Are You There Retailers? It’s Me, Cathe!

In my never-ending quest to carry out some phase of exercise, I’ve been getting into my car and driving Chippy to downtown Phoenixville.   Truth be told. I don’t like walking in my neighborhood of townhomes because it’s boring.  I pass by the same brick front homes and there’s not much shade.  I love me a shady street.  I’m basically a tree-hugger at heart. Downtown Phoenixville and the Borough are more fun!

Now that I’m home, Chippy the Wonderdog treats me as his chauffeur.  He loves going bye bye’s in the car and his walkies! (Yes. I speak that way to him)

And walking is the one bit of exercise I happen to like. 

This morning I took Chippy to Reeves park so he could practice being a good canine citizen.  I explained to him about the Vietnam war and how our current president is a cowardly draft-dodger.  Then we walked some more and took a rest.  Overall, Chippy and I had a good time!

However, this past Wednesday found the weather to be a bit too hot to take my little rascal out for a long constitutional.  And so, I left him home while I went out to run errands and have a walk at a local outdoor shopping center.

Providence Town Center in Collegeville. The local Wegmans that we shop at is in this Center and I thought it would be a good thing to change up my routine.  No. Seriously.  Other than taking Chippy to downtown Phoenixville, my only exercise is wheeling a grocery cart up and down the aisles of the supermarket.  Even when I only need one item, I’ll stretch it out to 30 minutes of speed walking nearly bruising every shopper who crosses my path.  I’m that pathetic.

I have been known to use produce as the weightlifting part of my grocery store exercise program!

Anyway, in changing up my routine, I decided to visit a few stores in the shopping center.  I had pen and pad in my oversized purse and my iPhone’s camera at the ready.  Perhaps an engaging conversation between a kind and helpful sales assistant and me would create a blog post about how great the store and the service is. Right?

Um. No. That never happened. In fact, quite the opposite occurred.  And when I left to return home, I felt like a cross between Quasimodo and a circus freak.

Thank you sales assistants!  Thank you for assisting in making me feel like a complete freak!  I’m changing my name to Quasimotress!

Let’s face it.  I’m older.  And my resting bitch face could come across as one to rival the woman who was once known as “The Queen of Mean”, Leona Helmsley. However, when I enter a store, I put my smile on and it transfers me to a rather sweet-looking, if not utterly cross-eyed, older beauty!

Ouch!  I don’t even think MY “RBF” (resting bitch face) is as severe as The Queen of Mean!  Mrs. Helmsley is wearing the wrong lipstick..and that eyeshadow. And the brows. How can a woman who had this much money be so awful at the art of makeup application?

So then, what is wrong with me? Let’s try to figure this out!

Hey Joe, that’s what I’m trying to figure out!

My first stop was Ulta.  This is the weirdest store.

My Collegeville Ulta experiences make me long for the Ulta in Lawrenceville, NJ.  Now THAT Ulta had great sales assistants. Shopping there was so much fun!

Although the offerings are very good—both higher end and drugstore brands, any time I’ve been here I’ve practically had to beg for help.  At Sephora, the staff is great, friendly and always willing to help. At Ulta, it is a bother.  It is a chore. And quite honestly, I think the sales help would rather be somewhere else. Sales assistants stand around and convene with each other and literally give customers the side-eye.   You would think a shop specializing in all things beauty would be an empowerment for women.  Instead, it’s more of a “why is that woman even here” type of vibe.

Ummm. Hummmm.  Those Ulta assistants gave worse side eye than Rihanna.  And Riri is the only one who can do it well!

I ended up making a purchase of a $7.00 eyeshadow palette by Revolution.  I’m a fan of this brand and needed a backup to the one that I hit pan on big time.  With all due respect, the young woman at the cashier was the only worker in the store with a smile and kind eyes.

Too bad other stores in my area don’t sell Revolution makeup. I would have made this purchase elsewhere. Oh well, the girl at the cashier was very sweet, kind and adorable!

Next stop was Charming Charlie.  This is a store with an interesting mix of accessories and some apparel.  The selection of clearance costume jewelry is wonderful and this is the store you want to go to if you are invited to a big event or wedding and don’t want to spend a ton of money on a metallic purse or accessories.

