Long Distance Greeting

Visiting an Old Navy store makes me feel old. I can’t relate with any of the fashions that include “painter” pants that intentionally slide off my butt or t-shirts that look as though they’ve already been washed 400 times.

I don’t understand the colors either. It’s as if every piece of clothing is working overtime to make me look like a UPS driver. How many shades of brown are there? I don’t know but Old Navy continues to drum up new ones each year just to “keep it fresh”.

I’m not here to talk about Old Navy fashions. I’m at that age where I’ll never understand what teens are wearing which means I can’t be far from chasing them off my lawn.  But today we decided to knock out some school clothes shopping at Overlake Mall.

I entered the Old Navy pushing an empty stroller with Kai trailing. Without notice, I heard a woman’s voice boom, “WELCOME TO OLD NAVY!!” as if she was coming from a yellingmegaphone. I looked around wondering where that came from until I noticed a women standing at least 30 yards away, folding clothes at the register.

This is where things got awkward.

The employee with an amazing set of pipes waved in my general direction, and I wasn’t sure what the proper response should be. I wasn’t sure if I should cup my hands and scream back or act like I’m deaf. She was standing so far away I began to wonder if the greeting originated somewhere else. Did I trip an auto-greeting like those found at the McDonald’s drive-thru that attempt to push new menu items? “Would you like to try a 20 piece McNugget meal and one of our new strawberry banana smoothies? Order when you’re ready”.

I didn’t want to scare my kids or damage their hearing so I went with the friendly wave into space. I performed one of those waves you see at Miss American pageants that’s directed at everybody yet nobody.

I’ll bet Old Navy has a policy where each person who enters the store must be greeted no matter where the employee is positioned. I’ve experienced this at Supercuts. I’ll be in the chair getting my hair cut, and a customer will come through the door just in time for my stylist to greet them from across the store.  “Welcome to Supercuts! We’ll be with you shortly!”

I wasn’t planning on sharing my haircut with a stranger, thank you.

Can we put an end to this type of phony greeting? I understand it’s polite to welcome each customer to your store. It’s courteous and lets them know you’re there if they need anything. But I can’t imagine a Nordstrom employee yelling at me from across the room.  Imagine entering a Ben Bridge Jewelers only to be greeted by a guy helping newlyweds select rings. I can wait till you’re finished. I really can. Please help the cute couple as I’m just here to replace my $15 fake alligator watch band.

If you’re a store owner, don’t demand that every customer must be greeted the second they enter the store. Instead of yelling from 30 yards out, what if the Old Navy employee had finished folding her stack of sweaters before walking over to greet me?

I’m sure the Party Cardis can wait.

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