M&S staff inappropriate about my post pregnancy size

(86 Posts)
Onthebuses Fri 19-Jul-13 21:59:05

Looking for new summer clothes in branch of m&s, carrying my 10 week old son, hot and uncomfortable as still having to wear pregnancy clothes as last summers clothes don't fit. I ask a sales person where the shorts are, she explains they are now selling autumn clothes, adds there are a few shorts left over the other side of the store

Then touches my hip and says but I don't think they would be in your size!!!

Taken aback I leave the store and email a letter of complaint for a) inappropriate touching and b) her making a snide judgement about my size

V standard response from complaints/brush off.

Not on??

Readallaboutit1 Fri 19-Jul-13 22:01:18

YANBU how rude of her!

Congratulations smile

Pigsmummy Fri 19-Jul-13 22:02:16

Today is Friday, sorry if that fact offends you......

TWinklyLittleStar Fri 19-Jul-13 22:03:26

Er, perhaps it was like New Look today and the only shorts left were in a size 8 so she was trying to save you the time and effort of looking for something that wasn't there?

Are you sure she meant they would be too small?

My friend was once 'offended' in Bravissimo when they suggested they wouldn't have anything to suit her. She thought they were implying she was too frumpy to wear their stuff until she checked the sizes and realised she was too, er, petite for their ranges.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 19-Jul-13 22:04:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

That's very rude. She could have given you the same information by saying "but there aren't many sizes left" or something.

As for touching you shock

SoupDragon Fri 19-Jul-13 22:06:18

Perhaps it was simply because there were none left in your size confused

I think you have overreacted. Even about the fact that she shock touched your hip.

WorraLiberty Fri 19-Jul-13 22:06:29

How did she make a 'snide' judgement? confused

She sells clothes, she knows what sizes are in stock and she doesn't think they have your size.

I'm not sure about the touching thing, some people don't like it...others don't mind it.

I don't think it's anything to start sending emails about.

Ikeameatballs Fri 19-Jul-13 22:06:40

But they might not have been in your size? She might ave been trying to help you?

I know that perhaps it depends upon how she said it etc but some of it is down to your perception of it too.

SoupDragon Fri 19-Jul-13 22:06:55

She didn't grab your arse and give it a squeeze saying "This won't fit in any of them!"

Onthebuses Fri 19-Jul-13 22:08:19

Yep I think that's my point. Give info on sizes and absolutely no touching.

ll31 Fri 19-Jul-13 22:08:54

Yabu. Carrying a baby, so she saved u walking thru shop unnecessarily. You seem to get offended v easily

Eilidhbelle Fri 19-Jul-13 22:09:12

That's so rude! I agree, she could've easily said 'there's not many sizes left, but you could try online?' or whatever. Am gobsmacked that people think that was an ok thing to say to someone!

ll31 Fri 19-Jul-13 22:10:29

Oh try and relax... She touched your hip.... A capital offense... Maybe your over tired, otherwise you're off.

josiejay Fri 19-Jul-13 22:10:46

I was in M&S with my baby recently, looking at some shorts and the assistant said 'oh don't look so sad, you'll get back in to them one day'!

I was most taken aback because (a) I didn't think I looked sad (must just be my face) and (b) I bloody could get in to them thank you very much!

Wonder if it was the same assistant?!

I didn't complain as I think she was actually trying to be nice, just found it a bit bizarre.

Onthebuses Fri 19-Jul-13 22:10:59

Snide comment - her tone was dismissive from the start and comment was accompanied by a disproving look.

EugenesAxe Fri 19-Jul-13 22:11:10

If she said it in a voice that implied she was trying to be funny or sarcastic, YANBU.

If she said it matter-of-factly then YABU. The touching thing is a moot point - ideally she wouldn't have but it wouldn't have bothered me or many people; I would put it down to different personalities really.

I went to m&s to buy a breast feeding bra, and my DS was about 3 days old. The person behind the till said 'not lost the baby weight yet'. Reader, I cried in the shop. sadangry

TWinklyLittleStar Fri 19-Jul-13 22:12:33

So you've decided that YANBU no matter what?

<Leaves and hides thread>

Lj8893 Fri 19-Jul-13 22:12:56

I think even if she didn't mean it in the way you took it, she still worded it wrong and therefore you have every right to be offended!

