Oprah: Racial Profiling or Just Bad Customer Service?

All of this flap over Oprah's $38,000 purse made me pause and remember a similar incident I had in a store a few years back.

When I had first moved to the south side and had the money to do so, I went furniture shopping downtown on Michigan Avenue.

Let me be the first to say that I looked like a bag of ass.  Horribly dressed, might of had a kerchief on my head---not a stitch of makeup.

At that time, I didn't really like to get dressed to go shopping because I didn't want to get makeup or perfume on anyone's merchandise.  I simply wanted to be clean and comfortable so I could be energized to shop throughout the day.

Plus who was I trying to impress?  I'm there to spend money, not participate in a fashion show.

As I made my way up to the furniture department, I made careful mental notes of what was catching my eye and started making a list.

Once I got upstairs and started shopping it never occurred to me that none of the sales associates introduced themselves or offered to help me.  I like to shop in peace and the thought of some over eager sales clerk dogging my every move makes me break out in a rash.

When I finally came up for air, clerks were in abundance at the register.  They just all happened to be looking at me as if I had broken some unwritten rule.

At first, it didn't quite click that no one was going to help me, but after asking for help and have every last associate at the register suddenly become busy, the message soon became clear.

I was about to lose it on these Magnificent Mile assholes until another associate asked if she could help me.

She, like myself, happened to be black.

I'm sure she could see that I was frustrated with the situation and came over to at least ask me if she could be of assistance.

Fighting back tears, I asked her two questions:  Do you get bonuses for opening up credit accounts and are you on commission?

She answered yes to both.

I may have been a poorly dressed slob, but I was a poorly dressed slob with a bunch of money in her pocket and excellent credit.

I proceeded to purchase an upholstered couch, chair & ottoman.  As well as six dining room chairs, two buffets and hutches.

The best was watching the rest of those retail bitches jaws drop when my high credit limit was approved and I proceeded to make my associates' sales numbers for the quarter.

God, that was awesome.

So while I have no idea what happened in that store in Switzerland, I do know that horrible customer service happens to everyone at some point.

I'll never know if I was ignored because I was black or because I was poorly dressed or a combination of the two.

I do know that I taught some extremely rude people a lesson on judging a book by its cover and the power of the almighty dollar.

While I normally don't give folks the benefit of the doubt, sometimes bad customer service is just plain old bad customer service.

 

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