Wednesday, August 20, 2008

No, You Can Not Help Me

For some reason I have always had more patience abroad than I have had at home.

I'm beginning to understand one reason why.

In Texas I am constantly annoyed when I go into Bath & Body Works or the GAP or any retail store and have to hear "Hi!  How are you today?  Is there something I can help you find?  Certain color you are looking for?  Have you heard about our specials?  Do you get our catalog?  Can we sign you up for our credit card?"

"Will you please go away and can I put this duck tape over your mouth for the remainder of my visit to ensure no more noises come out of you?"  I want to scream.

Upon my return from living in Spain I started shopping in Texas with my Ipod headphones in, but even that doesn't always deter the eager stateside retailer.

I've been known to tell off the sales associates, asking them to leave me alone or just being flat out rude to them.

A few Christmas's ago when the lady at Pottery Barn asked me if she could help me find something I said, "Yes.  A husband."

I once wrote the Sur la Table corporate office and suggested they revise their approach to customer service to include a more "standoffish" attitude.

Look, I know that you work at Sur la Table because you are wearing a shirt that says Sur la Table.  If I need your assistance with anything at all, I will come find you.  I know how to do that.  I am literate and I can walk.

Another time at Hallmark I told the 4th employee that asked me for help to tell herself and the rest of her colleagues to not talk to me for the rest of my visit.

I won't even go into Hallmark anymore because I don't feel like talking to people in there.

On the shopping trip I took today I got to go it alone.
No one held my hand.  No one made sure I was "finding everything alright".  No one mentioned any specials or offered any help.  And guess what?  I got groceries and I was happy. 

I did it.

We're doing it.

Chris battled phones, downed internet, Turkish dictionaries, unintelligible menus, etc. to win this for our dinner.

Maybe it wasn't exactly what he wanted, but he did it.

Give us some credit, eager salespeople.  
We know how to pick out a greeting card.
If we need help finding a fry pan, we'll ask you.
Today was great because I found everything I needed and not one Turkish employee said anything to me.

If I can buy paint, carrots, milk and cement screws in Turkey without knowing one word of Turkish, imagine the possibilities in a store that I'm completely familiar with in a language I've spoken for 29 years!  
The opportunities are endless!

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