I had two experiences at Nordstrom today.
First, I took the escalator to the third floor to the children’s clothing area to pickup a pair of jeans for my daughter. We purchased them last week, but returned them to be hemmed. I gave the woman my name,and she quickly retrieved them from the back. The transaction took less than three minutes.
Then, I visited the men’s department looking for a simple dark-colored polo shirt. I found one I liked and took it off the rack. As I was holding it up to myself, a woman approached me and asked if she could help.
“I’m fine. I’m just sizing this shirt”, I told her.
I assumed she returned to the register while I continued looking at shirts deciding between black and navy. But no, she had an armful of shirts and was coming towards me. I thought she might be trying to bury me in short-sleeved dress shirts that look great on J. Crew models, but make me look like high school math teacher.
“Here’s what you want. These don’t need ironing and will look GREAT with a blazer. I’m sure you have several navy blazers.”
I do own one navy blazer but haven’t worn it since my wedding.
“I found what I need”, I told her.
But she wasn’t listening to me because she had already pulled a navy blazer off the rack and tucked the shirt into it. “Doesn’t that look great?” she asked.
It did look great. And it should have because the shirt was $125 and the blazer was $450, or just about what we spend at Costco on diapers and toilet paper each month.
I turned around and started back towards the register.
I was annoyed. All I wanted was a black shirt.
I was less than ten feet from the register when this woman practically ran up next to me. What is going on here, I wondered. Why should it be this difficult to purchase a solid color polo shirt?
“That shirt you have would go GREAT with our no-iron khakis. They come with or without pleats.”
But the worst part of the experience was driving home, knowing that she earned a commission on the forty dollar shirt I purchased.
Here’s a picture of the shirt being modeled by someone who looks like Jim Carey sporting the no-pleat khakis I left for men who model for a living.