Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Girl World" Strikes at the Makeup Counter

First and foremost, I would like to apologize for my absence!  This summer has been chock-full of travel, work, a vicious cold, sick kitties, and more work.  Nevertheless, now that life is seemingly 'back to normal' (what is "normal" anyway?), I am anxious to jump back into blogging!

With that said, I would like to address the post at hand: Girl World.  What exactly is "Girl World" you ask?  Let me explain.  Girl World is what I deem the subtle nuances, behaviors, and that energies that occur between women.  When we are young, we learn quickly what sly glances signify and how whispers literally speak volumes.  Moreover, we become familiar with the way a girlfriend can say "I'm fine" but we know she's is not.  With a few questions along with that look that says, "Girl, I am here fore you. You can lean on me," she's confiding in you.

As we age, we develop a sixth sense that heralds a power that can be used for "good and evil." This sixth sense so-to-speak can be an amazing tool to reach out and connect with the other women in our lives. However, this same element can be utilized for sinister intents like spreading gossip, being catty, and basically talking smack to bring down your fellow sisters-in-arms.

To the outside world, the delicate and elusive forces at play go unnoticed. A snicker accompanied by a fast glance can often be construed as mere happenstance but in Girl World, it's a crushing cacophony of alienation and shame.  We know they are talking about us.  We feel it.  In Girl World, we have a language all our own and we know it.

So, let me tell you how Girl World came to "strike" at Macy's Impulse Beauty in Boca Raton Town Center in Boca Raton, Florida.  In early June, I went to Boca Raton to visit family and one day, I went to the Inglot counter for some needed products.  As I approached the counter, I noticed a sales associate sitting in a chair at the adjacent Benefit counter.  She sneered at me and turned to other employees and loudly stated, "I am NOT helping her."  I was shocked. What? Did she just say that out loud?  She knows I can hear, right?  Wow.  Just Wow. 

After a deep breath and not wanting to get upset, I proceeded to browse at the various eyeshadows, pencils, and lipsticks.  Within a few minutes, the Inglot sales associate came over and assisted me with my purchase.  I ended up buying stuff because I wanted it but I really wanted to walk away and deny them the satisfaction of that sale.  In addition, as the Inglot associate rang up my final purchase at the register, I overheard hushed voices saying, "Oh my god! I know! Her dress! Ha ha ha!!"  The sales associate at the register was trying hard to keep a straight face as her colleagues carried on like bitchy teenage wannabes.  I could tell she was in on the joke at my expense yet I did not have the chutzpah to say anything.  Dammit.  I feel like my makeup lust made me into a sitting duck, gossip fodder, and basically a sucker.  I walked away and went back to my in-laws, feeling shitty.

When I returned home to D.C., I immediately filed a complaint with Macy's regarding my experience.  I will tell you this, despite my cosmetic addiction and admiration for Inglot, I will NEVER EVER set foot in that Macy's again. 

Even though I took the high road, I so wanted to tell those women to "**** Off!"  I wanted to say, "Hey bitches!  I know you are throwing shade at me! Cancel the sale! Where the **** is your supervisor?!" But, I didn't.   I walked away.  Was my lady-like demeanor and handling of the situation not the right way to conduct myself?  I think I have more to lose if I "lose my cool."  How do I navigate Girl World while holding my head high?

22 comments:

  1. It's a shame that some people can't grow up and act professional. I'm sorry you had to deal with that crap. I've gotten to the point where I speak up a lot and will say stuff to people I don't know if they are acting like jerks. However, I'm a high school teacher and I think I've become that way because I'm so used to having to do that with teenagers every day at work. If I didn't have to call kids out on stuff at work all the time, I probably wouldn't do it in public with random adults. Habit now!

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    1. Thanks for your comments! I need to speak up but I always err on the side of caution. I need to find a balance between being a lady, being polite, and taking action. I should have maintained by composure and then gone up to customer service and made a complaint directly with the managers.

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  2. First of all, welcome back! I was so happy to see the comment you left me and your new post!

    So sorry you had that HORRIBLE experience at Macy's. I would have probably not said anything to avoid conflict, then think of all the awesome come backs I could have said after the fact. What apalling behavior! Those idiots obviously do not know how to handle themselves when they see a beautiful lady with incredible style such as yourself! ;-) Grow up people!

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    1. Thanks for the warm-welcome back! It feels great to be back blogging again!

      I am the same way! When I am faced with adversity or a tense situation, I go on auto-pilot. When I get home, all of the "things I could have said" flood my brain!

      I am glad I did not lose my composure but the behaviour on the part of those sales associates is not acceptable. Macy's needs to do something. Boca Raton is a very affluent area and people will talk with their wallets or their feet.

