[bra customers, or bra-stomers]

Really quickly I want to take a minute to say a big THANK YOU to all of my new followers!! I'm thrilled to have you and thrilled that you like my ramblings. :)

If nothing else, working retail is very rarely boring.

Sometimes the customers are quite cranky. They cut you off before you finish greeting them, with a single bark of word. It's very easy to misunderstand someone who does that. Of course if you do, expect to be blamed for being hard of hearing. Then they may yell at you and tell you that you personally are responsible for the fact that there are no bathrobes in the store even though you're just an associate and have zero control over what corporate decides. Finally they'll wander out of the store, mumbling under their breath the whole time about your lack of bathrobes and turn around and shake their head at you before throwing the door open violently. Not that that's happened to me.

Sometimes the customers are...unstable. They talk to themselves while wandering around the store about very inappropriate topics. It's hard to tell if they expect you to pay attention or not when they do this. It's also hard to get anything done when they're in the store because you spend so much time trying to figure out when they're talking to you versus when they're talking to the universe in general. Other times they may just be extremely open, taking off their bra while the dressing room door is wide open and people are wandering past. They'll tell you about their sex lives and every detail of what they like or don't like about their breasts. Loudly.

Sometimes the customers want you to do everything for them. They may ask for a fitting. When you measure them they'll tell you that you're wrong, inform you of their true size (which is generally nowhere near accurate), then dismiss you. Often they'll tell you they want a lined bra when really they want an unlined one or vice versa. Typically when this happens they'll flat out refuse to even look at what they really want if you spontaneously suggest it (although spontaneous is incorrect--they disliked all the ones they asked for and were wearing a completely different style when they came in). But then they'll describe what they're looking for and you'll think, well that's nothing like what you told me initially. But you smile and grab that style anyways because the customer is always right. They won't even try on any of the sizes you measured them at or if they do, they'll refuse to see any of the ways it fits properly despite you standing there and patiently pointing out the differences.

Sometimes the customers are very direct. They want a specific bra in a specific color and they know their size. These are the easiest to handle. Simply fetch the product they asked for, ring them up, and send them on their way. Easy peasy. Often they appreciate your efficiency and will return regularly.

Sometimes the customers just want to be left alone. They'll rebuff any offers of assistance, even if it's just putting the overwhelming amount of clothes they have draped over their arm in a manner that cannot be comfortable into a dressing room. When they rebuff your offers with both arms free, typically one hand will come up in a "stop" type gesture. Ultimately they always have questions and do actually want your assistance so it's essential to be prepared to come running when the hand comes down and they start spouting questions out at the universe in general. Though they may seem to be talking to themselves, they expect you to answer.

Sometimes the customers are clueless. They've never set foot in your store before and know nothing about what you carry. These ones look like deer in headlights when they walk in and as soon as you start explaining the products they look at you like you're some sort of guru and not just a well-informed sales associate. Sometimes they don't have time to shop today. If that's the case, they'll make plans to return for the full experience and ask when you're working. After all, you're their new guru and they want you to handle that first encounter with the products. It doesn't matter if you have better informed coworkers, you're the only one they want to talk to.

Sometimes the customers are inspiring. They're battling cancer or in remission. You could spend hours sitting in their dressing room simply talking about their lives. You want to spend hours sitting in their dressing room talking about their lives. You fight the urge to hug them when they leave. Sometimes they hug you and you rejoice a little inside. You want nothing more than to be just like them (well, minus the cancer part). It doesn't matter if they spend an hour there and buy nothing, you're richer for the experience in a different manner.

Sometimes the customers are men shopping for their wives. You have to carefully coax out of them what size their wife wears, what colors she likes, and whether she'd prefer solids or patterns and what type of patterns she'd like. They do better in the clothing section as opposed to the "intimates"; that section overwhelms them. Sometimes they point at something and say "my wife has that." If thats the case, they may just want to get her another set of the same thing. Act like you know exactly what you're talking about and they'll believe whatever you say.

No matter what type of customers come into the store, it's never a dull day selling bras & panties.

1 comment:

  1. I worked retail for seven years, four of which in a lingerie store. You really detailed the various types of customers perfectly! I was never a fan of males shopping for their wives, they would usually give a dress size and expect me to get their bra size from that! Or they would say "My wife is a size medium... I think she is your size" which would confuse me because I'm not a size medium.