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So, I know already this is going to sound like a whiny, first world problem, but man oh man do I HATE having to go to the mall. I remember days when I was a kid, a trip to the mall, walking around the stores, that was like heaven on earth. Probably because shopping was something that I couldn’t do anytime I wanted, like I can now. And with the advent of online shopping, the brick and mortar stores are having trouble figuring out where they fit in.

As far as I can tell, this has lead to the creation of a shopping experience, where you’re guided from door to register by your personal shopping consultant, whether you want it or not. Just getting into the mall is problematic, the dozens of kiosks you have to pass just to get to your store of choice, where you’re constantly solicited to buy flat irons, facial scrubs, bamboo pillow or a shower liner, none of which I’m interested in nor am I articulate enough to adequately say no to. These salespeople must sense it too, because they do not want to take no for an answer.

I went to Victoria’s Secret, simply to purchase more of the same exact style bra I already own. I just needed to find it. But no! First I was assigned one sales person who insisted on sizing me. Yes, that’s not necessary, I just need this one, in nude. No no, she would insist, I need to look at all the multicolored bras in various sizes and shapes which would definitely show under all my clothes. I’m then handed off to the next woman in the fitting room, who in spite of me telling her that the original sizing was off because I know what size I am, insisted on giving me the same runaround. Only after insisting I needed the size I wanted, did she finally give it to me to try on.

There was a coordinated handoff with the saleswomen, panicked calls over the headset system for the first one to come back, and of course, she tried to upsell me on panties and get me to sign up for the credit card. I was so put off by the whole experience, I almost stormed out. Then I had to remember who helped me at the register, where the poor woman who barely spoke English thankfully checked me out without any other conflicts.

The whole experience was extremely off putting, and I realize that the corporate mandate for the customer interaction is scripted and has specific points that had to be met in order for these women to “do their jobs.” However, I think that they fail to see how unnecessary the whole thing is for people like myself. From now on, I’ll be sticking to the online shopping as much as possible.