I didn’t find Charming Charlie too charming the other day.

As I entered, a sales assistant looked up from arranging a display and I smiled at her. She turned around and went back to work.  No return smile. No acknowledgment.  I was wondering if I had spinach caught in the ever-expanding space between my front teeth.  Teeth age too! Perhaps she had never seen a cross-eyed person in real life.  Whatever the case, I went on my merry way perusing the goods.

There must have been four to six people working in the store while I was there. Not one person approached me to see if I needed assistance. And at one point I did. I tried a bracelet on. It was nice—a cuff bracelet.  And I couldn’t get it off. The little clasp got stuck and I had visions of the store manager either accusing me of trying to steal an item or worse, having to take the bracelet off with a plier! And breaking the merchandise—all eight dollars’ worth!

All I needed was to be accused of trying to steal a bracelet that I couldn’t take off my wrist!

After the bracelet debacle, I figured I was better off leaving Charming Charlie alone.

Loft.  I can’t even with this store anymore.

I walked over to Loft.  God only knows why I even bothered because this store has, hands down, the worst sales staff I’ve ever—or rather never encountered in my life.  Since I’ve moved to this area, I’ve been in this Loft location about 5 times—and all five times, you would think I had the ability to give the staff a serious case of The Cooties! Loft must give applicants a test in ignoring rather than engaging!

Yeah. The help at Loft figured me out. I got the Cooties.  Just like when I was a little girl and boys had the cooties.  Boys back then thought I had the cooties.  

Knowing when I am not wanted, I made a quick exit and crossed the path over to Chico’s.

This Chico’s is a pretty large store.  But in all honesty, the clothes just don’t speak to me except to say. “We are overpriced”.

Chico’s has always intrigued me because I’ve never shopped there. In fact, I’ve never been inside a Chico’s store. I’ve seen some cute leggings on the website, but at $69.00 for a pair of leggings—that will eventually pill at the thigh’s inside—No. Not now. Not ever.  Never.

These leggings are adorable. ADORABLE. But not $69.99 worth of adorable.  No leggings are worth that.  

The only people in the store when I arrived were the salespeople.  I was greeted and asked if I needed help, which was very nice.  I said, “No thank you, I’m just looking” and that was that.  The saleswoman who asked me was very intelligent because she could see that I was completely trustworthy and wouldn’t make off with any merch because she went into the back and I never saw her again.

I liked the Chico’s lady.  She was nice enough to acknowledge me then made a beeline to the back of the store and hid from me.  Did she think that I was trustworthy? Or did she think I was  smelly?

At this point, my self-esteem was slowly crawling into the gutter.  I could understand if these stores were haute couture shops that thousands of dollars and upwards.  One look at me and they would know my J. Crew tastes lay in the local mall.  But we aren’t talking haute couture.  Karl Lagerfeld and Marc Jacobs wouldn’t think of even setting foot where these high and mighty sales assistants work—so please don’t behave as though you are above the average customer.

I would have better luck with Mr. Karl and Marc Jacobs. I could be their charity and get nice clothing from them.

So, like, what’s the deal?


This little experience made me appreciate Nordstrom more than I ever have before.  Although I didn’t enjoy working retail because of the hours, Nordstrom instilled in us, as staff, the importance of great customer service.

I may not have been crazy about working retail hours but Nordstrom taught me a valuable lesson in great customer service. And, my boss, Michael Lopinto was the kindest, sweetest best bossman I ever worked for!

And for the most part, the people who come into a shop are nice and many do need a bit of help. Some know off the bat what they want, but will ask for help when they have a question.  And there are the very small percentage of difficult customers. But the good ones outweigh the not-so-good ones.

The great majority of us customers are NOT Mrs. Home Alone! We’re nice!

And so, here’s a few tips for those sales assistants in customer service.

Don’t give someone the side eye. Don’t look down at anyone who comes into the store. Don’t judge someone based on the clothing they are wearing either.  Perhaps they don’t care about clothing but still have mo’ money in the bank than any of us do.   Be kind—you don’t know what sort of day that person is having.  Respect everyone who walks through that door.  Treat everyone like gold. Your customers are your paycheck.  People depend on you to help them.  Rather than stand around gabbing with each other, turn that smirk into a smile.  Bring the side-eye to the front and look at the customers straight in the face. Tell them, if they are just browsing that if they need assistance you are there for them.

