store? Did it not appear that I had any money to spend? Or did they just not care? Since there were very few shoppers in the store I would have thought there would have been more effort.
Next, to the Best Buy next door. I know that I can't afford an iPod. But there are other options, and I wanted to talk to someone who could tell me the differences and help me come up with a solution. I also really want a new camera, mine is sooo heavy.
There were a few more shoppers in here, but not nearly what I'm used to seeing. I first went to the camera section, zeroed in on some I'd read about. Lifted them up and played a bit. I counted...I picked up 10 different cameras, reading the info posted and peering through the view finder. After probably 15 minutes, I then went to the MP3 section. I gazed longingly at the iPods, moved on to the other kinds and tried to determine what made each special. Probably 15 minutes there too. And in that 30 minutes, NOBODY said "Can I help you?" I thought perhaps they were all busy selling Wii-s (how do you type that plural?). Or some other big gaming thing. Or the latest in computers. But the associates there are fairly visible in their blue shirts, and there just weren't any around. Well, except for the checkers (there were NO lines) and the guy at the door. As I left, he asked me if I'd found what I was looking for. And I honestly said "No, I was looking for a sales associate".
And then off to Hobby Lobby. That place was packed!! I got my yarn and got in line to check out. All the checkout lines were staffed. Most people had lots of purchases and I'm nosy. I love to see what other folks are buying. Seemed to be fabric, yarn, paint, paper, glues and beads along with some decorations. Everyone skipping Ulta and making necklaces for their girlfriends? Or skipping Best Buy and their non-existent staff and knitting iPod cozies?
On the way back to the vehicle, I did make another quick stop at Petsmart so Zoey could have a weekend treat. And once again, it was packed. Pets WILL have their treats and food.
I read all about the poor economy and how it's going to affect holiday spending. But guys, if on the off chance someone comes in to spend, it would be really nice to have a bit of help.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I've had similar experiences when going into Ulta. I truly feel uncomfy going into the one in Norman, where the male employees have on more makeup than I do and are prettier also. :-)

BumbleVee said...

My personal observation is that females (I refuse to even give them the distinction of being ladies or women anymore)who deign to "work" at the "fra-grahnz" counters... are egotistical, snotty and just downright rude most days. Every so often I can't resist getting them the one bent over unpacking boxes... whose red thong, well exposed above her hipsters was just begging to be snapped.... hahahhah.....absolutely couldn't resist.....

Sheri said...

Well said! I feel the same way. Where is customer service? Did it go the way of the (can't think of one, everything has come back), anyway, I'm in total agreement. Same happened to me at Ulta (do love the store though). Maybe we're invisible once we're over 35? Um, who has more money to spend, the 20-30 year olds or the 40-60 year olds? HELLO!!!! Maybe we should send your blog address to and and see what they have to say. And yes, our new Hobby Lobby is doing a booming business.
Love the way you put it all into words. I'm not good at that, but this new way of life sure does tick me off.
Sheri in GA

Missy said...

I was in Ulta about a month ago and I was looking as some hair products towards the back of the store where the salon is. This lady comes up and asked if she could help me and I asked for her opinion on this product I was thinking about trying. So she felt of my hair (like any good stylist would) and make some recommendations for a different product that she felt might be better for my hair type, which was great. Only the whole time she was standing there talking to me about the product she wanted me to try, she was playing with my hair. Now, I have had stylists play with my hair before, but I have never felt creepy about it before like I did when this lady did it. It's like she was enjoying my hair a little too much, and she even realized what she was doing and gave me a sheepish smile and said, "Sorry..." I bought the product she recommended and left, but not before she gave me her card and told me to come back so she could cut my hair. The whole scene was just very weird and like I said, gave me the creeps.

But I agree with the other stuff, customer service standards everywhere have seriously taken a turn towards non-existent. Except for the girl at Ulta who had a thing for my hair. LOL

~France said...

Maybe Best Buy is gonna *be* no longer, just like a lot of other businesses. The employees may know something we don't know, and are taking it out on us customers! HA!

Sorry you had to be treated that way darlin' ... it's just WRONG!

Devorah said...

Had that problem in Ikea recently and it resulted in a big screw up which cost me an additional hour in the store. :-(

Sorry you had to be the victim of non-existent customer service.