Tag Archives: shopping

Stupid Sephora (Updated!)

22 Jan

January 22, 2016

sephora logo

I went to the Brooklyn NY Sephora store, located on Court Street. Sephora is a high-end makeup shop. I used to work in that area, but the store wasn’t there back then. Now I like wearing rouge and lipstick drinking beer and watching football as much as the next guy, but I’ve never been in any Sephora, anywhere, at any time. This was not my lucky day.

Beer and football. I totally meant beer and football.

Anyway, I went with Saarah to return something or other. A spray bottle of something that I think goes on your face after you apply the makeup to help it set. Makeup needs to set? News to me. I usually just apply some eyeliner and go. NO! I mean drink beer and watch football.

Saarah and I went in around 6:30 and it was pretty crowded, or so I thought. Saarah told me that it was actually empty compared to how it usually is. After some quick browsing we went to the counter to make the return. Saarah had been here before and wasn’t happy with the service. The associates know nearly nothing about their products but they know enough to push whichever brand they are getting paid to push.

SAARAH: I’m looking for something that hasn’t been tested on animals and doesn’t contain animal products.
TYPICAL SEPHORA ASSOCIATE: You should totally try this brand! It’s called “Bleeding Baby Sheep” and it’ll look awesome on you!
SAARAH: The label says “contains deer blood and puppy tears.” The label has a picture of a kangaroo with syringes in its eyeballs.

Anyway, with low expectations, we went to the register and were helped by an associate who shall remain nameless, not because I want to protect her identity, but because she wasn’t wearing a name tag. We ended up at this particular associate’s register because she called us over with a flat “next client.” Ever see the dull, glassy eyed folks behind the counter at the DMV? I’d have preferred one of them.

Saarah took out her return and put it and her receipt on the counter and said “I’d like to return this.” The cashier (I won’t call her an associate) said in a very, very nasty way “did you use it?” She said it as though we were trying to return a stained pair of underwear. Saarah said “no (the clear bottle was clearly full) and I have the receipt.”

The cashier never smiled, never said hi, and had a very nasty tone and looked at us with a frown the whole time. Was it because of me? Did she not like Saarah? A combination of both? Don’t know.

And don’t say she was having a bad day because in the middle of snarling at us, she looked over at the woman at the register next to us, and suddenly she lit up, smiled a huge smile, and said “oh my god I love your hat!” It was all sunshine and rainbows! Then she wiped the smile off her face and went back to sneering at us. She made the return, never said thanks or goodbye, and we walked away.

I was pissed and before I took three steps, said loudly to Saarah and within five feet of at least three associates “Damn she was nasty!” Saarah and I both kept complaining as we left the store.


After we walked out, we saw though the window someone who may or may not have been a manager. He was also not wearing a name tag, but he was wearing a nicer shirt than anyone else so we took a chance. Turned out he was an assistant manager. Good enough for us.

Saarah explained that she made a return and the cashier was nasty and rude.

And that is where everything turned sideways.


The manager had zero idea of what good customer service is. He started with the always wrong “what do you want me to do?” and then started asking totally ridiculous and irrelevant questions. The conversation went into odd directions. For example, the manager asked about Saarah getting makeovers, how often she redeemed coupons on the internet, what other stores she shopped at, even a long discussion of an associate who once helped Saarah but has since left.

My head was spinning like I was watching a strange 60’s pot cartoon.

At some points he was arguing with us. “Well, she had to ask if it was used.” The problem was not what she said, but the rude and nasty way she said it. (Saarah made this point over and over.) It was like the cashier thought we were mole people.

Saarah is not one to be led or pushed around, but even she was falling down this man’s weird rabbit hole. At one point the manager implied she only shopped twice a year and therefore was not deserving of good service. When Saarah said she was offered a free makeover but turned it down due to the bad service last time, the manager started implying that she wasn’t a good customer, that this was all her fault for not shopping there enough.

Saarah whipped out her Sephora VIP card and told her where she worked to intimidate him. It worked. He said “Let’s start over. My name is Gerald (Thanks for the correction, Saarah.) and stuck out his hand. Saarah shook it. Now the guy started off not too badly but defensively. At least he was almost on-topic. “Well I can only advise the associates. I can’t stand behind them.”

