Ok, let me apologize in advance for the nature of this post because it’s going to be a rant. And, probably someone out there disagrees. Let it be known this is how I feel and everyone is entitled to how they feel.
The other day, after eating my delicious Sweetgreen from the Gansevoort, I noticed the neighboring boutique’s sale sign. It was the perfect opportunity to browse and hopefully come away with a couple of dresses for some upcoming weddings.
I won’t disclose the retailer. Let’s say they’re known for pretty and feminine dresses. (Although, if you’re familiar with Meatpacking you’ve already figured it out.)
Making a long story short, I received little if any sign of customer service. There was no warm greeting when I entered, no query as to my needs for the visit, and an overall a lack of friendliness.
Honestly, this type of thing happens all the time. It’s New York City. Some shops are filled with staff thinking you’re doing them a favor stopping by their store that’s too good for you. I brushed it off and chose things to try on.
The issue arose when in the fitting room, I heard several loud and warm “Hi! Welcome to ———-” and “Hello, welcome! How are you doing?” followed by “What brings you in today?” “How can I help you?” “Are you looking for anything special?”
Even though I was inside, it was clear these were served with a smile. Eventually, staff did help me, but they were reluctant, straight-faced, and monotone as if forced.
On my way out, one girl not attending to anyone else made complete eye contact with me and didn’t smile or ask about how the items in the fitting room went or even say goodbye.
Here Comes the Rant
The thing is, I happened to notice all the other customers weren’t Asian. They also were visibly older. (I know I can look young and I was wearing casual clothes that probably accented that.)
After an encounter like this, I try really hard to give society the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I was coming off as if I didn’t want or need help. Perhaps the staff was just tired but then got their second wind with the other customers five minutes behind me. Or the worst, what if it’s all in my head?
Regardless, I can’t brush-off the fact that this type of thing happens more often than not. I start questioning myself. Should I dress fancier? (Although, if carrying a Balenciaga tote and wearing my engagement ring doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will.) Could I wear more makeup to look older?
Wait! Why should I be tearing myself down? What did I do wrong? The truth is, regardless the reason: age, gender, or race aside… I was treated less kindly than others. That isn’t right.
It makes me appreciate places that employ warm souls and emphasize kindhearted-ness (like the Oak+Fort downtown, ask for Manny!)
That’s it. What do you think? I can’t be alone in this. If you have a similar or experience, I’d love to know how you deal.
Thanks for viewing!