Been to a mall lately? Based on the demographics of those who regularly read this blog, chances are, you have.
Ever find yourself next to a really annoying shopper? How about that sales associate who just won’t leave you alone? After taking another one of many trips to the mall, I decided to summarize what appear to be the most annoying shopping habits that we probably all experience sometimes.
1. Hogging the Checkout Counter
You can spot her a mile away. She’s the person with an armful of items, texting on her phone a mile a minute, and has a really large purse. Sometimes, she may also have a shopping bag from the same store you’re in. This means that odds are she is making an exchange. Translation: It’s gonna be awhile. Unfortunately, unlike the grocery store, most mall stores don’t give you the option to pick which line to stand in. There’s only one line, and depending on how busy it is, there are only a couple cashiers. No express checkout. No self-checkout. You’re basically just at the mercy of the woman who just waltzed up to the counter.
A counter hog usually has some high maintenance requests when the shopping line is a mile long. “Can I use this coupon on this dress, and this coupon on that dress, and then this rewards gift card on these jeans in three separate transactions?”, “I left my retail credit card at home, can you call the district and look up my information?”, or “I don’t have a receipt but…” Usually she requires more than one sales associate to help with her request(s) and/or a store manager, which ends up making the whole process one big ordeal, costing you a lot of time waiting. So when you get in line and see this person – maybe plan on browsing some more in other parts of the store until this person is done.
2. Dressing Room Warfare
Some stores have an organized system of managing the dressing room: you stand in line, you get a number, you get a room, you try them on, and then you leave and give them the clothes you don’t want. Once you leave the dressing room area, you are done. If you want to go back in for some reason, you have to repeat the process over again.
But then there are other stores…with either limited staff or just no organization, so their dressing rooms are basically a free for all, and this is where it can get ugly. You walk into an unlocked dressing room where no one is in it. There a couple garments hanging on the wall inside the room, but you assume they are just left over from the last person who was in there. Fair assessment. It’s all going good until you get an angry knock on the door, “Um, excuse me, that was MY dressing room and I have my stuff in there.” Really? Turns out this shopper decided to leave the dressing room to go look for another size or another item, and returned to find you in her territory.
And how about the inconsiderate shopper who brings 4 of her girlfriends with her and they are using up ALL of the available dressing rooms, trying on just about everything in the store, taking pictures of each other, and basically having a party while you are stuck with deciding, “Is this outfit worth it? Should I risk purchasing this if it might not fit me? Or are they almost done so I can just quickly try this on?”
3. The Hovering Shopper
There are different ways a shopper can hover. a) They hover next to you in line, giving you no personal space or b) They hover over one area of clothing for too long.
When you’re in line, this hovering gal pushes herself too close to you. It’s probably a subconscious reaction she is having as she impatiently waits in a long line right behind you. The push is her way of hoping the line will move forward faster. This is the type of person that stands so close that you need to cover up the keypad when you enter your PIN number, or you are pretty sure she is able to read your text messages right over your shoulder and can feel her exhaling. Wow, back off!
The clothing hover-er is the one who is checking out a dress for an eternity and has positioned herself in such a way so that no one else can get around her or look at anything next to her. You spot that cute dress she is looking at and try to stall by waiting around nearby pretending to checkout other items, meanwhile waiting for her to move on, but…it never happens. She is spending so much time in that one spot that you could paint a fence and watch it dry and she’d still be there. This type of shopper is the one who you wish you could just elbow out of the way. Doesn’t she realize that there are others who might want to be in that vicinity??
4. Armed with a Baby Carriage
Ok, I am not hating on moms here. It’s cool if you bring your kids with you to the mall. But some moms use it to their advantage to push people out of the way and not feel bad about it. Of course there are the rare few who realize that they just banged into your ankle with the carriage and politely say “excuse me”. But most baby carriage warriors push their way around the store and don’t care who they run into or run over. It’s all about them and their carriage, so if your in their way, move. What’s even better is the mom who has a child running around the store and she’s pushing an empty baby carriage or a carriage filled with her shopping bags. Then she leaves the empty baby carriage smack dab in the middle of a section you’re in so she can go look at something else nearby, essentially closing you into a corner where you either have to push her baby carriage out of the way (which could escalate things for you), or crawl between garment racks to get out. I realize that moms are probably very distracted when they shop with their children, but come on, at least TRY to be polite to others!
5. I’m Just Browsing, Thanks
It’s not just other shoppers who are extremely annoying – sometimes, it can be the sales associates who are just as guilty! Alright, so they have to greet you at the door and ask what you are looking for as a standard, courteous customer service mechanism – I get it. But what’s aggravating is that when you say smile and say “Thanks, I’m just browsing”, they don’t absorb this information. A few minutes later they will ask, “So, what brings you in today?” or “Do you need help finding anything?” Ok…I just told her was just browsing, so…what’s the deal here? And what’s with asking multiple times if I need help finding things? I mean…it’s a shopping mall. If I can’t figure out where things are in the store, then I have much bigger problems at hand. If they really badly want me to buy something, it’s a better idea to give me some space after I’ve said “I’m just browsing” and if I need their assistance, I’ll ask!