True. Don’t judge me. Don’t judge any customer. 

It’s funny—because I was pumped. I had every intention of writing a fun post about shopping locally. it totally backfired because people were not welcoming.   But worse, I left with a feeling that this is now the norm.  People just aren’t nice anymore.  Thoughtlessness and insensitivity seem to be the new normal.

And as much as I truly believe that people are good, these days I’m encountering more and more of the opposite.

OK. So I need to do my roots. But that doesn’t make me unapproachable when I enter a store.  Be nice!

I want kindness back.  Don’t you?

BTW.  When I finally returned home, look what Chippy did!  He was upset that I didn’t take him on his walk. Is this guy spoiled or what??????

How could that adorable little Chippy take the garbage bag out of the garbage can, drag it across the floor and onto my oriental rug?  And the Burger King trash?  That’s Bonaparte’s. Not mine!!  

Thoughts people. Thoughts.  Have you noticed this new normal?  How have your shopping/browsing experiences been as of late?

I’ve been thinking about this song for a while.  Remember it?  The Youngbloods. Get Together.

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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44 Responses to Are You There Retailers? It’s Me, Cathe!

  1. I hate the occasional weirded-out looks I get from salesgirls when I’m shopping in Forever 21. I mean, come on! The name of the store should say it all!

  2. angelin2014 says:

    Oh I do recognize this! But I’m sad IT has spread to US. I have always had great service when in the US (especially remember a great Foot Locker-Guy) and honestly thought it had to do with low wages in retail and some bonus system making American sales assistants so attentive. Seems I was wrong! Or just lucky😂

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Angelin. I don’t know what happened but on any given day you can go to a mall and the sales assistants are texting to friends and family and ignoring the customers. This is why I’m doing more online shopping!XXOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  3. hipchick66 says:

    Oh that is just awful. I want to go back to those stores with you and pull a scene out of Pretty Woman!! The nerve!! A happy customers SPENDS MONEY!! I’ve been lucky, usually when I go shopping I get great service and attention. Sometimes it’s too much! But as I don’t get out too much being a caregiver, I actually enjoy the attention and conversation these days. I’ve also had some really awful and insulting experiences years ago.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Lori!! I’m convinced that many of these stores are paying such low below minimum wages that the staff they are hiring really doesn’t give a $hit. Perhaps they should raise the minimum wages!!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  4. Patti Dickinson says:

    I’m afraid customer service has gone the way of the dodo. Perhaps we are supposed to be texting clerks? Cannot get over a person who is ‘working’ ignores a person with $$$$ to spend.

    I’m from the Buffalo, NY area and there is a high end store, with twenty something CLERKS, that stick their noses up, if they (the clerks), think YOU don’t belong. My $$$$ are not spent there.

    I have $$$$ and don’t need attitude from a kid!

    Wow…you hit a chord with me…..if you want nice, Loveland, CO stores are filled with friendly, helpful people. Lived there for two years.

    Keep it coming, GF!

    • Catherine says:

      You know what Patti? I’m glad you “Get” it. If some of these sales clerks are so high and mighty–then why are the working minimum wage as a sales clerk. I realize that is a harsh and nasty thing to say, but when you get that kind of treatment, you give it back. Tenfold! That’s why I’m doing more online shopping these days. I hit that chord and we are playing the same tune girlfriend!!! XOXOXOXOxO

  5. Fiona says:

    In the UK we don’t tend to get pounced upon by shop assistants the minute we enter a store and you have to seek out help generally. I did ask where the courgettes were in my local supermarket last week and got snarled at in reply…charming. Interestingly I am impressed by the service in Yves Rocher when over the channel, the assistants there couldn’t be more helpful in my experience, not what you might expect in France.
    Btw I’ve just watched What’s Up France…did you know about this new subsidiary of Air France, Joon that’s targeting millennials?? WTF?
    Bonaparte eats Burger King? I’m shocked!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Fiona. That’s actually why I enjoy shopping in France. You enter a shop. Say “Bonjour” the sales help respects you and if you need help they are more than happy to assist. I’ve never had an issue in France. Yeah . I heard about that Air France Joon. W.T.F. is right!!! That’s insane. How about OOLD??? Ugh.
      Yeah. Burger King is the Frenchman’s guilty pleasure. Can you believe it???? XOXOXOXO!!!!

