The Case Against Infinitely Drinking Age*

*The names have been changed to protect the stupid.

I need your help with this one. Here’s the situation:

While doing some Easter shopping a couple of months ago, I stop in a store that we’ll call “Infinitely Drinking Age”.  Some might argue that I’m too old to shop in this store, since I’m actually drinking age plus a decade. But then I would argue that Infinitely Drinking Age should stop tempting me with the cute jewelry on the mannequins in the store window. That’s what started all this.

As I walk past Infinitely Drinking Age on my way to a more age-appropriate store, (since I’m already unnecessarily protecting identities, we’ll call this store Schman Schmaylor Schmoft) I notice this kinda cute necklace on a mannequin. I go into the store in search of the necklace to get a closer look. I could not find it, so I ask a sales associate to help me. Together, we still could not find it, so I ask her if she could get the necklace from the mannequin in the window so that I could try it on. She says that she needs to get a manager, which she proceeds to do.

However, the girl that comes out to help me (and I call her a girl because she might be 11 years old…12 at best) turns out to not be a manager at all, but another sales associate. I later learn that the real manager was [allegedly] on her lunch break. Anyway, I ask her if she would get the necklace from the mannequin for me. She explains that they are not allowed to remove anything from their mannequins, per corporate policy. I explain to her that apparently, this was the only necklace of its kind left in the store, so trying on the necklace from the mannequin was my only option. She insists that she is not allowed to remove anything from the mannequin, regardless of the reason. So I explain to her that the point of a mannequin is to “model” items that the store SELLS to make a profit. I have never gone to a store where they weren’t HAPPY to disrobe a mannequin to make a sale because if the item stays on the mannequin, that is a missed sale and it DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF ADVERTISING…doesn’t it?? We argue for several minutes while I try to convince her to at least take the necklace off the mannequin to let me see it! Because if I don’t like it up close, there is no need in even continuing this “discussion” because I will not want to buy it anyway. She finally calls another associate who was about 5 years her junior (so yes, that makes him 6 or 7) to retrieve the necklace from the mannequin. But when the little boy climbs up in the store window he realizes that once he takes the necklace off the mannequin, whether to sell it or just to show it, he will be violating store policy. So he says “ma’am, can you get a good look at the necklace from where you are now?” NO. I CAN’T. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHY I ASKED FOR SOMEONE TO TAKE IT DOWN!  

By now, I’m extra-agitated and wondering why I didn’t just keep walking to Schman Schmaylor Schmoft. I never intended to stop in this stupid store anyway and I’ve been arguing with these kids for the last 20 minutes! But at this point, it’s the principle of the thing. So the little boy calls over a bigger little boy who claims to be an assistant manager. They take the necklace, write down the barcode, and check their system to see the next closest store that has one available. Turns out, an Infinitely Drinking Age ~10 miles from this one has the necklace. And they told me that the necklace was $8. I thought: (1) I will probably burn way more than $8 in gas driving to this next location and then back home, and (2) WHY DO I HAVE TO DRIVE TO ANOTHER LOCATION TO GET A NECKLACE THAT YOU HAVE RIGHT THERE IN YOUR HAND??! They write down the barcode for me so I can have it when I get to the next store or if I decide to buy it online. And then they take my phone number and say they are going to call me when they can confirm that the store their system identifies as having the $8 culprit, does in fact have it. Of course, I didn’t hold my breath for that call.

Because I was so caught off guard by the whole situation, I didn’t think to take a picture of the necklace the day I was in the store. But I recently saw these two necklaces pictured above (similar to the Infinitely Drinking Age necklace) in other stores and snapped a shot with my BlackBerry. It brought back not-so-fond memories of the earlier shopping experience…which leads me to why I need your help.

Has the proverbial statute of limitations passed…have I waited too long to write to the corporate office and question/dispute this alleged policy? Is my wanting to contact the company completely reasonable or over-reacting? What would you do? I need your suggestions! Share with me in the comments!

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About Magnet for Foolishness

Resident of the DMV…and my incessant thoughts. Always hungry. Comedy craver. Ice cream freak. Reality TV show junkie. Slightly opinionated. Rarely wrong. Part Lisa Simpson. Part Sue Sylvester. Part Meredith Grey. Renowned chef and baker…avid gardener…pet lover…sometimes liar. Effortlessly forgetful. Always hungry. Blindly hopeful. Easily embarrassed (NOT). Eerily observant. Searching for something. Disregarding parallelism. Chronically tardy. Ruthlessly impatient. Surprisingly affectionate. Unnecessarily long-winded.
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14 Responses to The Case Against Infinitely Drinking Age*

  1. Terica says:

    LOL! It is the “principality of the situation.” I would write to corporate about the policy because it is just plain stupid. What happened to “the customer is always right” or “customer service”?

    Like

  2. RP14 says:

    I think that the time probably has passed…but I also think you should still call. It will make you feel better and let them know that their policy is ridiculous!

    I think we have all had situations that come up and make absolutely no sense at all and when that happens it best to take it out on someone else

    Like

  3. Carmen Bellefant says:

    I think a letter is in order.

    Like

  4. stevebetz says:

    It’s pretty clear that the sales associates in stores aren’t really managed to sell, they’re managed to “expedite the shopping process” and if what you want to do goes outside the bounds of the shopping process, guess what? You’re hosed. I had a similar experience a couple of years ago at a store — let’s call it Blest Bly” (http://wp.me/pCyKM-3s) — dreadful.

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  5. You had me laughing–thanks! I needed a good laugh.
    Now, for your question…I don’t think there is a statutue of limitations on child labor laws or store policies that protect innanimate objects over customers. Write your letter. Better yet, borrow a mannequin from a second-hand store and go to the corporporate offices. Let the mannequin hand over the letter!

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  6. MissMiko says:

    I’m about a month late on this post (what you said you only post intermittently and I was on vacation!!!). I work part-time for a store, let’s call it “Safari Themed store that sells stuff for skinny white girls that you can get cheaper at it’s sister brand “Old Slavey”. But I digress. Our store policy is actually the exact opposite: If you can not readily find something in the store, strip that plastic breezy (the mannequin, not the customer) DOWN! Call corporate! Maybe you’ll get a gift card or whatnot!

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    • Hey, MissMiko! Thanks for reading and commenting. I did contact the corporate office and they confirmed that this stupid policy is, in fact, a policy. They did acknowledge that there was more that the sales associate could have done to accommodate me and that my suggestion to change that policy was being considered. I’m not holding my breath.

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  7. Shaneice says:

    Call corporate, simple. The point of upselling an item is to put it on the mannequin. If you want to buy it, you should have that freedom to do so, on or off the mannequin. When you said it was a younger store, I thought of Claire’s. However, they don’t have mannequin’s. You should’ve stuck w/ Ann Taylor. That is the name of the store, right? 🙂

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