I was getting angry too. Remember, Saarah made the return, but I was right there with her and got the brunt of some of the glares and caught shrapnel from the cashier’s sharp attitude.

Around the point where the manager was talking about “but you said you shopped at other stores too” I took a step between them and said “I think we’ve gotten too far afield.” (I wanted to say “you’re an asshat tool” but I refrained. “The problem is that the cashier was rude and gave us poor service.”

I was a little loud and aggressive. He took a step back and, after a stutter or two, said something totally not helpful. Saarah asked his name again, simply to make the point that neither he nor the cashier were wearing name tags and that if he worked for her company, he could be fired. More stutters.

After an eternity that lasted at least six hours (four minutes, tops) we left with zero confidence that Gerald the assistant manager had the ability manage a dispute between a fly and a piece of stale bread.

So I will have to get my rouge and lipstick drink beer and watch football somewhere else.


And it keeps on going. This is Saarah’s story of her crazy Sephora experiences. She tells everything that led up to this nonsense:


You should also follow her blog Rants of a Brooklynite simply because it is that good.


Meanwhile, things got crazy on Twitter today. I was one of Sephora’s top tweets today! Too bad for them, as Saarah and I were blasting them all morning. I’ll be posting another blog about that craziness soon.




C’mon, Kohl’s. You can do better.

13 Jan

January 13, 2016


Right around Christmas Saarah and I found ourselves shopping in Kohl’s. That’s not a place I shop in during the best of times, but we were out, it was late, and the store was open 24/7 leading up to the holiday, so why not?

I’ll tell you why not.

I don’t care for Kohl’s because as good a deal as their “Kohl’s Cash” may be, it requires the cashier to take the extra steps of digging some out from a drawer, sticking it in the printer to be validated, then stapling it to your receipt along with the 3 or 4 other things that Kohl’s randomly staples to your receipt. (I swear they once stapled an old taco coupon to my receipt.) Now I know that this doesn’t sound like much, and yes, it only adds 30 seconds or a minute to the transaction, but multiply that minute by the 25 people on line ahead of you during the Christmas rush and you can see why I’m not too keen on it.

But that’s not the problem.

Saarah was shopping for clothes and I was doing what I usually do in these situations: carrying her bags. (I also may or may not have been stealing glances at all the boss Force Awakens merchandise, but that’s neither here nor there.) Anyway, there was a nice top on one of the mannequins that Saarah really liked, so we looked around and tried to find the rack they were on. I mean c’mon, of course the mannequin had to be near the rack of clothes it was displaying, right? Right?


So we kept looking and looking, moving further and further away from the display and totally coincidentally, I swear, nearer to the Force Awakens stuff. (“Hey, maybe the top is next to that Kylo Ren cookie jar.”) We eventually found ourselves almost, but not completely standing in the exact middle of the housewares department, two sections over.

And no, the top was not there either.


Well, faced with no alternative, we did what no man ever wants to do, but will grudgingly do when faced with one of Saarah’s disapproving stares: we asked an associate for help. It wasn’t clear, because the associate was very helpfully not wearing a name tag, but he may have been an assistant manager. I doubt he was a full manager because he was available on the floor, and by their very nature Kohl’s managers are not to be found. They are elusive. Combine the camouflage skills of a navy SEAL and the instinct for self-preservation of a lower primate and you have a Kohl’s manager. (I apologize to any Kohl’s manager who has read- or more likely, has needed this read to them- thus far.)

The best way I can describe him is: He was this guy:

And this was the reason we couldn’t find the top: The clothes on the mannequins are ones that they are out of. If they only have one left they put it on a display. He actually managed to say that as if it was logical and made sense.

So they are advertising clothes that they know they do not have.

I may have too much common sense, but it seems to me that really isn’t a good way to sell clothes. Nor is it a good way to make happy customers. All it makes is annoyed customers who can’t find the items they want. And in our case it makes customers into non-customers. Fed up, we left.

And no, I didn’t sneak back for the cookie jar.





%d bloggers like this: