Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Old Tires and Dangerous DVF Dresses

In case you aren't blessed with a Nordstrom within driving or wagon train distance, allow me to illustrate their incredible customer service with this authentic urban shopping legend:

Once upon a time, a woman and her husband went to the tire store to buy themselves a set of tires. They picked some out, paid for them, went home, and lived happily ever after.

Well, scratch that. They lived happily ever for awhile, but then, like fifty years later, the husband dies. The woman lives alone for a couple years but one day she's going through the garage and she finds one of the tires. It hadn't lasted for that long, so they'd put it on a shelf and forgotten about it, but now the woman was mad. I have half a mind to return this tire, she thought. Then she got a whole mind to do it, and she did.

She goes back to the place where they'd bought the tires over half a century ago, but there's a problem: it's no longer a tire store--the building has been converted into a Nordstrom. Unfazed, the woman walks in, lobs the old, flat tire up on the pristine counter and says, "I'd like to return this." The Nordstrom employee is confused, sure, but she smiles, calls her manager over, and eventually they take the tire back.

I understand the phrase "authentic urban legend" has a slight oxymoronic feel to it, but what I mean by that is I have no idea if this story is true, but it actually is circulating out there in the world. Do I believe it? Well, yeah.

Today, Nordstrom customer service is still tops (only when I'm very tired do I start saying things like "tops"), and while that translates to stellar help in the store and hassle-free returns, it also means that often you get very bad advice.

The staff there is so friendly and so eager to please and so on a commission that suddenly everything looks good on you. There have been times when I have opened the dressing room door in a shirt so small and ill-fitting that an entire one of my breasts has squeezed out of the armhole, desperate for air, and been met with coos of affirmation from the staff. "Oohhh that looks so good on you!" They will say without irony. "It's a totally different look but it WORKS!"

So a couple weeks ago, when I stood in Nordstrom, stroking this gorgeous DVF dress (I'm big on dress-stroking whenever I have a free minute) and seriously considering draining my little brother's college fund to buy it, a clerk came over and whispered, "You know, I've never seen that dress look good on anyone*," and sweet mother of jesus did I take heed.

I slowly backed away from the garment and got the hell out of there, thinking about the Nordstrom employees' past championing of the perpendicular boob shirt and wondering what sort of horrors this dress has wreaked on the world in order to deserve an honest, commission-breaking opinion. I'm not sure I want to find out.

*Except the model in the picture. Of course, she has to look really good in it and totally disprove my dramatic thesis right in the middle of a post. Damnit.


maya said...

I love staff like that, it is so rare to find someone in a shop that actually tells the truth.
i suppose this is because people don't actually want the truth.
i learnt this when i was 10 and a randomer in a shop asked me if the jeans she was trying on were nice and being only ten i told her the truth and said "no, they look horrible" and this 20 year old woman started crying. so being 10, i ran away. god, how embarrasing is that? i made someone around double my age cry.

Eritia said...

Stefanie said...

Haha I stroke clothes in the store too. And shoes!

Emma said...

I always make it a policy not to blatantly lie to my customers, because it pisses me off so much when I come out of the changing room looking like a water buffalo and the saleslady practically pisses herself telling me how stunning I look.
And really, that dress is great but definitely doesn't look like it would flatter anyone whose thighs were not, unlike those of the model, the approximate length and width of dental floss.

Anonymous said...

There are a couple of girls on that look great in this dress.

usernames: stylekitty & willwork4shoes. You should check them out.

Anonymous said...

agree that it looks great on willworkforshoes. she also has a fantastic figure.

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