  6. Nancy says:

    HI Catherine- I hate going to Ulta about as much as I hate going to Macy’s. They offer these coupons that are only good on in house brands from 8-9PM on Christmas Eve…well maybe a bit of an exaggeration but they are very very limited on brands, etc. I don’t think the sales assts. at Ulta get any training on brands, makeup applications, etc…its evident they are well trained at Sepora. As for Chicos…I honestly believe they mark the prices up so you use a coupon and get it for the price it should have been originally so its not really a deal at all. I have bought a few pairs of black pants there over the years (when items were marked down and an extra % off) BUT only because shopping in my area is so so limited, I have to go somewhere. I also am not happy that everything is knit or polyester so yes it pills horribly or “bags out”. I really don’t feel like I have a store that is for me…sometimes Anthro. but often things are too young…mainly sweaters and accessories for me…sometimes Loft..sometimes Target and sometimes Nordstroms but each of those are hit and miss for me. I unfortunately do not fit into most of JCrew sizes…wish I did, you always look fabulous.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Nancy. THAT’S IT. I don’t think Ulta trains their crews. In fact, I do believe that brands send “experts” into the shops. Whatever the case, I love Sephora. They got it going on. I didn’t realize that Chico’s had coupons–I find their sizing to be a bit–different as well. But I’m glad that you also noticed the “pillage” thing. I’m sorry, Walmart has leggings for $5.97 and the Chico’s $69.00 leggings pill as much as the Walmart brand. What am I missing here? XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  7. Ilyse says:

    This is the new norm – it’s about the young people just not caring to be polite, and they don’t like us older “girls” – funny when I worked retail at 17 I was always polite. It is the new norm, and we as boomers need to shake things up and call them out. Remember when “you’re welcome” was replaced with “no problem”? I thought that was bad and would occasionally say “oh, I would hope it wasn’t!”. Now that has been replaced by “yep” (this is a response to “thank you”). So it is a sad state – I hear you. I think the stores do not pay well, but they should stress treating the customer right (as they DO at Nordstrom’s). We are the ones with the money. It’s just stupid, n’est pas?

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Ilyse. You hit the nail on the head with the new norm. When has rudeness become normalized? Is it because of the rudeness of the one who is in the white house because of collusion with the Russians? He’s the rudest and most disgraceful person in the USA–and his behavior has been normalized and has trickled down to the people of our country. Have you ever read some of the comments made toward YouTube beauty gurus? What some people write is so vile–it’s just absolutely horrible. Stores actually pay low wages and the sales staff works on commission. It is ridiculous oui!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

      • Ilyse says:

        Omigosh Catherine – we simply cannot blame Trump for this, as much as you might like to – this has been going on for some time now. But politics aside . . . we, as boomer chicks have to set these young people straight – in a savvy way though – of course! XOX!

  8. Deborah says:

    I lived in the tri-state area for many years till I relocated to southern California almost 25 years ago, (still have lots of family in South Jersey) so I’ve seen both regions and WHAT a difference in customer service I’ve observed! I have NEVER had a negative experience here in California—from San Diego to Malibu to Santa Barbara, salespeople young and old are courteous, polite, respectful and professional. After ALL these years, I STILL marvel at it! All it takes is flying back and landing at the Philly airport to be reminded of the VAST differences—-I hate to say it, but after a visit back to see the family and catch up, I find myself looking forward to getting back to the friendly smiles and great service in my neck of the woods. Sad state of affairs, but I’ve witnessed it, over and over again. I chalk it up to the weather What else could it be????

