Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Cups Runneth Over.

Here is a useful pamphlet on how to be the absolute worst lingerie saleswoman in the short history of one hopeful young lingerie buyer's life.

A clarification: when we say "worst," we do not simply mean "least successful at selling lingerie." Rather, we mean: "supreme at not only discouraging the customer from buying anything, but sending them running out of the store in tears, vowing never to return, and despondent about the current state of their body."

This is, needless to say, a far from everyday occurrence.

1. Don't ask right away if she needs help, even if she is rather listlessly fingering a bra on display and lingering pointedly near where you're obviously chatting with a friend and regular customer. No doubt you also give this woman your employee discount on your severely overpriced merchandise.

2. When you do ask if the customer needs help, exude irritation. When you learn what she's looking for, be sure to point out that you probably don't have it, but offer to fit her and show her to a dressing room anyway.

3. For the fitting, make sure the bra you give her is not only floral -- which she hates and is explicitly not looking for -- but made of a mesh as transparent as possible. Not even the nipples are going to be hidden here. Believe me, few things are more humiliating than standing with your arms outstretched in front of a total stranger in an unflattering bra with your nipples showing.

4. Leave her in the dressing room for at least five minutes, while you stand outside in the thirty-square-foot space and talk loudly about her with your friend. Because if anything is more humiliating than standing with your arms outstretched in front of a total stranger with your nipples showing, it is waiting to do so while the total stranger stands outside and discusses you with her friend as if you weren't there, and unable not to listen.

5. When you do deign to start the fitting, don't forget to point out that she's busting out of the transparent, unflattering bra. Has she put on a lot of weight lately? Also, she's clearly wearing it wrong. Does she wear her own bras that high on her back? How ignorant.

6. Offer to comb the store looking for the skintone, unadorned bra she has requested and specifically intends to wear underneath thin t-shirts in hot summer months. Leave her in the dressing room for another full five minutes.

7. Chat some more with your friend.

8. Assuming your customer has not already thrown on her own clothes and fled in instinctual self-preservation, bring back the six ugliest bras she has ever seen. Make sure at least three are covered in the lumpy details she is specifically hoping to avoid.

9. When she emerges from the dressing room thirty seconds later, having finally given up all hope not only of finding a bra in this store today, but also of ever being physically attractive to anyone ever again in her life, ask how the bras fit. If all has gone according to plan, she should mumble some small pleasantry with a noticeable catch in her voice and a telltale sheen in her eyes, before slinking out of the store with her head hung low in shame. Turn back to your friend, pull out the inevitable bottle of champagne from beneath the counter, and toast your success.

... I wish I could say the above was exaggerated for comic effect. Alas, it was not. I don't want to put the name of the store here, but enquiries will be swiftly and honestly answered.


Daniel said...

You should get in touch with Kate, she is very wise in the ways of shopping and bras. Oh, and publicly shaming a company and it's minions is practically de rigeur for traditional blogging ;)

Alicia said...

I hesitate to shame an entire struggling store on the basis of one employee, who may have just been having a terrible day. Or maybe I resembled that girl who stole her boyfriend in high school. Who knows?

Also, I'm not sure my blog has enough readers for a boycott of any sizeable, um, size.