This afternoon The Hater talked me into going window shopping for furniture for the house. We have been talking about getting a new kitchen table and possibly a bedroom suit, too. And we know that time is ticking -- so we headed out to Reno in OKC to look for such furniture (with no intention to actually buy anything).
In this area of town the furniture stores are clustered like Republicans around rumors of WMDs. Unfortunately, most of them are owned by the same people. The same furniture is for sale for the same prices in several stores.
The last time we went window shopping for furniture (the loveseat), we also came home with a lamp that we bought on a whim at one of the stores. The funny thing is that we had no idea how cool it was until we got it home.
We're the type of shoppers who prefer the soft sell (just ask the guys who sold us our home and car). We like to be left alone. We usually research before we buy, and if we have questions, we will seek out the answers. We don't like pushy salespeople.
Even when The Hater and I were looking for engagement rings, he would have to buffer the salespeople when they locked target for a sale. WE'RE JUST LOOKING, THANKS. WE WILL ASK YOU IF WE HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.
Salespeople make me itch. They make my skin crawl. The more aggressive they are, the more likely I am to walk out of the store. It's not that I intend to be the bad cop; circumstances and fate play big roles in the big picture of life. (The Hater's strategy for aggresive salespeople is to ignore them. He wants me to mention this.)
Anyway, we went furniture shopping. Our particular awful experience was at "Mob Bills Furniture" today. It was so bad that even while it was happening, we decided this was a story worthy of being told:
We notice that every time we walk into a furniture store, there is a line of salespeople waiting to pounce like taxicabs at the airport. We naturally walk by them without making eye contact.
Mrs. Rove: (which wasn't actually her name, but we decided it was more than appropriate) What can I help you with today?
us: Nothing. We're just looking. We're not buying anything today.
Mrs. Rove: What are you looking for? I can help you find it.
us: (walking away, ignoring)
We went to the escalator and headed upstairs. We've been to this store before; we knew where we were going. In fact, not only was this the store where we had bought the lamp, Mrs. Rove sold it to us. I notice this as we are going up the escalator, about the same time as The Hater notices that she is following us (8 feet behind us).
We look at bedroom suits. Every time we slowed down to talk about one, Mrs. Rove (who was hovering all the while) swooped down to tell us information that we did not request. Keep in mind, this is a very big store and she is following us around the entire upper level of this store. We specifically told her that we were not needing information. We made no effort to seek her input or make eye contact.
The third time we stopped to look at a suit, Mrs. Rove interrupted us more aggressively...
Mrs. Rove: This is such a good deal for you. You can see...
genderist: We are just looking and need no help.
Mrs. Rove: (didn't slow down one bit) But this set is yadda yadda yadda...
genderist: (Had enough. Making serious eye contact and pointing finger.) Stop being pushy. Just let us look around. We don't want your help.
Mrs. Rove: (looking hurt) I'm not being pushy! (gasp) I'm just helping you!
genderist: No, you're not. You're being pushy.
At this point The Hater grabs my arm we continue walking.
Mrs. Rove continues to follow us, about 12 feet behind us now.
I'm pissed. The Hater is grossed out and suddenly feels guilty for encouraging me to go shopping for furniture.
On the way down the escalator we could not help but to notice that Mrs. Rove continues to follow us. She follows us throghout the entire lower level of the store. This time we purposefully did not slow down, as to not attract her honing beacon, until we found the exit.
From about twelve yards away she yelled at us as we reached the door:
Mrs. Rove: Thanks so much for coming by today! Let me know if you need anything!
The thing about this is that she yelled loud enough for everyone in the store to hear. It was obviously not directed to just us as she neared the vulture line.
We kept walking.
It was the second worst shopping experience for us ever. We decided that next time we go furniture shopping we should just wear stickers that say, "DFWM", which basically means 'don't mess with me'.
Incidentally, at the next store we were quick to tell the salesman that we had a really bad experience at Mob Bills with a saleslady harassing us. He picked up on the context clues and gave us his card, leaving us alone. We then used his name to fend off the other aggressive salespeople in the store.
His reward will be commission on our furniture sales next month.