I wouldnt dream of saying that to a customer!

musicposy Fri 19-Jul-13 22:14:07

I can't really see what you are complaining about. Most of the shorts left in the sales (at least when I looked) are 6 or 8 with maybe a few 20s and 22s left too.
The middle sizes sell out, so more likely she just thought you were in that sold out group -as most people are - and saved you the bother of looking. The touching was a bit rude, I admit, but she hardly groped your arse.

SisterMonicaJoan Fri 19-Jul-13 22:14:12


If I were a shop assistant and saw a new mum with a baby I wouldn't dream of making a comment on her size (and as for the touching [shocked]

Also, the assistant assumed they were for the OP (ok they were but she didn't know that and just went ahead with comments about size)

Congratuations on your baby op flowers

MagratGarlik Fri 19-Jul-13 22:14:37

What would you want the complaints department to do?

She said she didn't think there would be any in your size, it's not like she said, "people you'd size shouldn't be wearing shorts you fat oaf" or some other such comment <<disclaimer - I'm not saying that either>>. As for touching you, are you sure she wasn't just being friendly? Some people can be overly tactile.

I think you may be being a little post-baby over sensitive.

JeanBodel Fri 19-Jul-13 22:14:58

You sound very oversensitive about your size.

a) As others have pointed out, she might have meant you are too small for what's left

b) Even if not, why are you so offended by the suggestion that you may be too big for the clothes in stock? What's wrong with big people? Should I now shake my head huffily and write a letter of complaint that someone was offended at the mere suggestion they may take a large-than average size of clothing?

Viviennemary Fri 19-Jul-13 22:16:01

I don't think it was appropriate from a salesperson. But she thought she was probably just saving you time saying there were none left in your size. Just forget about it.

PosyNarker Fri 19-Jul-13 22:19:02

Hard to say - as others say, it could just be that they old had much smaller / larger sizes left. Can't really complain unless you asked her what she meant.

Then again it wouldn't surprise me if they were being rude knowing M&S. Wouldn't be the first time I've experienced then being less than tactful (In my case if someone of 5' says she's a size 10 but looks a little chubby, don't bring a 12 and a 14, but no 10, when asked for a size. Chances are the short arse in question, wearing an M&S dress, knows her dress size... hmm. and wishes she was still that dress size )

Fakebook Fri 19-Jul-13 22:19:42

Wth? You've had a baby. You're probably larger than your normal size. We all get fat during pregnancy and after labour. Why did you get so offended? I would've laughed and gone and looked anyway. I think you need a chill pill:

I do think that the OP is justified in feeling affronted. Personal space is approx a meter in western society- and unless someone is asked to come closer it is impolite to prod any part of a stranger. Especially someone who has recently given birth.

It's taken me months to let my DH come near to my saggy post baby body!!

Complain away OP.

celestialbows Fri 19-Jul-13 22:20:43

Some people just want to argue for the sake of it. The sales assistant was being unreasonable without a doubt. There is never any justification for making a personal comment or touching a customer whether it was meant in a friendly way or not. The shorts might have been for someone else so she made a judgement and touching you is bang out of order.
And posters who say she might lose her job? She won't! How ridiculous, m&s won't even discuss it with her unless she'd been accused of something really serious.

scarlettanager Fri 19-Jul-13 22:21:27


cafecito Fri 19-Jul-13 22:22:24

You'd be surprised how many times people comment on my size in a consumer interaction - it's not nice. I'm not even fat, I'm at the upper end of a 'healthy' BMI, but I used to be very small. I was very upset the first time but the subsequent times, I chalked it up to just being how some people speak and deal with their own friends and families. Inappropriate, yes, especially when 'you've gained weight. too much weight' or 'your face is bigger it doesn't suit you' are used in a dialogue with a customer, but I just find it amusing now as it's clearly okay in their heads forthem to say it, iyswim.

She might have been trying to help.

As for the shorts - only a size 8 left in gap today *sob

EeyoreIsh Fri 19-Jul-13 22:23:10

I would have been offended OP, it's not appropriate to touch. It's also not ok to make judgements about size unless she had made it clear there were only a few sizes left.


MalcolmTuckersMum Fri 19-Jul-13 22:23:15

So if she'd merely directed you to the shorts department and you'd found they were all size 8 would you have assumed her to have been a snidey pisstaking passive aggressive inappropriate toucher? Jesus. Who'd work in retail huh?

Fakebook Fri 19-Jul-13 22:24:01

I've found M&S staff in every shop all across the country really friendly and chatty. It was probably friendly banter that's been blown out of proportion.

