Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Brought down to size

A letter to a menswear shop.


To whom it concerns,

Earlier this afternoon I was passing by the branch of your store on O'Connell Street in Dublin. As most of your clothes are advertised at discount prices outside the premises I decided to see what was on offer.

After browsing through various jackets, suits, casual wear and shirts I pulled out two t-shirts and brought them to the counter.

There was one person on duty, a young man in his twenties.

As I put my clothes down on the cash desk to be scanned in, the shop assistant in question was sending a text message on his phone. I had to wait one minute while he sent his SMS, after which point he put the phone under the till.

I received no apology for being made to wait while he took care of his own personal business.

After I got his full attention, the assistant took stock of the two items I wished to purchase. One was a large, plain black t-shirt and the other item was a grey, patterned t-shirt with a button up collar.

He then asked me if I was sure I wanted to purchase the grey t-shirt, as it was a "slim fit."

"Excuse me?" I replied.

"This is a slim fit and, looking at you, it's definitely going to be too tight on you. It'd look a bit stupid. The black one should be ok but not the grey one, not on you."

At this point I put my wallet back into my pocket and told the gentleman in question that I would be buying neither item. I told him that I'd have considered it had he not been more preoccupied writing text messages when he should have been serving me, before leaving the shop. As I walked out the door, I heard him mutter something in my direction but I wasn't able to discern what he said.

Some questions arise from this incident.

1) Do you encourage your staff to use their mobile phones to send text messages when they should be available to tend to the customers' needs?

2) Do you encourage your staff to decide for the customers what they should and should not wear?

3) Do you encourage your staff to imply that the customers that choose to enter your stores are overweight?

It is beside the point, but I must state at this point that I have never been advised that I have a weight problem. In fact, on a recent check up I was told by my general practitioner that I was not far off the perfect weight for my build, and the same GP advised me not to alter my diet in any way.

I do not have a hang-up about my weight, but I worry that another customer with body image issues might enter your outlet on O'Connell Street in Dublin and be met with a similar response. This leads me to another question.

4) Does each member of your staff double as a healthcare professional, with the necessary expertise and qualifications to deal with a customer who suffers a breakdown due to being insulted over their appearance?

In the past I worked on the cash register in a Dublin city restaurant, dealing with hundreds of customers per day.

My final question is this.

5) Should I have been allowed to keep my job if I had asked a customer who approached me with, for instance, a sausage roll:

"Are you sure you should be eating that?"

I also wonder if the staff in your O'Connell Street branch is encouraged to treat the public with no respect whatsoever, simply because the clothes contained therein are cheaper than in your flagship outlets?

I have shopped at **** for years and have only been treated with the utmost class. The excellent treatment I have received up to this point only serves to highlight the crassness of how I was dealt with today.

I look forward to your response.


Twenty Major said...

That's why I never stray from Michael Guineys

Radge said...

Guineys me bollix. Those fuckers sold out when the World Cup sponsorship money came in.

Red Leeroy said...

Went into Zara to buy a shirt today, apparently I am a fat bastard by their standards. I'm off to 'Big and Tall' in Dundrum.

Radge said...

Won't be long before we need a dialling wand, according to the clothes emporia of Dublin town.

hope said...

GOOD for you!

And I'm astonished at your politeness in not showing him how to stow his phone until it could be surgically removed.

McMuck and the Mystery of the Kuúgleflarg said...

I got the old 'slim fit' line once. And it probably made it worse that it came from an very attractive female server. Who wasn't texting.

Not that I fancied my chances with her if I managed to wrestle the top over my man-tits and gut.

But still, with her words a little of my dignity remained on the rail with the slim-fit t-shirt.

Kath Lockett said...

Ah yes, the texting or, in my case, the chatting to the other bored co-worker before deigning to serve me.

I've dumped the items on a counter and flounced out more than once but never have I been told I'm too fat for something...! I guess you were too offended to say, "Are you smart enough to work here?" in retaliation....

Radge said...

Hope - If I'd only had time to think...

Mook - Bint, attractive or not.

Kath - Again, no time to think. Anger, in these situations, comes later.

Kitty Cat said...

Galloping knobrot ahoy!

Radge said...

Still no reply. Early yet, I suppose.

Andrew said...

Just a wee point of information before anyone from Best steams in thretening to sue you: I don't think the shop you're referring to is a Best outlet as such anymore, it doesn't have their sign above it or their name on the receipts.
But yeah, I've had the same experience in there, with some bloke saying "Now, you'd really want to be a bit thinner to wear that" when I tried on a double-breasted jacket. Sad thing is, he was right.

All this aside, i bought suits for myself and my best man for my wedding in there and the bloke who looked after us was a proper gent who gave us all the time in the world and didn't make chubby comments.

Radge said...

And there I was assuming it remained a Best, purely because it has exactly the same layout and similar clothes to before. I might asterisk out the name in the blog.

Probably the same fella we're talking about. Unless you've put on a fuckload of weight since I saw you last, you're hardly in the upsize category. Me? I'm just big boned and impressively chested.`

Ava Thinks said...

Absolutely outrageous. I can't even describe how ragin I am after reading that.