Open Letter to the Saleswomen Working at JJill
June 12, 2006
Hi. Remember me? I’m sure that you do. In fact I’d be willing to bet that you haven’t stopped talking about me since I left.
This morning I went into your store to return a shirt I bought that had the hem ripped out of the bottom. You weren’t as nice or apologetic as I felt you should be since I am the one who bought a defective shirt and had to come all the way back to the store to return it. But, whatever. I was willing to overlook that as I browsed through the store to see if I might like to exchange it for something else.
I browsed around, a little perplexed by the sheer volume of elastic waist clothing. Um, yuck. Are you a clothing store for old people and I just didn’t know it?
So I walked through the store and found a different shirt. I was still looking when my husband popped into the store to see if I was done yet. He is frightened if I am in the store for too long.
You had to stop what you were doing and count my children out loud. I’m used to that. I don’t understand it, but I am used to it. I’m willing to humor you and laugh when you do that, and correct you when you count incorrectly. Because seven is such huge number it is hard to count that high.
What I am not used to, nor will I ever make excuses for is blatant rude behavior to my children. When you stepped in front of my eldest son and said, “Can I help you, boys?” while blocking their way into the store, you crossed a line.
When you stared at them, with a look of horror on you face, which is how my 11 yr old described your expression by the way, you crossed a line. Then you looked down your nose at me as if I was a leper that you couldn’t wait to leave your store. Who do you think you are?
I know the stereotypes about women who have lots of children. I have heard more than my fair share of rude and obnoxious comments ranging from, “Do they all have the same father?” to “Are you on welfare?” Both of which I won’t even justify with a response. And the not so sublte glances to my ring finger to check out my wedding rings. And for the record, yes, they are real. Are yours? Because they looked fake to me. But shhhhh, I won’t tell.
Giving birth seven times may have weakened my stomach muscles, and my bladder control has never been the same, but surprisingly my hearing is intact. That was why I turned to you and said, “Hi. I can hear you, you know.”
Then you said to me, “What did you do pop one out every year?” and “I’d kill myself.” Well you pissed me off, frankly.
Afterall, you are the one working in the store. Not me. You are there to wait on me. Not the other way around. I’m not sure that you could afford to shop in the store with what you must be making an hour, so your behavior confuses me. There is nothing I hate more than stuck up sales people. You work in a clothing store. Despite what you may think, that is just a tiny side step from being a cashier at Wal-mart.
And that is why I took a perverse amount of pleasure in saying, “It’s too bad that nothing in this store comes in my size. It’s all so…. big.”
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