Retail Rudeness

Warning, this is part venting post and part general wondering.

So earlier this week I went into Victoria's Secret to purchase a new bra. I had a sales lady measure me, but as she did it she looked confused and then said, "You're a 42 B, I guess", now mind you I haven't been a B cup since middle school and generally the 36 strap is too loose on me. So I told her the size of the last bra I purchased, she grabbed some options, and I headed into the dressing room…pretty normal. A few ill-fitting, too small bras later she said she wanted to go get the manager as she was a "bra specialist" and I was perfectly fine, a good fitting bra is awesome and I was in desperate need for one.

Here comes a great moment …

While she was gone I looked in the mirror and found myself in a different thought train than usual. Instead of seeing the parts of me I didn't like, I noticed the inches gone from my stomach and my legs and arms looking more toned. I have lost over 15 lbs and I was finally seeing what everyone else is commenting on. I have gone down from a size 12 to a 10 & my hourglass figure is becoming more defined (granted I have a few extra minutes on me, but I still have a decent hourglass going).

Now for the positivity shattering …

She comes back in with her manager and she measures me…"See what I mean?" the sales lady says and the manager agrees. Before I know it they are standing in front of me (and I am in my underwear, so feeling a touch vulnerable) commenting on my body saying, "She has such a weird figure." "I know, it's such an odd shape" "I just don't know how to size, it's such a weird shape" So after a few minutes I say excuse me and ask them what size I need (I wanted to get out of there as soon as I could). They tell me that because I have such a "Um, unique I suppose is the word for it" figure that it's hard to size me. The number of times they used the words "weird" and "odd" to describe my body just shattered all the good feelings I had just had about myself. Granted, I really don't think I have a weird figure, I feel like I have a generally normal looking body, but I could be wrong. I was just so disheartened by this experience that I left the mall and went home.

Now, here's the general wondering part.

Does this seriously happen? Who says stuff like that to people? I don't understanding nonchalontly talking rudely about someone's body (or anything for that matter) right in front of them, like it's no big deal!


  • Meerataila
    Meerataila Posts: 1,885 Member
    Sorry this happened to you. You have to understand retail. It pays crap, there is no respect or reward even for those who do their job well in most cases, and many of us look forward to the day when society is smart enough to replace all those jobs with self-serve stores so humanity can get on with using its gray matter to actually resolve serious issues. Meanwhile you have someone whose label in her work life is bra specialist. Yeah, that's got to be fulfilling. And her little underling, who doesn't even achieve those lofty heights of greatness. So really, you can't expect much. Call corporate if you want, but corporate isn't going to replace them with better, because I don't care if you put the love child of Mother Teresa and Albert Einstein in that job, the job itself will crush all heart and ambition and empathy out of anyone after awhile.

    I suggest you shrug off their silly wording, move on, and hope you never end up where these two ladies are at in life. Having a non-standard body shape does not mean anything bad. Or good, for that matter. We should all take care of our health of course, but most of what we are is that gray stuff between our ears. And the more non-standard that is, the better!

    Morning rant over.
  • hookilau
    hookilau Posts: 3,134 Member
    What was 'weird' about your figure that made it so hard to size you?

    I personally don't let people touch me for stuff like that. When getting sized for my wedding dress 18 years ago, they made me feel just horrible about my body.

    I was 120# and 5' tall at the time =/

    I've found people who work in this capacity, forget you are a human being who can HEAR you while they discuss what to do with your mis-shapen and contorted body :laugh:

    It always stymied them where my natural waist fell in relation to my chest etc. It's like they only know formulas but not well enough to make it work.

    Don't feel bad honey....this weekend I'm on a search for a 32DDD/DD to see if I'm a freak of nature or just in the wrong bra :laugh:

    ETA: I'm betting on the wrong bra
  • kitsune1989
    kitsune1989 Posts: 93 Member
    I HATE victoria secrets for this reason. When I was in highschool my mom took me there for my birthday. Orginally they measured me as 36b. Turns out I was a 36 dd. -_- The whole time the woman was commenting on how odd I measured.
  • weightliftingdiva
    weightliftingdiva Posts: 522 Member
    Wow. Really unprofessional and rude.

    If this happened to me, I would have called them out on it right there. If they didn't change the behavior then I would just leave.
  • Sorry that happened to you. Where I live, Sears has a really nice variety of bras (plain, fancy, lacy, etc) and they took the time to properly measure me and found very nice bras. I hope you find a business in your area where you can be measured properly and treated with respect and dignity. Take care.

    Ps. When I gained my weight I went from a wrinkled 32AA to a 38C, so I really needed help ... Lol
  • ilfaith
    ilfaith Posts: 16,770 Member
    Wow. I am so sorry this happened to you. What poor customer service. Honestly VS is the last place I would go for a bra fitting. They have a limited number of sizes, and will try to squeeze you into whatever they have in the shop. Years ago I was measured at VS as a 34B there (as they did not carry a smaller band size except for a few little 32A cups). Then I couldn't figure out why my straps were always falling down and the back was always riding up. Well maybe because my "correct" size is a 28DD/30D. At least when I went to Soma, the sales associate was nice enough to tell me the smallest band they carried was a 32, and while I could probably get away with a 32C I might have more success at the Dillards across the mall.

    I would suggest going to Nordstrom, or another "better" department store (Macys, Dillards, Belk...I don't know where you are located) and having one of their "bra specialists" (for some reason they always seem to be older European ladies) fit you. A good department store will have a variety of brands (you will find some will fit better than others) and a wider range of sizes.
  • skinnyinnotime
    skinnyinnotime Posts: 4,141 Member
    The only weird things were their manner and how they spoke to you.

