It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas……. every where you go…..especially at the Abercrombie store. I am the More is More Mom®, so I totally get how it works; more crowds, more lines, more waiting, more noise, more merchandise……more fun! I was at my most favorite place in the entire world, The Mall, and I was happily making my list, and checking it twice as I approached, what is Mecca for the tweens and teens….the Abercrombie store (which is the same way I feel about a good TJ Maxx and More!). I sensed that I was getting closer, even with my head down, furiously texting messages of the utmost importance as I made my way through the throngs of busy shoppers (you know, I am a very important person), when my animal instincts made me acutely aware that I had narrowed in on my prey. Well, really it wasn’t all that difficult, because the Abercrombie store is overwhelming with its powerful, hypnotic scent, even from outside the store, and down the promenade. I am drawn inside, like a moth to a flame (or me to a double discount sale or a bottle of Pino Grigio), with the promise of what they are selling; ridiculously over priced merchandise, which is so incredibly small in scale and as paper thin as a scalloped potato, that I am required to purchase three shirts to do the job, and provide the proper coverage, of one (the need for layering is absolutely genius marketing), just so my daughter enjoys an appropriate amount of clothing to cover up her body, as you see, I am not raising a hoochie mama!
I entered the store, already under the toxic influence of the cologne that they are very clearly pumping in through the air vents like they do oxygen in Vegas (baby). I was so taken by the over powering scent that I barely noticed that I had been lured in to another dimension, that is so dark that I could scarcely see my own hand in front of my face, much less the merchandise. I know that those brilliant Abercrombie people keep the lights so dimly lit with the intention that the customers (adults) can’t possibly see the price tags; otherwise you would find them as they ran screaming from the cave like a bat out of Hell (that’s Abercrombie Hell). I felt my way through the store, as my eyes adjusted to my new surroundings, and I unearthed some items that might have been of interest to “Santa.” When I couldn’t find the size I was searching for (small, a size I have never personally worn in my entire life. It is sooooo fun to make purchases for someone else!), I decided it was my mission to hunt down some assistance. Surely, they must have had one of these drawstring waisted, jacket style, dealy-wigs in a super small size. But, alas when I finally located help between the dark, the smell and the noise (which even I found to be at an irresponsible and offensive decibel level, and I adore irresponsible and offensive), I had to tap the young man on the shoulder as he could not detect my presence through his senses of sight, hearing or smell (as I smell of Givenchy, not Abercrombie) and he greeted me with a, “Hey. What’s up?” What’s up?!? What did you think was up you dope? I would have liked some customer service……
He nodded as if he understood what I was looking for, but I couldn’t be certain. I had a feeling he was accustomed to not understanding what was said to him, but agreeing to it anyway. Ah, to be so beautiful. It seemed that he was gone for only a moment and when I asked him if he had found my items, and he replied that “someone” was looking for them upstairs in the storage room. Yeah, right. I was sure the other Abercrombie beautiful people were doing exactly what my children do when asked to look for, or do something; pretend they did it. I skulked around the store until I found the magical “employees only” door, and simply discovered that there weren’t any more small sized, drawstring waisted, jacket style, dealy-wigs in any color. Humph. I supposed it was time to make do with what I had (not that my pals needed any more clothes, but Santa must bring something!).
I gathered up my purchases and headed for the only register open in the entire store, that coincidentally only had one worker manning it. Hello Mr. Abercrombie, it was Christmas. You know, the busiest season for shopping the entire year. Well the little girl behind the counter was as cute as a button, but not too terribly efficient (I shop a lot and could certainly have taught her a thing or two that she apparently did not learn in her Abercrombie training sessions. I believe that there they learn to pout, pose and stare off in to the distance, therefore averting the gaze of customers in need of assistance). A line began to form as she picked up each item, one by one, scanned them and put them on the counter behind her. More efficiency…PLEASE. Why didn’t she scan, remove the sensor and fold each item as she had them in her hand? Seriously, I am a big believer in touching an item once, be it the groceries, the mail or the laundry. She could have sped up the process immeasurably had she been paying any attention at all, but I suppose she thought, “For minimum wage…why bother?” I’d tell you why to bother right here and now, but my opinions on a job well done will have to wait for another day.
While the little girl at the register was taking an absolute eternity to complete my transaction (15 minutes for 7 items seemed a tad excessive. We’re talking clothing here, not explosives), the line began to grow, and two more Abercrombie associates stepped behind the counter. The next woman in line behind me asked if someone could ring her up, and the new cute little girl behind that counter said that no, she couldn’t, that the first cute little girl would have to. So, efficiency expert, and irritated shopper that I was, I suggested that perhaps she could help the register girl fold, and box up my gifts. To which she replied, “No, that’s not my job.” Confused, I inquired, “Then, what is your job?” I kid you not, with a straight face, as if she actually believed the nonsense that was coming out of her mouth, she said, “I am in charge of walking around and making sure the customers are happy.” Dumbfounded, with my mouth wide open catching flies, I pointed out, “I am a customer, and I am not happy.” She looked at me as though I were speaking a foreign language and had three heads. I followed up with, “What is your name?” She answered me in such a perky manner, as if we were girlfriends talking about going to a concert, rather than a customer turning psychotic, “Keeley.” “Keeley”, I said, “may I please speak with your manager?” With out missing a beat she told me, “I am the manager.” Oh. My. God. She had to be kidding! Where were the grown ups? Seriously, what grown up in charge of anything is named Keeley? What are these Abercrombie people thinking permitting the inmates to run the asylum?
What recourse did I possibly have? I informed them, in a huff of irritation and self importance that I was going to name names and blog about them and their poor customer service on my blog page! Ha! The other grown ups in line high-fived me as I stormed off with my purchases. I sure showed them. I bought $200.00 worth of merchandise. So who’s the winner now? Oh……. I guess that would be those smart marketing people at Abercrombie. Curses! Foiled again…….