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  3. I swear it's the mean girl attitude. I've always had a hard time making girlfriends because most of the ones I've had have turned on me or just used me. I hate going into trendy stores because I'm a plus size gal and sometimes I get these looks like "What are YOU doing here? It's not like anything would fit you." No one has ever straight out said that to me but I don't know if I would have been able to calmly walk away like you did. I may have cussed a bitch or two out. I can get ghetto pretty quick.

    There was the one time at the Reno Antique Mall that I nearly cussed out the 60+ cashier. I have a habit of carrying things that I like when I go shopping. It's my maybe pile. At this antiique mall,like many others they hold things for you up front. My sisiter and I were done shopping and went to pay. Well the old lady rang everything up. I told her I only wanted certain items and she made a big deal about having to remove items. Not my problem she shouldn't have rang it up without asking. I went to put back a bracelet that I didn't want. She was very rude and insinuated that I didn't know what I was doing. I told her "My mother taught me to put things back where they belong. Whether it's at home or a store." She looked at the bracelet and said "I guess I marked the booth number wrong." No apology; nothing. We left without saying anything. She's a bitch to everyone apparently.

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    1. I know what you mean about the "what are YOU doing here?" looks! I get it all the time in high-end department stores. I love Giorgio Armani, Nars, Kevyn Aucoin, and Guerlain makeup. There have been many occasions where I approach the counter and I get the vile, judging look.

      I may be a vintage girl but I am NOT some cheap weirdo who likes to wear old clothes and smell like mothballs! I have money, beauty knowledge (I took two semesters of theatre makeup in college), and I know the product lines backwards and forwards. One time I went to Neiman Marcus and the women were looking at me like last week's garbage and when I asked one of them about a new brow product, a sales associate stated "the product you are inquiring about does not exist." Another sales associate quickly came over and pulled out what I was asking for out of their stock and handed it to me. The other associate looked dumb-founded and stupid. She didn't even say "sorry for the confusion," or "I apologize." She just blankly asked, "Will this be on your NM card?" Bitch.

      As for your antique mall lady, sounds like you were lady victorious in the end. Your mama taught you right and at the end of the day, you will be on the right side of history. Manners always wins and the egg will be on their face. But sometines I too want to go all ghetto. I want to channel my inner yenta (I'm Jewish) and go off! LOL!

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  4. I'm sorry you had a bad expiernce, we've all had them.

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    1. Thank you for your comments. Next time it happens, if it happens, I will go to the customer service department and file a complaint in person.

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  5. Welcome back! and how horrible, don't you just beat yourself up for not saying something at the time? especially when you think of a really good thing to say by the time you get home. I had a similar thing when I bought a posh frock for a wedding at a franchise in a department store. There was no one to be seen at their counter so I went and paid at the main tills. When I got home the security tag had been left on the dress so I went back the next day to get it removed. I was in work clothes, scruffy jeans, hoody and steel toecap boots. The girl looked me up and down like I was scum and basically accused me of stealing the dress and trying to pull a scam, because why else would the security tag still be on it and how could someone like me afford it anyway? I was absolutely speechless! I produced the receipt and with very bad grace she removed the tag and I left. What I should of done was kicked off big style and asked to see her supervisor but I was embarrassed a bit shellshocked.

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    1. Thank you for the lovely welcome back!

      I, too, always think of brilliant comebacks after the fact as well! lol!

      Sorry to hear about that rude woman and the security tag. So unnecessary!

      One of my sister's best mates lives in New York City and she used to be an assistant for the famous "Ragin' Cajun" James Carville. No joke. Seriously. One day she had to go to Barney's department store to do errands for Carville and she happened to be wearing a hoodie and jeans. The sales associates looked at her like she was crap and when she pulled out her American Express Black Card, all of a sudden she was "acceptable." Talk about rubbish!

      One of my favorite shows is AbFab or "Absolutely Fabulous." In one of my favourite scenes, Edina goes into an art gallery and gets the snub from the girl working at the counter. Edina says nothing but as she's walking out she says, "You just work in a shop you know so you can drop the bloody attitude!" Love it!!!

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  6. I personally feel that you handled it 100% the right way by being polite, and then making a complaint to Macys later. Chances are if you called them out on it, they would have just seen it as you being the "B...." and them being the victims of some crazy lady. It's really sad how rude people are to others for absolutely no reason, and I really hope Macys takes your complaint seriously :(

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    1. THank you for the comments! I hope Macy's takes the complaint seriously as well. I think it's totally unacceptable. I have money to spend and because the actions of a few, I will talk with my feet: no revenue for them.

