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To think that people on benefits can dress as nicely (or not) as anyone else

(41 Posts)
Elephantintheroom Thu 15-Oct-09 12:20:56

I went for an eye test yesterday. The optician's receptionist asked if I was on any benefits, as if I was, I may get a free eye test. When I said that I wasn't, she looked me up and down and asked if I was sure shock. 'Yes' I said, 'I am quite sure.' and I didn't say anything but I was annoyed.

I am a consultant but I wear jeans and a jumper when I am not at work like anyone would. I am first to admit that I need a wardrobe makeover but I thought her attitude of 'people that dress like you can only be on benefits' was ridiculous and judgemental.

So AIBU? Has anyone else come across this lately? We moved to a new area recently so maybe it is a feature of the new place??

ZZZenAgain Thu 15-Oct-09 12:23:29

she asked if you were on benefits and when you said "no", she asked if you were sure.

fgs what a turd that woman is

I don't often bother with things like that but I think you could have made a complaint. Who is she to comment on your clothing and what on earth is she asking "are you sure?" for?

eh? "Oh yes, now you ask again, I've remembered! I am on benefits^!"


ZZZenAgain Thu 15-Oct-09 12:26:49

maybe they have a policy of asking if people are on benefits because of this free testing thing, and those on benefits may not always be aware of this I suppose. Giving her the benefit of the doubt here, so that part is ok

but to ask "are you sure?" is totally off surely

Itsjustafleshwound Thu 15-Oct-09 12:29:24

But I get a free eye-test and it is not because I am on benefits!! And I am sure of it!!

Rude, judgy-cow receptionist.

claricebeansmum Thu 15-Oct-09 12:29:55

LOL at "are you sure".

We moved recently from London to a provincial town place and I have noticed that all the women here are very dressed up and don't venture out without a full face on. Perhaps it is something like that?

HarrumphingAndBosomAdjusting Thu 15-Oct-09 12:30:18

I don't think being on benefits is likely to have an impact of how people dress.
Lovely clothes are availible very cheaply from HM, New Look, Dorothy Perkins etc so its often impossible to tell someone's economic situation from their clothes.
YANBU at all.
She must surely know she was being rude? Sparkling customer service, I must say...
Hope your eye test went well, btw.

ZZZenAgain Thu 15-Oct-09 12:32:13

maybe we need a style thread: what should I wear to the opticians so I don't get insulted

ooh I want to complain, I really do. How old was this receptionist?

GypsyMoth Thu 15-Oct-09 12:33:12

did you have a baby with you?

maybe she thought a recent pregnancy entitled you or something?

ZZZenAgain Thu 15-Oct-09 12:33:17

argh typos. I want you to complain! I knnow you probably won't but why do we have to put up with judgmental crap like that for daring to get your eyes tested.

And I
m wondering now how nice it feels when you are on benefits and say "yes". Then what happens? Does she rumple her nose and snort or what?

BrokkenHarted Thu 15-Oct-09 12:36:50

Cheeky bat! I would have said 'excuse me?!'

I am on benifits atm and what is it that 'one of my kind' should be wearing?!

oooo...... seething!

DippyFarquhar Thu 15-Oct-09 12:37:05

"HM, New Look, Dorothy Perkins"

More like Asda, Primark, Peacocks and ebay for me.

But yes, clothes do not automatically mean 'on benefits' or 'working'. Anyway, even when I was working full time I was still entitled to free eye tests because of the amount of WTC I was on.

You should have said 'So, did you get a refund from that charm school?'

StealthPolarBear Thu 15-Oct-09 12:40:20

well I buy supermarket clothes, have worn the same coat (fleece blush) for years now! I just have no style & never do very well when buying clothes so dont bother spending a lot (and don't have a lot to spend).
Does claiming child benefit count? you should have said yes... (assuming you do!)

HarrumphingAndBosomAdjusting Thu 15-Oct-09 12:43:33

I get lots of stuff from Asda, Primark, Peacocks and ebay too. But because I'm such a style godess it looks like Versache on me grin
Seriously though, I do think the price of clothes has nothing to do with how nice you look.
What was SHE wearing by the way?

BrokkenHarted Thu 15-Oct-09 12:43:48

thats what i was think Dippy

sarah293 Thu 15-Oct-09 12:49:37

Message withdrawn

ChilloHippi Thu 15-Oct-09 12:57:19

I'm on benefits and I look a right mess. Mind you, I looked a right mess when I used to earn a good wage too. grin

ChilloHippi Thu 15-Oct-09 12:58:22

Can I get a free eye test then? What benefits do you have to be on?

StealthPolarBear Thu 15-Oct-09 12:59:54

the kind that means you lose all sense of style

StealthPolarBear Thu 15-Oct-09 13:00:40

Maybe they give the free eye tests so you can see yourselfin the mirror more clearly

ChilloHippi Thu 15-Oct-09 13:03:31

In that case I don't want one. I ain't a pretty sight grin

paisleyleaf Thu 15-Oct-09 13:04:00

shock what a cheek!
I hope you managed to slip in that you're a consultant.

ZZZenAgain Thu 15-Oct-09 13:09:07

I have to know how the receptionist was dressed
and how old she was
and if she wore glasses - maybe she needs an eye test herself

ZZZenAgain Thu 15-Oct-09 13:15:59

not that it really matters, just feel like tearing her to shreds. She was just being a cow. I suppose if this was an inner-city place and it was a normal working day and you turned up not dressed in full office gear, she assumed you were unemployed. Not everyone goes to work in a suit though. I have yet to see an architect at work wearing a suit for instance (except on odd occasions for a meeting). Computer specialists like my brother all turn up in ratty old jeans and pullovers and look like perpetual students.

SAHM don't often walk about in high heels and pencil skirts with a blazer IME etc etc

crokky Thu 15-Oct-09 13:36:36

I think the people who look better dressed are those with an eye for clothes/fashion/that sort of stuff. Someone good with clothes dressed in supermarket clothes can look much better than someone in expensive clothes with no fashion sense.

I know nothing about clothes, so I only buy supermarket ones.

flockwallpaper Thu 15-Oct-09 14:11:10

Thank you for your replies I wondered if I was being over sensitive. She looked in her 50s - admittedly she was dressed more smartly than me in a skirt and blouse, but all the same, not a great way to treat your customers. The optician was very professional and did a good job, so I may have a quiet word with him when I go to collect my glasses, since he would have lost my business had I walked out in disgust at his receptionist's attitude.

claricebeansmum, I think you might have a good point there. My situation sounds similar to yours.

Perhaps when my new glasses arrive, I will go and treat myself to some new clothes!

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