June 22, 2013

An Introvert's Guide to Shopping - Part 1

I will never set foot in Men's Wearhouse again, but it has nothing to do with the recent firing of the "You're gonna like the way you look. I guarantee it" guy from the commercials. My one and only experience in this store demonstrates that some businesses simply don't cater to introverts.

About 12 years ago I was starting a new job and needed to buy a couple of blazers in a hurry. I had never been to Men's Wearhouse before but decided to give it a try. However, I didn't stick around for long.

In general, I hate shopping. And I don't like to be harassed by store employees while I'm shopping. I don't remember the exact details of the conversation, but I will recreate the experience for you to the best of my recollection:
[Adam walks into Men's Wearhouse. An overly-anxious salesman pounces, steps too closely, invades Adam's personal space and reaches out for a handshake.]

SALESMAN: Hi, my name is Jeff. Welcome to Men's Wearhouse. What are you shopping for today?

[Adam reluctantly shakes his hand.]

ADAM: Thanks. I'm just looking around.

[Adam attempts to walk past Jeff, but Jeff obstructs.]

JEFF: Great! I'm here to help. What is it that you're looking for?

[Adam's anxiety increases.]

ADAM: Well, I just want to look around at some jackets.

JEFF:  Excellent! What size are you?

[Adam's anxiety increases even more, and his voice changes to an annoyed tone.]

ADAM: I don't know. I just want to look first, if you'll let me.

JEFF: I'm just trying to help you. Let's measure you and then take a look at some jackets in your size.

[Adam reaches the point of no return.]

ADAM: Obviously you aren't going to let me look around. So I'll take my business elsewhere!

[Adam quickly walks out the door and never returns.]

"I'm gonna harass you as soon as you step into the store. I guarantee it." (Photo courtesy: latimes.com)

This is a good lesson for businesses on how NOT to treat an introvert. If I want to browse on my own, then please leave me alone. If I need help, I'll ask. I'll offer some other friendly customer service advice, someday, in Part 2


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  2. My first time reading your blog, Adam--excellent! Why is it that salespeople only come in two varities: non-existent and restraining order? Why can there never be an in-between?

    1. That's a good way to describe it. If I happen to have a question, I don't want the salesperson to be the invisible man.