WorraLiberty Fri 19-Jul-13 22:24:27

I think you're projecting massively OP

Fair enough you might not be happy with all the changes your body has gone through...but the world isn't going to re-adjust itself until you gain your confidence back.

Imagine working in a shop and having to tread on egg shells with every single person you come into contact with?

Sunnysummer Fri 19-Jul-13 22:25:10

I hope that she said this with pantomime dame levels of rudeness and smirking, because otherwise she may well have been trying to be helpful (and even saying that you are too small for the sizes left!), and you have potentially put her job at risk.

Having a new baby is exhausting and enough to make all of us oversensitive. Sounds like you may have been at least a bit U.

WorraLiberty Fri 19-Jul-13 22:26:06

It's also not ok to make judgements about size unless she had made it clear there were only a few sizes left.

Are you serious?

She sells clothes to members of the public who come in all sizes

Not only is it ok to judge their sizes, it's part of her job!

K8Middleton Fri 19-Jul-13 22:28:52

Unless you know what size they have left I don't think you can be offended.

There's another thread running at the moment where many, many posters are lamenting M&S only having size 20/22 left in stock. Maybe they've been to your store?

Yabu but at 10 weeks after birth I was too smile

PerchedOnMyPeddleStool Fri 19-Jul-13 22:30:05

Sorry you feel bad about yourself OP. That lady wasn't unreasonable though, you are to be honest.
You've just had a baby, you're being sensitive.

EeyoreIsh Fri 19-Jul-13 22:38:53

Shop staff rarely get my sizing right because I'm tall and like to wear clothes slightly loose. My personal opinion is that I would have been upset in that situation too.

Great for others if they are tougher of skin. A more polite approach would have been to said there were only limited sizes left.

Incidentally, I worked in a shop for years, and I think it's part of the job to be tactful.

WorraLiberty Fri 19-Jul-13 22:40:54

She was tactful imo

But no shop assistant can account for the hidden insecurities of every single shopper they come into contact with.

I understand the OP isn't happy with her size/body change

But that's for her to deal with

Sending the email was out of order imo.

sazzle82 Fri 19-Jul-13 22:44:25

I understand why you were annoyed, she possibly could have explained it better, eg we've only got a certain size left...

Although I must admit m&s is the only shop I've ever had my size commented on. I was looking for a specific push up bra in a G cup and was told they didn't do them in that size as they didn't think you would want to make yourself look bigger if you were that size. I took it that she meant they assume big busted women want minimiser bras, but if I'd been feeling crappy I could have taken it as her calling me fat. So I think part of it is how you are already feeling when people say things like this iyswim.

redwellybluewelly Fri 19-Jul-13 22:47:36

I'm six weeks post CS and today I too was on the hunt for something, anything, summery to wear. I failed. Miserably.

On that basis YANBU. Its bloody miserable in this heat especially when youve a vomiting baby and you have nothing which fits at all

Onthebuses Fri 19-Jul-13 22:48:59

I'm just really surprised by others experiences, I've never had M&S down as being sizeist and I always thought they were pretty good at customer service.

And I'd say the sales person in questions job is safe. I was too sleep deprived to have got her name.

giveitago Fri 19-Jul-13 22:51:11

"V standard response from complaints/brush off"

So what was that response?

Technotropic Fri 19-Jul-13 22:54:48

I was in House of Fraser not so long ago and was browsing when the assistant came over to me and said that none of the range I was looking at would fit me. "They're cut a little wider so will be of no for you".

I'm very slim.

Sometimes shop staff are just trying to be helpful.

As for touching I like people being tactile. To me it creates warmth but realise some don't like it at all.

K8Middleton Fri 19-Jul-13 22:58:10

But op how do you know they only had smaller sizes than your size left? And that she was being disparaging about your size rather than just informing you that the small selection they have left from an initial range size 6-22 is now only sizes 6, 16, 18, 20, 22 and she has estimated your size is not one of those [sizes plucked at random out of my head], because that would takes ages to say and she just wants to save you a trip across the store.

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Fri 19-Jul-13 22:58:14

YANBU. Would OP be unreasonable about that if it was a man that had touched her hip? I would be annoyed at that too.

MsJupiterJones Fri 19-Jul-13 22:58:53

Can't believe people think you are being oversensitive. Lots of people esp women esp esp post pregnancy women are sensitive about their size and shape. You just don't make jokes, ask about losing baby weight, ask if someone is pregnant, touch/squeeze/cuddle them or otherwise draw attention to something they may be self conscious about.