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Deborah. You know….I wonder if it’s a Philly thang. I lived in Central Jersey, in the Princeton area, and never had an issue while shopping. Even when I lived in Manhattan, I never had an issue. It wasn’t until I moved to the Philly suburbs that I witnessed this horrible treatment. I’m wondering if it is just downright ignorance. I can’t describe it –it’s just so odd. But I can attest from family members who have moved to California that everyone in Cali is just so darn nice and helpful. You’re in a good place!!! XOXOXOXO

  9. Momcat says:

    Agree with you about Sephora they are always so nice and helpful and not ‘in your face’.
    I think the issue with customer service is a lot of the staff are millennials who seem to think work, of any kind, is beneath them. In my hospital ( unionized) the house keeping and food staff start at $26.00/hour and they can’t get these kids to work their shifts! One housekeeper told me that she was picking up overtime on the weekend because a number of the younger staff had called in sick on Friday, this is a regular occurrence! I have my own millennial and yes that is the pervasive attitude, good thing he works for his Dad part time, no favouritism there!! Get this, the kid is in University and he is the ONLY one of his friends who has a regular part time gig!!
    I remember being told in our local Lulu Lemon by a snotty young woman that ” our clothes aren’t meant for your figure type” that chick had a good twenty pounds on me which I hastened to point out to her. Her retort was ” oh I meant your AGE GROUP!!” Nevah darkened their doorstep again…total boycott, buy my tights at Costco. Every bit as good, probably better!
    My Dad once told about a customer who walked into a Rolls Royce dealership down the street from his store in Toronto. A scruffy guy came in and asked a lot of questions about the cars. The sales manager gave the man the bums rush figuring he was lowering the ‘tone ‘ of the place. Next day the man returns, points to one of the cars and says he’ll take it off the show room floor, pulls out his wallet and has thousands of dollars in cash!! He drove off the floor with his new car and a bunch of snotty sales people learned a lesson! It was not lost on my Dad, he went on to have an amazingly successful career selling large appliances for Sears. His philosophy was simple, treat every customer as if they had a million bucks in their wallet. The lady who bought an apartment building’s worth of appliances from my father certainly did and came back over the years to purchase more!! That guy was a top salesman for many years.
    At 92 Daddy-o’s philosophy still is you get more flies with honey than vinegar!!

    • Catherine says:

      Momcat! $26.00 an hour??? I’m moving to Canada!! Here, in the States, food and housekeeping staff oftentimes get minimum wage. It’s a big deal that Aldi pays $12.00 an hour. The issue with millennials isn’t so much them, but it’s the way they were raised. Mommy and Daddy spoiled the shit out of them and thusly, they feel entitled. I remember when my kids were in school, parents would be so insanely pissed off that their not-too-intelligent babies were not chosen to be in the “gifted” program and they would fight tooth and nail just to say their little ragamuffins were in the “gifted” class. God forbid some of these kids should work. I blame the parents.
      I’m full of faults but I taught my own children values. All three worked when in high school and all three worked through university –and all three have a stellar work ethic which has gifted them with great careers.
      These spoiled kids are gonna be in for a rude awakening in a few years……there is no excuse for rudeness and it’ll come back tenfold to them!!!
      I LOVE that story about the guy and the Rolls. Stories like that make me so happy!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  10. Ann says:

    I work in the cosmetics department at Nordstrom and totally agree with you on the importance of great customer service, people have plenty of places to choose from when shopping. I love my career, the opportunity to brighten someone’s day or help them in some small way is very rewarding! Shame on those sales associates for treating you poorly, it was their loss not to get to know you! Next time bring Chippy shopping with you, doggies are always welcome at Nordstrom! 🐶💄☺️❤️

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Ann! Oh, my favorite Nordies cosmetic person works for Charlotte Tilbury at the KOP Nordstrom. He’s great!!! I wrote a blog post about him back in May. If I ever took Chippy into Nordstrom, I would be asked to leave. Permanently!!!! He would destroy the place!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  11. bluetulips says:

