4.07.2018

Day 5: Old Navy is not beneath you.

Welcome to 12 Days of Retail. My last day (for real this time) at Old Navy is quickly approaching and this series serves as a sort of wrap-up to my time there. I've rounded up the worst customer offenses into 12 general categories. Some are truly terrible and some are relatively minor, but together they cover almost everything that is terrible about working retail, in my ten years of experience.

There is a very special type of customer who thinks she is above Old Navy, thinks everything we have is garbage, and somehow also thinks everything is overpriced. I've had people say an item of clothing is ugly as I was wearing it and I've even had someone tell me that Macy's is cheaper than Old Navy.

This type of person is absolutely ridiculous for a few reasons.

1. You walked in here.

Unless you are a child who is being dragged along by her mother, you came into this store of your own accord. Telling me (or telling your friend loudly enough for everyone to hear) that nothing Old Navy carries is cute and you really don't know why you're wasting your time in this dumb store is out of control, because you have chosen to be here. You can leave! You can leave anytime you'd like! Actually, now would be good. The second you walked in the door would be even better.

2. It's just rude.

This is obvious, but it's rude and a little demeaning to have the clothing you're wearing or selling insulted to your face. If I work at a place, it is pretty safe to assume I own a lot of clothing from there, so telling me you think Old Navy's clothing is all poor quality or single-use is insulting to me as a person. Especially to me as a mildly fashionable person. Also, if I didn't like the brand and resented working there, it's not like I would be able to agree with you anyway.

3. We are probably serving some sort of purpose for you.

Most of the time that this happens, the person is in the store to buy something necessary. They're on their way to work and need black pants. Their kid needs new uniforms before school tomorrow. They've looked everywhere for a basic polo and haven't been able to find it. We are the only store open at the moment in the shopping center. Okay cool, then you don't need to tell me why you usually don't shop at Old Navy. We're not really hurting for customers and here you are now, so I'm all good on your explanations.

I will tell you my favorite story along these lines that I don't think I ever told on the blog.

At the Old Navy I work at currently, our customers' incomes are very wide ranging. We have customers who literally only buy things that are less than $2 apiece and we have customers who think our full price items are an absolute steal.

One day, a woman came up to the register with about six or seven full price items in her arms. They were all from the boys' department and all in one size, so presumably for one kid. It was a full outfit and then some—shoes, socks, pants, underwear, a couple of shirts and a jacket.

She was talking on the phone the entire time, so we didn't really talk at all, but here is the relevant part of what she said, as close as I can remember it:

"Oh could you hold on a sec? I'm at Old Navy."

"Yeah I know, but I had to get clothes for (Son's Name) for his emergency kit at school and I'm absolutely not going to send his good clothes for that."

"Totally, I mean he'll literally probably never wear them, it's just a thing they make us do."

Y'all, her total was more than $150. For things he will literally probably never wear.

Also, hi, what did your friend say in between you saying "I'm at Old Navy" and "Yeah I know, but?" Something disparaging about the store from which you are buying your son's emergency clothes? Of course she did. Because you are a snob, and so your friend is a snob too.

Of course.

Today's pro-tip: Just be a nice human being. If you're going into a store you normally wouldn't shop at, be courteous. The other customers in the store, as well as the employees, probably think a little differently about the store than you do, and they can hear you when you speak out loud.

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