I work in customer service and I'm the first to say if people are being unreasonable in their demands from staff. You are definitely NBU. Hope the message was passed on (nicely) to the staff member in question.

Fakebook Fri 19-Jul-13 23:01:23

^ I've never had M&S down as being sizeist*

hmm. What? Because a few individuals that happen to work in M&S made some comments about size in a shop that predominantly sells clothes? Right.

WorraLiberty Fri 19-Jul-13 23:02:13

I think this is possibly the downside to emails

People can now instantly complain at the touch of a few buttons and fire off an angry email before they've had time to stop and think it through/calm down.

When we had to use Royal Mail, by the time you'd written a letter, found the head office address, dug out an envelope, bought a stamp and remembered to post it the next time you pass a postbox...a lot of people would have got over it or moved on.

I expect there were a much higher number of complaints with substance back then.

WorraLiberty Fri 19-Jul-13 23:03:28

YANBU. Would OP be unreasonable about that if it was a man that had touched her hip? I would be annoyed at that too.

Or a dog or a kangaroo or Buzz Lightyear

brettgirl2 Fri 19-Jul-13 23:06:26

I bet she meant they had a 6 or 22. Ie no normal sizes that would fit me either.

MalcolmTuckersMum Fri 19-Jul-13 23:10:24

<<<arfs loudly>>> @ worra

To obesity...............and beyyoooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd!


cantreachmytoes Fri 19-Jul-13 23:10:26

I don't think YABU. I also think it's possible that the assistant may have been trying to be helpful, but a far more tactful way of saying it would have been, "We're nearing the end of the sales, only the very small and large sizes are left I think." (assuming you're in the middle category).

And no touch on the hip! A touch on the upper arm, if she had to, but who touches a customer's hip?!


cantreachmytoes Fri 19-Jul-13 23:11:00

Lol- not sure where that stray "everyone" appeared from!

WorraLiberty Fri 19-Jul-13 23:11:40

Malcolm!! grin

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Fri 19-Jul-13 23:11:54

Meh, make fun of what I say all you want worra, of OP had posted about a male sales person doing this, responses would be considerably different.

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Fri 19-Jul-13 23:12:10


K8Middleton Fri 19-Jul-13 23:12:56

I spy Worzel Gommidge! straw man

Snoot Fri 19-Jul-13 23:16:02

A big fat YANBU!!! Sales assistants should be kind, helpful and, if the occasion demands it, tactful. You can tell she wasn't on commission. Having just had a baby you are bound to be feeling sensitive but then so are a lot of women, especially about their body size, a lot of the time and especially in hot weather, looking for shorts. She has a lot to learn about her craft and that is her problem, not your's, beautiful, clever, lucky new-mummy OP.

BTW the shorts I tried on in M&S were very strangely cut so as to give me a massive camel-toe even two sizes up with big, poofy, pocket-hip pouches. Try BHS, I know it's a bit naff but I'm currently extremely comfortable in the linen number I found therein. Congratulations on your baby smile x

Onthebuses Fri 19-Jul-13 23:18:56

BHS - excellent. Thanks for the short tip.
Camel toe - woe - who test drives their clothes?

Snoot Fri 19-Jul-13 23:40:27

I wonder? Made me feel I may have freakishly plump labia! Who needs to add to their body paranoia? M&S ladies have twice made me feel terrible, once over a bra, "have you tried this on?!?" and once over their sandals which broke, stating that my foot was probably too wide! Now I vary between a 12 & a 16 but I'm not huge!

ENormaSnob Fri 19-Jul-13 23:41:05


The comments would have pissed me off a bit but not as much as the hip touching tbh.

Would rather my arse cheeks were groped than my hips.

thebody Fri 19-Jul-13 23:41:57

oh get lost.. can't believe this.

WhistlingNun Fri 19-Jul-13 23:45:55

I touch people a lot when i'm talking to them - particularly strangers. No idea why!

E.g. I was in a shop today and asked a lady to go and check stock for something. She came back and said she'd completely forgotten what i'd said, could i repeat. We both shared a laugh. I touched her arm and said 'Don't worry, i'd forget my own head if it wasn't screwed on' (or something naff like that).

