AIBU to have reported this RI shop assistant?

(309 Posts)
Vikki88 Tue 17-Dec-13 12:09:40

I went into my local River Island store today, knowing what I wanted to buy having seen the items online but wanting to try them on before buying. I had the usual “Do you need a hand with anything?” from the shop assistant but I told her I didn’t need any help and she went away.

After seeing me picking up what I wanted, she came back over & asked if I was ok – to which I obviously said yes, she’d only spoken to me 2 minutes ago. Not paying attention to my answer, she then ‘helpfully’ started pointing out other items which she thought were nice before adding that they’d suit me & possibly “even more” than what I had in my hands – all in that annoyingly false happy/enthusiastic voice. Now I can only say that the clothes she was trying to push me towards were frumpy, boring & not at all me. I bit my lip but to me her underlying thoughts were that I didn't have the figure to wear the clothes that I wanted to buy and should wear clothes which covered more… something which really is nothing to do with her.

Already feeling insulted, I ignored her & went to try on my clothes but not before she ‘helpfully’ added she could help me out if I needed any other sizes – we all know what she was insinuating with that. Anyway, I tried on my outfit & as it turns out I did need bigger sizes and I was perfectly willing to go and sort this myself without any fuss. However, as soon as I leave the changing room I see her and she asks, and I quote, “Were they alright for you? Do you need anything bigger?” and with that I’d had enough. I don’t come into shops for snarky comments or to be judged by staff. I said “no” and walked off… I felt too embarrassed to go & actually get the bigger sizes and to give this cow the satisfaction of being right. I did see her supervisor/manager as I was leaving & went over & reported her and she apologised on her behalf – I never report anyone but I thought she deserved it.

The shop assistant was a young girl but that doesn’t give her the right to be blatantly rude to customers. I’m very aware I’ve been putting on weight recently and don’t need people like her making me feel insecure about it. I wonder how many other customers this girl has offended with her lack of tact?

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Tue 17-Dec-13 12:13:26

I think your insecurities mixed with her (probably new starter/xmas temp) over zealouness has created this situation.

She sounds overtly helpful. Its a shame you have took it this way, as she has prpbably been instructed to assist customers in this way.

Ticktock80 Tue 17-Dec-13 12:13:42

Sorry Yabu and projecting. You said it yourself, you have been aware of some weight gain, she didn't know this. She offered help, options and other sizes. She was doing her job. I think you are insecure, which is fine, but don't blame the shop assistant. Poor shop assistant will have had a speaking too by her boss now.

DeckTheHallsWithBoughsOfHorry Tue 17-Dec-13 12:13:43

I think you were being sensitive and reading into her comments what wasn't there.

Hope you had more luck elsewhere!

Sparklingbrook Tue 17-Dec-13 12:14:52

I'm not sure. I think it says a lot about how you feel about yourself.

She sounds a bit overly helpful, but also someone who knew her sizes IYKWIM.

I don't know how she could have worded it any different. I would have laughed it off I think.

DoesntLeftoverTurkeySoupDragOn Tue 17-Dec-13 12:15:00

Perhaps you are rather over sensitive.

pianodoodle Tue 17-Dec-13 12:15:06

It does sound like an over-enthusiastic teenager just trying a bit too hard.

I got one in Debenham when I was very heavily pregnant looking for a dress.

I was wondering if it was a bit too clingy round the (massive) bump and pondering whether to get the next size up when she helpfully suggested I try something with vertical stripes grin

I think she got the impression I was trying to conceal the bump not cover it comfortably - and I doubt vertical stripes would do the trick even if I had been smile

Maybe they'll have a word with her about being tactful. Sometimes I think they're pressured into harassing customers though so it's partly the shop's fault if that's their policy...

Nanny0gg Tue 17-Dec-13 12:16:40

Poor girl!

She was just trying to help - you know, do her job - and now she'll get a bollocking.

Way to go with the Christmas Spirit!

pianodoodle Tue 17-Dec-13 12:16:53

I wouldn't take the size comment to heart though I doubt it was meant to be rude.

HopAlongOnItsOnlyChristmas Tue 17-Dec-13 12:17:36

YABU. Sorry, but I think this was more about your own feelings and you were projecting. She's probably encouraged to be overly friendly and helpful and it's your inference that needing a bigger size automatically = a bad thing. She might just want you to try on a size that fits, so that you like the clothes and buy them, rather than a size too small and end up thinking 'nah, I wont bother'.