    When I was on vacation in the US back in 2010, I couldn’t get over how literally sales staff were falling over me and my friend when would enter the stores. It kind of threw me a bit because I am not used to that here in Australia. I would just say “I am looking” however when I did need something they were there. I remember being in Macys in San Fran we were trying on shoes, boy there were boxes everywhere. I think they knew, tourists bound to buy at least 1 pair!!!.
    Here in Australia retail wages I am sure are higher than US and not based on commission, though some have incentives. The past few years I have noticed the service levels have dropped. Though I think that has more to do with cut backs by management and not enough service staff out on the retail floor. Having said all of that, those young ones yeah don’t seem to be interested in serving people.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Dianne! In seven years, things have sure changed in the way retail looks at consumers and you would think that with the surge in online shopping, the sales teams would be taking the old school approach! Most countries pay more (except third world) for sales staff than in the US. Here it’s minimum wage or just above with commission and if you don’t meet goal, the money is taken out of your paycheck. I don’t know how people can afford to live with the wages here. But now I’m going in a different direction!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  12. patricia blaettler says:

    Ulta sucks. I wonder if “just stand around” is in their job description.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Patricia. I swear it is–and store management does nothing about it. It’s mind-boggling. I’m thinking that Ulta must do better business in the online contingent. XOXOXXO!!!!

  13. Am I the only one who would appreciate what happened to you? I like a hello…(but if it doesn’t happen I am okay with that too), and then leave me alone unless I ask you for help! I hate being pounced on in a store. I like to peruse the aisles by myself without someone lingering 2 feet behind me. Don’t take it personal and don’t take it as rudeness. I think more and more just want to be left alone.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Raisa. I do believe that the majority of us (me included) dolike to be left alone. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about being welcoming and greeting a customer. Making them feel welcomed in any establishment. It’s like auto or health insurance. You have it, and don’t want to use it. It’s the same thing with sales help. I want the insurance/ensurance of knowing they are there to assist and help me but they don’t have to be up my ass. All they need is a greeting and the promise that if I need help, they are there. It’s all in the “tone”. The tone means everything! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  14. maidsdayoff says:

    Every time I go into my local Ulta, I vow I’ll never go back. The people there are awful. I usually cave when I need something specific and have a good coupon. I regret it every time.

    I have definitely noticed a lack of friendliness in retail. I read an article recently that said Amazon was not entirely to blame for the downfall of brick and mortar retailers. Instead, much of it can be blamed on poor customer service. If we’re going to bother to get in the car and go into a store, and then be treated like that, of course we’ll say “why bother?!”

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Rita! I just answered another comment with a similar thing about Amazon. Amazon isn’t to be blamed for bad customer service in B & M stores!! But man, what is it about Ulta? It seems that the general consensus is that the sales help at Ulta is awful–do any Ulta managers ever receive feedback on their service? I always vow never to go back but it’s only five minutes from my house–so for convenience, I end up there…..XOXOXOXO!!!!

  15. bcoffee1 says:

    I’ve discovered it’s just not shopping in the stores, I get a “stink eye” voice when I’m talking to a younger person who answers the store phone. It’s like they don’t like me, but they haven’t even met me, and I’m using my nicest voice possible to see if I can get them to warm up just a bit… One of the many reasons I loved online shopping! Brenda/1010ParkPlace

    • Catherine says:

      I’m telling you Brenda, I’m beginning to do more and more online shopping. And retailers need to take a step back and reassess. They all blame Amazon for the drop in shoppers physically going into stores. But yet, they never assess behavior. Right???!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  16. cgcopy says:

    Hi Catherine — I know exactly what you mean. Have a look at my taken beauty-store shopping in a blog post of mine from September 2014. Enjoy!

  17. cgcopy says:

    Sorry — should say “my take on beauty-store shopping”

  18. Elle says:

    This is why I love Nordstrom. No matter one’s age or price point, they are always kind and helpful. I once called to say that my college-aged daughter needed an inexpensive interview suit, and they pulled several different Halogen items for her to try, complete with accessory and shoe ideas. They were just as helpful as when I went in to buy clothes for a business trip to Milan ($$$). I love them.

    Regarding ULTA, it’s funny, I haven’t liked going there, and I couldn’t put my finger on why. But you did. YES! A gaggle of young women talking – I had to “butt in” to ask a question.