So maybe the hip touching was unrelated to what she was saying?

perplexedpirate Fri 19-Jul-13 23:47:01

YANBU. If she did mean there were only silly sizes left, she could have worded it so much better.
Way to make you feel bad saleswoman.

EstelleGetty Fri 19-Jul-13 23:50:24

I think it's fucking ridiculous that anyone is insinuating you are being unreasonable. Customer service training is expensive for any retail business. I have been through it many times myself. I would never ever have been taught that touching a customer or making any comment which would be perceived as remotely personal would be acceptable. YANBU. I would complain.

GentlyGentlyOhDear Fri 19-Jul-13 23:58:53

It sounds quite tactless and unprofessional.

You're projecting.

You seem sensitive about your current weight and taking it out on this random sales assistant.

Amy106 Sat 20-Jul-13 07:07:33

No way she should have touched you or make you feel bad. Sounds like she needs work on her customer service skills.

flowery Sat 20-Jul-13 07:11:12

How is saying there are none left in your size sizeist? confused

rainbowbrite1980 Sat 20-Jul-13 20:56:04

YANBU. It's completely inappropriate, and complaints people should have spoken to the member of staff.

Wuxiapian Sat 20-Jul-13 21:00:31

I think YABU and a little over-sensitive.

TiffanyAtBreakfast Sat 20-Jul-13 23:12:27


Regardless of whether the OP is feeling delicate about her weight or not, a retail assistant should not be making a judgement (and definitely not a comment) about someone's size unless specifically asked by the customer. The OP asked where the shorts were, not if the assistant thought they would fit her!

The appropriate response would've been "they're over there, but unfortunately we don't have many sizes left".

The touching would bother me as well. It's possible to be a warm, friendly person and provide good customer service without invading personal space IMO.

arabellasknickers Sun 21-Jul-13 00:26:30

tell you what is sizeist, my experience today in M&S: me buying one item of fruit... checkout assistant (3x my size) ''my, you have put on weight, tell me what you're eating so I can avoid it'' me- ah, yes, so I have


when did this become ok?! I am not actually fat, I am a size 12, so I'm larger than I was.. but still...

flowery Sun 21-Jul-13 07:04:43

See, on a hot day, carrying a 10 week old baby, I'd much rather the assistant tell me there were none left in my size rather than let me traipse over there knowing full well I would be going on a wild goose chase just to avoid offending me.

Any good sales assistant will be able to judge what approximate size someone is, and if there were only size 6 and size 22 left, it is not being judgy or sizeist to tell the OP that none will fit her to save her a trip.

Dolphinnoises Sun 21-Jul-13 07:13:09

The OP has said the assistant said it in a snide way, and I have no reason to disbelieve her. YANBU

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 21-Jul-13 07:18:20

My local m&s only seems to stock size 18 and above so maybe she meant they'd all be too big for you

LessMissAbs Sun 21-Jul-13 07:44:47

Clearly the assistant should have given you no information whatsoever before going on a post pregnancy awareness course, size diversity training and running it past their lawyers.

Meanwhile op you better not go into Harvey nicks. Ir Reiss. Or top shop. Or new look. Ir ever visit France. Or Holland...

ANormalOne Sun 21-Jul-13 07:59:31

YABU How is saying that there's no clothes left in your size making a snide comment about your size? hmm The touching of the hip is inappropriate but some people are just very tactile, I think you're being very over sensitive.

MaryPoppinsBag Sun 21-Jul-13 08:15:39

What size are you OP?

I'm a 16 and find BHS great for shorts. My baby is 4 yo and I still haven't lost the weight.

I hope you feel better today. If you feel the woman was being snide then YANBU.

SoupDragon Sun 21-Jul-13 08:38:21

The OP has said the assistant said it in a snide way, and I have no reason to disbelieve her.

I disagree - I think she is feeling sensitive and, IME, that often makes you attribute intentions to things which really weren't there. My gut feeling is that it was imagined because she is sensitive about the baby weight.

fairylightsinthespring Sun 21-Jul-13 08:38:50

I'd be more pissed off that their autumn range is being put out already. I know these things work so many months ahead but given the odd weather and very delayed summer this year, its a shame there's no flexibility in the system. I might be a little hmm at the incident but wouldn't be writing emails.

Onthebuses Sun 21-Jul-13 08:42:52

Thanks for all the responses, really interesting to see the range of views. My body image is thankfully intact, but sadly I am still hot and uncomfortable in my lack of summer clothes. BHS I'm on my way.

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