Where I Triumph Over A Retail Employee

About once every six months or so, I have a bra that abruptly goes on strike; it simply refuses to lift and separate, the magical cupping ability dematerializes, and I’m left with unexpected boob-sag. This morning, I knew I was wearing a lingerie time bomb when my underwire somehow sifted and forcefully contorted my entire left breast. At first, my boobie was merely facing due east, but then it morphed into a vaguely elliptical and oddly extended version of its natural self. It was all very tribal. Plus, I was pretty sure the sudden Africanistic-realignment indicated an impending bra fail. Sure enough, just before lunch, the underwire broke through the actual bra fabric and began migrating towards my armpit. It felt like the boob equivalent of a wedgie. But with chafing. I had an afternoon client meeting and I suspected that repeatedly reaching into my shirt to shift my boob away from the pokey wire would be frowned upon by Lawyerly Big Boss. In an effort to forestall accusations of office masturbation, I made an emergency lunch run to Victoria’s Secret.

Initially, the bra buying mission was straight forward. I went in, grabbed a Body Bare from the drawer labeled with my size, and purchased. Then I asked the cashier if I could pop back to the dressing room and switch out my undergarments. In no uncertain terms, the cashier told me that wasn’t happening. But somebody higher up the retail food chain was standing next to her; that person, having heard my request, gave me permission. As I scurried to the fitting rooms, I could hear the clerk getting a lecture on “reasonable requests” and “appropriate customer service.” Anyway, once I was in a stall decked out like a high-class French bordello, I took the tags off my new underwire-secure bra and started to suit up. Except when I closed the hooks, the thing was so tight it cut off all circulation below the braline. And after I put the straps over my arms, I realized my gargantuan tatas weren’t filling out the cups. Clearly, this thing didn’t fit properly.

Off it came and I checked the size tag: 32DD. About four inches too small and one “D” too big. Sighing, I put on my unsupportive, original bra and went back to the checkout. I explained to the snarky salesgirl that the bra had been mis-stocked, therefore I had mistakenly purchased lingerie which was aerodynamically designed for Barbie, but I still had the tag and would like to make a switch for an actual human sized version. The salesperson sneered at me and refused to take the bra back, citing the tag-less nature of the undergarment. With a sign, I pointed to the tag reattachment gun thingy sitting between us on the counter.

Me (just short of eye rolling): I work part-time in retail. I know what that device is for.

Salesperson (in a snotty tone that conveyed her new-found love of rules, even the stupid ones): We don’t take back items with no tags.

Me (knowing that smacking her outside the head would get me nowhere, so trying reason instead): Since you rang me out, I’m sure you are aware of the time line at issue. But just in case, let me recap: I purchased this three minutes ago, I had the thing on for less than ten seconds, it never left the store, I have the tags and you have the tag reattachment device two inches from your hand. I’m pretty sure the item is still sanitary and suitable for resale. So, would please let me do an exchange?

Salesperson (reveling in her retail power): No.

Me (eyeing the tag reattacher): OK, fine. But in the alternative, would you please do me a favor and close your eyes for the count of 30?

Salesperson (all suspicious): Why?

Me (about to request managerial intervention): Two reasons. First, because there is an obvious solution to this which does not involve me berating you at a loud volume or telling your manager what I think of you right now. And second, because I asked nicely.

Shockingly, she shut her eyes. Shaking my head at the absurdity of the entire situation, I reached out my hand, grabbed the re-tagger and restored the Barbie bra to its original tagged form.

Salesperson (eyes still shut but counting at warp speed): 27…28…29…30.

Me (as soon as she opened her eyes): Hello! I would like to exchange this bra for a more appropriately sized version. As you can see, the tags are on it, I have the receipt and I have a chest that’s not a 32DD. Would you like me to provide proof of US Citizenship and two forms of picture I.D. as well?

If the manager hadn’t walked up at that exact second, I suspect the salesgirl would have told me exactly where to shove the Barbie bra. Probably with illustrative diagrams.


25 Responses to “Where I Triumph Over A Retail Employee”

  1. lacochran Says:


    You have more patience than me. No doubt helpful in your line of work.

    I would have just gone right to the manager and the heck with Ms. Snotty.

    Did I mention that I secretly enjoy reattaching tags?

  2. bethie Says:

    You’re a hero to us all.

