Snobby Manager Tells Customer To 'Sidestep Our Store' -- How 'Pretty Woman'
Retail clerks can be a snooty bunch, especially when they work in high-end shops. But it's rare for the snobbery to extend all the way up to management, who generally prize every customer that walks through the door.
Down under in Australia, however, it seems things are a bit different -- at least at one upmarket chain called Gasp. That's where Keara O'Neil went shopping for bridesmaids' dresses recently, at the retailer's shop in South Yarra, a trendy suburb southeast of Melbourne, only to be rebuffed by a sales clerk who chided O'Neil for her size 12 frame, the Herald Sun newspaper reports.
The sales clerk then further berated O'Neil as she was leaving the store, yelling, "I knew you were a joke the minute you walked in."
Distressed by the incident, O'Neil sent an email complaining to Gasp's customer service department, only to receive a reply from management defending the sales clerk's actions.
Referring to the Gasp employee as a "retail superstar," area manager Matthew Chidgey told the customer in his missive the only problem his clerk has "is that he is too good at what he does."
Chidgey's letter went on to say that people as talented as his clerk generally don't "tolerate having their time wasted, which is the reason you were provoked to leave the store." He further suggested that in the future O'Neil should "sidestep our store."
The email exchanges have since gained an extensive Internet audience that has reportedly resulted in Gasp having to shut down its Facebook page, following a deluge of negative comments concerning the incident.
Read O'Neil's letter as well as more of Chidgey's response in the Herald Sun story: Customer Complaint Email And Response By Gasp Clothing Goes Viral
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. Follow David on Twitter. Email David at firstname.lastname@example.org. Add David to your Google+ circles.more...