    Put it out of your mind, they are the weirdos, who can't do their job!

    ETA: I went for a bra fitting when I was pregnant, my boobs had doubled in size...the woman told me I'd be the same size as I was before pregnancy #dumbbiatch
  • sphkhn
    sphkhn Posts: 456 Member
    Sorry this happened to you. They can be a real pain there. measuere yourself for real I'm sure you will feel better.
  • MelissaPhippsFeagins
    MelissaPhippsFeagins Posts: 8,063 Member
    People like them make me glad I have autism. I have retail, and while it does pay badly, some customers can be really rude, some manager can be worse, and the hours on your feet really are hard work, there is still no excuse for talking to another human being that way. Having autism means I have had to learn not to say what I think most of the time. It also means that when they talk to me like that I no fear of saying, "okay, my turn. Now you strip to your undies and I will talk about your shape as if you aren't even here. Better yet, since you can't help me, get out and I will get dressed and go spend my money somewhere else"

    BTW, my hips are what is oddly shaped on my body. I've always had a bit of a "saddlebag" on the left side but not the right. It's difficult to buy pants that look right. Hang in there, keep losing and believe your own eyes, not their tired mouths. VS promotes that women should look a certain way. It's not a way I am interested in looking at 45 as a mom of 4, and my husband of 22 years seems cool with that. My way works for me. If you have a Catherine's nearby, go to them for your bra fitting. They likely won't have bras that fit you at a size 10, but they can order any size you need and they aren't judgmental about body type.
  • tinwaleet
    tinwaleet Posts: 16 Member
    I had a similar experience in Victoria secret few years ago (not as rude but also unpleasant). I am 30 ff and the lady tells me to take 36 d, abviously it was not fitting at all, her comments was that my size does not exist and no one can do such a bra! I went to a specialized store in 5 minutes they found my size and a bra that was fitting me perfectly well. So now for each brand I know my exact size (as they are some diffences between brand in some I am 30g, others 32g, etc). Franckly it does not cost much more than Victoria secret (maybe 20/30 $) but these bra last much much longer than Victoria secret one, and you just feel so great in them so worth the extra money.
  • SunofaBeach14
    SunofaBeach14 Posts: 4,932 Member
    Imagine a job that pays ****, requires one to buy expensive clothes while paying you ****, and for which holidays are the busiest working days. Now, imagine who is attracted to that job? Plenty of students and other people for whom that job is not exactly the center of their lives. I worked retail through college and the day I quit to go to grad school is among my favorite days. It's hell. All I can tell you is that the two women you dealt with were rude, condescending, and unprofessional, but there's nothing you can do about it unless you really want to complain. I'd shrug it off and avoid that store from now on, oh and realize that a "bra fitting specialist" isn't exactly a specialist. Let it go and learn not to internalize other peoples' B.S.

    Congratulations on your weight loss. It's not easy and you're on the right track.
  • sphkhn
    sphkhn Posts: 456 Member,901,30.html Actually try this calculator! It is much more informative.
  • Meerataila
    Meerataila Posts: 1,885 Member
    After reading all the horror stories I've decided I'll just keep guessing at my bra size without human help and wait for society to turn sane and train enough workers in useful professions so I can get scanned and 3D print my bra at home. In pretty colors!
  • Galatea_Stone
    Galatea_Stone Posts: 2,037 Member
    When I worked retail, this behavior would have gotten me fired. Unfortunately, it doesn't always happen that way. The customer is rarely right anymore.
  • knoelledi
    knoelledi Posts: 91 Member
    Try Soma or Department stores as mentioned. I've gained and lost so many times since I've had these girls (including one breast reductions). You tend to get the older, more respected women. We actually a bra store in our town that has been there for years that makes custom if need be.
  • amelialoveshersnacks
    amelialoveshersnacks Posts: 205 Member
    Yeah... "She has an odd/weird body shape" is code for "I DON"T KNOW WHAT THE HELL I AM DOING!" so I will find someone else who doesn't know what they're doing, and we're going to stand in the same room as you, and tsk tsk your appearance while you stand there uncomfortably in your underwear and indirectly suggest many times that IT IS YOU, who seems to be out of place - being odd, weird and misshaped etc, so that it's not so obvious, that we do not know what in the hell we are doing! Thank you for shopping with us, and see you again, have a nice day.

    Yes - I think I can relate - lol
  • sun_fish
    sun_fish Posts: 864 Member
    I went to VS to buy some new stuff after losing weight, and couldn't get even eye contact with the sales staff after walking through the entire store twice. I even said excuse me to 2 employees, again not even eye contact, they just walked right by. And they weren't swamped with customers.

    So I took my business to Nordstrom's, and got fitted perfectly for a bra, and got some other stuff too. Excellent service there and now they will get all my business as I won't step into another VS again.
  • Kate7294
    Kate7294 Posts: 783 Member
    The Ladies in Belk usually do a fair job. I too would ignore the ignorance. I personally never liked the VS bras. Straps are to far apart, and always fall off my shoulders. Of course I still have this problem quite often. It's hard to keep straps tightened enough ( satiny material).
  • Liftng4Lis
    Liftng4Lis Posts: 15,150 Member
    I am so sorry that happened to you. Obviously weird = I don't know what the hell I'm doing. Do you have a Macy's or Nordstrom's? People on commission tend to be a tad more tactful as they inevitably make more money.