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  7. What an awful experience! I can't believe that those sales associates acted in such an unprofessional and rude manner. It sounds like you handled the situation well, although I have to say, that I probably would have cancelled the purchase, just because I would not have wanted to give any of them the satisfaction (or commission) of buying their products! I hope that Macy's handles your complaint well, and as for those mean girls, I have one word: karma!!!

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts and comments! I also hope Macy's listens/reads my complaint. No one should have to endure snickering and snark from sales associates. I mean the main focus of customer service is "serving" the customer and treating them with respect, right?

      I, too, hope Karma gets them. One day they will be on the receiving end of bad bahviour and it will be a rude awakening!

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  8. I loathe the girl world, and have since grade school. My mother always said "they're just jealous" which I didn't fully comprehend until I took a good look at my sister-in-law, a long-time, and rather oblivious, mean girl.

    What has been revealed to me by her behavior is that the mean girl world is fueled by jealousy and insecurity and shrouded in denial. Instead of reflecting inwardly and fixing problems within themselves, mean girls act outwardly and try to break down the positives of others. Unfortunately, it's not all that transparent to them; some, like my sister-in-law, don't even know she's behaving badly or cruelly or that there's anything wrong with her.

    There is always that urge to say something, to defend yourself, but I think you handled this situation beautifully. Had you said something, you wouldn't have gotten through to them anyway; you would have been simply, that crazy lady in that dress (that they were subconsciously jealous of).
    The worst part of all of this is that these women were at work, this is what they deem appropriate customer service, and that this behavior has not been corrected by the company. Hopefully your message was taken to heart and Macy's has worked to correct the situation.

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    1. Isn't girl world just awful sometimes? My mom used to say people were jealous too but I always thought "she has to say that! She's my mom!" However, as I have gotten older, I see it and understand it. I think a lot of people women act viciously because I am a threat. They are insecure and that's their problem, not mine.

      Sorry to hear about your SIL. My sister has a friend like this. She always gives me the look and the patronizing responses at parties and get-togethers. I ignore her. I agree they are unaware of their behaviour. I think they have been acting this way for so long, it's ingrained in their psyche.

      I also hope Macy's actually takes the time to read my complaint and act on it. Until they change the staff or retrain them, I will never set foot in the place.

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  9. So glad you are back. So sorry that you had this experience.
    I have to say I laugh at that "what would you do show" as I would most likely be the person showing up on it that would say something. I know your polar opposite right. But I don't think that it need be done in a rude fashion so much as a teachable moment. Now while I say this i will point out that as a high school teacher I do this on a daily basis on the job when I hear students doing typical mean high school behavior I confront it but try to do it in a way that gets them to think about their actions. I would probably have let those "ladies" know that I could hear every word they uttered. I don't think they needed to be called names but they did need to be called out for their behavior. I also think I would have went to the customer service desk and asked to speak with their supervisor. Who knows maybe you were on what would you do and everyone was being treated that way to see how they reacted. I don't think you are alone in ignoring bad behavior because it is a lot more work to confront than ignore.

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    1. Thank you for your insights. I agree about talking to their supervisors and being civil. But it felt good to slam them in my head. I always try to take the high road or walk away from conflict but once in a while, it is tempting to want to law down the law!

      I work for a federal government contracting firm and I have a very high clearance so I have to always keep in mind my actions. I do not want to sully my reputation by possibly getting "into it" with someone nor do I want to put myself in danger. It's all about "picking and choosing one's battles."

      Moreover, it can be frustrating when people feel it's acceptable to be rude. They need to know their actions have consequences and that is takes more effort to be nasty than to just take a step back, think, and be nice. Furthermore, if "being nice" is too much of a stretch, say nothing.

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  10. Oh PS I do like to wear cheap (in price ) old clothes but I don't like to smell like mothballs ;)

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  11. Just shitty, really, really shitty.

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  12. I thought I was one of the only people who was so aware and upset about Girl World! I can't even go to the mall without noticing all the nasty looks (granted some of it could be to anxiety.) Last time I went to the hell that is Tysons mall, I went to the Mac counter in Nordstrom to pick up Viva Glam 1 and the girl who worked there (who by the way had some very not Mac-worthy brows) gave me the bitchiest, meanest look she could conjure and when I told her what I wanted she just gave a little snort and handed it to me. It honestly amazed me, like you work on commission crazy lady!! And the cherry on top was when I heard her whisper to one of her coworkers about my jacket (I was wearing a jacket for my roller derby team.) "Shes one of those girls......aren't they all lesbians....?" Yep. Boycotting that counter now.

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