    I consider it a public service, really…

  3. Rachel Says:

    You are my hero.

    Pink puffy heart!

  4. Maxie Says:

    You are seriously my hero. This story could only be better if you had smacked her in the freakin head. what an idiot!

    Sometimes I wish hitting people wasn’t assault. I really, really do.

  5. flipflopsintherain Says:

    oh. my. god. I think you should write a letter to corporate. Mostly cuz I want to read it, though.

    I can do better. I know people who WORK at corporate!

  6. deutlich Says:

    Oh MAN that woman sounds horrendous

    Actually, it was strangely fun.

  7. J.M. Tewkesbury Says:

    If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now: You are a Goddess. When I grow up, I want to be just like you. That clerk got what she deserved.

    OK, to celebrate my ascension to deity status, I am now going to demand that everybody refer to me as Her Worshipfulness.

  8. spencer Says:

    this target is a little to easy, especially with your insider info


  9. lyssabits Says:

    Bwahahahah. As someone who’s worked in retail, I cannot believe that she wouldn’t just return your damn thing. Then again, it’s possible they never let me learn how to ring for a reason… 😉

    So is that why I’m never scheduled on the register these days….

  10. Where I Triumph Over A Retail Employee « Who Invented Roses | igotmines.com Says:

    […] Where I Triumph Over A Retail Employee « Who Invented Roses […]

  11. Laina Says:

    You know, I bet you could do piercings with the tag reattachment thingy…just sayin’.

    You can do a lot of nifty things with them. I’ve had 4 hours register shifts before and that’s plenty of time for experimentation.

  12. [F]oxymoron Says:

    I’m guessing neither a boob wedgie or quality sales people are a part of Victoria’s secret… or are they?? 🙂

    It’s their new marketing strategy..

  13. Fattylumpa Says:

    Ummmm, this is PRICELESS.

    I can’t believe you actually did this. You are my new hero.

    The only way it could be better is if you did this while wearing a snuggie and making microwaved cake in a cup 😉

    Microwaved cake in a cup? I can cook that!!!

  14. PQ Says:


    She should try working at KMart customer service…

    Good for you 🙂

    Or Wal-mart.

  15. Gilahi Says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Photos. All of these blogs should be accompanied by photographic evidence.

    I’ll try to get better about the camera phone. I promise.

  16. Celia Says:

    To be fair: I have had managers call me the next day at 9 in the morning to ask why I took back a certain item, why did I do that credit, or what was I thinking when I did this-that-or-the-other-thing. It never makes sense, and I always wished to God that I could do whatever it was without getting written up .

    I get that. After all, I still work in retail part time. But she could have easily explained that it was not a rule she could change and would I like to speak with a manager for the final say?

  17. suz Says:

    I think I just fell in love with you a little.


  18. areyoureallyalawyer Says:

    Hehehehe. The only think I can think of that would have been funnier is if you had reattached the tag and attached the whole works to her shirt sleeve. 😛

    Oh, I wish I had thought of that!!!!!!

  19. freckledk Says:

    Such moxie you have! That’s like something out of a Kate Hudson movie.

    Really? I see it as played by Reese Witherspoon.

  20. prettylittletangents Says:

    Awesome Awesome Awesome. I wish I could think that quickly when faced with similar situations. I can’t believe she actually shut her eyes! You must teach me this Jedi mind trick, my friend!

    It’s all about the eyes.

  21. f.B Says:

    I really, really like when forcibly being a jackass fails. What did she *think* was going to happen when she closed her eyes?

    I’d miraculously vanish into a puff of blue-colored smoke?

  22. zipcode Says:

    This is becoming one of my new favorite blogs. Thats weird about the tag policy – that must be new – I was an asst manager there many moons ago.

    I think it was more her personal tag policy. She didn’t like me much.

  23. Kevin Says:

    The last two times I went to VS were interesting because I was buying for two completely different women – a 32A-ish and a definite 36C. I have to say the associates were very helpful in helping me manage my expectations. Of course, two different guys are now enjoying those gifts. I hate that.

    That’s very, um, studish behavior…

  24. Laura Says:

    Oh Snap!

    Get it….bra….snap…your bra snapped, and you can snap a bra strap. *snort*

    *shakes head*

  25. emma Says:

    Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

    I’m going to now find one of those guns and start practicing.

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