Bue Tue 17-Dec-13 12:20:34

Well it's incredibly irritating to be asked twice if you need help, but you are projecting your own issues and insecurities onto her with the sizing comment. It is totally normal to ask if a customer needs to try any other sizes. I often try two sizes just to make sure I choose the best one. I feel really sorry for the girl!

gobbynorthernbird Tue 17-Dec-13 12:20:35

YWBU. I'm not big, but a shop assistant has asked me (on occasion) if I needed a bigger size. I find it helpful, as nowadays I can be an 8,10, or 12 depending on the shop. If a SA knows that I'll be a certain size I don't get offended. Saves me trying on the same outfit in 3 different sizes.

NotYoMomma Tue 17-Dec-13 12:20:39

you need to work on your confidence imo

projecting

TheCraicDealer Tue 17-Dec-13 12:21:27

I have worked for River Island. It was awful, but that's another story. They're not alone on the high street for telling customers, "If you need any other sizes give me a shout". In fact, that's good service. Did you really want to get dressed again, go out onto the shop floor, look for your size (maybe have to ask them to see if they have any in the stock room), then queue again for the changing room? They aim to make the shopping experience as straightforward as possible, because then people buy things.

You're blaming her for "underlying thoughts" that she may have had when trying to help you, and looking for offence in her "tone". In reality she was more than likely just behaving as she has been instructed to do by the store's management, which like most retailers, relies on the assumption that customers like being stalked. I hope that her manager realized this when you reported her. YABU.

wigglesrock Tue 17-Dec-13 12:21:40

So she was right, you did need a different size & as it is her job she offered to get them for you? This is much more about you than her.

ephemeralfairy Tue 17-Dec-13 12:23:11

YABU. Shop assistants are under enormous pressure to act in this way. It comes from the managers, who are in turn under pressure from head office. A branch of a chain store like this can actually be penalised if they are seen to deviate from this formulaic approach, especially if they have been dealing with a mystery shopper.
The girl may well have been new and nervous, which made her seem over-zealous. More experienced assistants develop the ability to 'read' customers and adapt their approach accordingly, but this only comes with time and practice.
If she's had a ticking off she's probably feeling a lot worse than you are right now!

Vikki88 Tue 17-Dec-13 12:23:31

I fail to see how I'm to blame for anything when I've repeatedly said I don't want or need her help in the politest way possible?

I wouldn't have gone to seek out her supervisor if she wasn't there as I was leaving - it was in the heat of the moment. I still think she needs to be talked to though, even if she was being innocent with her tactless comments (which I'm still not convinced about).

pinkyredrose Tue 17-Dec-13 12:24:57

OP you sound a nightmare customer. Sounds like the shop assistant was trying to be helpful and you read all kinds of motives into her comments.

Maybe if you look at why you've put on weight you'll find that more helpful than wasting energy moaning about a shop assistant.

Arscal Tue 17-Dec-13 12:24:59

Sorry, agree with others in that you may have been feeling sensitive and have taken her comments in a way that they were not intended.
I also find the overly helpful shop assistant a bit annoying but find that an equally overly enthusiastic "I'm fine thank you very much" usually does the trick.

nancy75 Tue 17-Dec-13 12:25:02

How dare the shop assistant do her job, I am interested to know where you learnt to mind read, as you clearly know what the girl was thinking?

Pagwatch Tue 17-Dec-13 12:25:50

I am a smallish size and always get told 'let me know if you need other sizes'
It's just routine.
I'm sorry you are feeling rubbish but reporting her was pretty nasty.

HoHoHopasholic Tue 17-Dec-13 12:26:01

Sorry but YABU. She wasn't insinuating anything, shop assistance ask that all the time. I think you're a bit over sensitive, I understand how you feel, I gained weight last year and was very sensitive about it. She'll probably be a Xmas temp trying her best to get noticed by management and being a little OTT with the customer service skills in order to be kept on in January. Hopefully her boss will realise she came across as tactless to a sensitive customer.

Don't let it get you down.

ShanghaiDiva Tue 17-Dec-13 12:26:22

I don't think she was rude to you. She was trying to be helpful and perhaps should have asked if you needed another size, without specifying bigger or smaller than the item you were trying on.
YABU to have reported her.

JockTamsonsBairns Tue 17-Dec-13 12:28:12

Many years ago, I worked for a major High St retail chain (not RI). It was Hell. We had to wear concealed microphones, and were listened to by the managers who were watching us on camera in the office. If we didn't hassle customers like the way you describe, we were summoned to the office and actually shouted at, and threatened with losing our jobs.

I realise the experience you had wasn't pleasant, but I think you were sensitive about your own shape, and YABU to complain.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 17-Dec-13 12:28:24

I think you have doubts about whether you did the right thing, OP, otherwise you wouldn't have asked here.

You were being a bit over-zealous there and perhaps the kinder thing would have been to speak to the girl yourself directly, if you felt so aggrieved, rather than reporting her. Still, it's done now.

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