    My sister says that “older” people become invisible. I don’t and won’t accept that, and I WILL vote with my feet and my wallet.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Elle, You know your comment brought back a wonderful memory for me about Nordstrom Customer service. When Oona was in college she was really upset about her problem skin. Nothing seemed to help her. We were in Nordstrom–this is back 10 or 9 years ago. And the manager of the beauty department was helping us and Oona was so upset she started to cry. Well, the manager actually SENT her a free Clarsonic. That was the ultimate in customer service and you know I wrote to the manager of the store thanking the staff profusely!!! I was floored! The help is stellar!
      Ummmm hummm. I’m glad that I hit the nail on the head with you in connection with Ulta. There’s a common ground here with everyone!!
      OH. I refuse to accept that we older people are invisible. My big mouth will assist in hearing our voice!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  19. Bridget says:

    It’s definitely not just a Philly thing. I’ve lived and visited tons of places, and have gotten this treatment almost everywhere at one time or another (including California, where my sister who lives there claims “everyone is nice all the time” – if they are, it wasn’t to me!). I think a lot of it is lack of any training, not just in the job, but at home. I have had to show a lot of younger people the basic niceties, not just customer service – it’s as if no one has even made an attempt to make them acknowledge other people in a polite fashion. One college student I trained in a retail job said, “Do we *really* need to talk to people at all? My mom says people will talk to ME if something is really important.” Sigh.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Bridget. Your second to last sentence says it all. THIS is the way spoiled children are raised when their parents are spoiled. My God–I’m a total freak because I taught my children to be kind, attentive and caring. I raised three freaks. I shoulda raised spoiled brats. Just kidding–I’m glad that I taught my children to be good and decent people. I can’t even sometimes!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!

  20. Renee in Northern California says:

    ULTA (Brentwood, CA, a San Francisco suburb) , Ugh!! I’ve had lousy service there… everytime!! Just last week I popped in to make a quick purchase. Once in, I strolled around to see what if anything interested me, nope, nada, no assistance. I finally was offered help after I found what I came in for and was practically seated on the floor grabbing a Clinique chubby stick way in the back of the shelf while trying to read the frigging small labels!! I almost, got a head rush when I stood up. I feel the only reason the Saleschick made her presence known was to ensure that I wouldn’t steal the thing!! Yeah, that’s right this 60 year old is gonna steal lip stuff after working so hard to find it, LOL. However, the check out clerk was nice!!

    • Catherine says:

      Renee. I swear Ulta’s strategy is to keep the good staff at the check out so that people will come back. The store keeps the inept on the sales floor. Did you read the other comments on this post about Ulta’s service? I want to send the comments to Ulta because we all have the same story!! It’s amazing. XOXOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  21. I spent 15 minutes in line at Ulta in Horsham last Thursday. I almost left the store twice, but that 20% coupon. Not a single person helped, nor greeted. Didn’t see anyone around except for at the cashier. So. very. typical.

    • Catherine says:

      Maribeth! The more comments I see about Ulta’s service, the more I am happy that I brought this to light. The company has us by the short hairs with those coupons. It’s crazy. Honestly, if the lack of customer service continues, I don’t forsee Ulta having the greatest future except for online purchases. XOXOXOXO!!!!

  22. calensariel says:

    Was actually just talking to a friend about this. I’m finding the older the sales associate, the better they are. I’ve had two experiences with bra fittings at Dillards over the last couple years. The first gal was a young gal who OBVIOUSLY had NO idea what to do with old, saggy boobs except make “I feel sorry for you” faces. I walked out of that fitting with no bras but totally mortified. I went back a week later and there was an older woman working in the department. She made me feel like I was the only customer that was important and it was HER job to help me look the best I could. Bought three of them that day. Truly am starting to think that younger women these days (or men, for that matter) are just so shallow and self-centered. Not all, of course. But I sure think there’s a tendency toward that. Great topic!

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Lady Calen. Ugh. Bra Shopping. The best experience I had with that was in Paris. Those French women take their underwear very seriously! Here–it’s awful. I do make it a point to seek out the more mature sales woman when purchasing underwear. But lately, I’m doing the TJ Maxx bra thing because I hate wearing bras. I only wear a bra when I leave the house. Or if we have dinner guests. I think the younger sales assistants just can’t be bothered. They pay more attention to their cell phones. Sad but true!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

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