Intimate-apparel shoppers share intimate details
Brooke: "Shopping for lingerie is very different from shopping for corduroys. Undergarments are sexy and personal -- and clients are giving employees a peek into their personal worlds just by entering VS. The intimacy of the experience and the store makes people feel comfortable oversharing. Some women would describe the fantasies they wanted to play out with certain outfits, or give TMI medical explanations about why they can't wear satin 'down there.' Men would ask me my bra size ('You're built just like my girlfriend!'); I've seen guys buy bra-and-panty sets in two different sizes, ask for separate bags, and smirk at me because I was now in on their sordid affairs. It wasn't all bad, though. Some clients shared enriching stories about needing new intimate wardrobes after losing weight or surviving a battle with breast cancer."
They HAVE to berate you to open a store credit card
Julie: "Our managers would hover over us to make sure we asked every single person who entered our store, 'Are you shopping with your Angel Card today?' And if the client said 'no,' we had to push it three more times. It was awkward and pissed a lot of shoppers off -- I can't say I blame them. No means no!"
Brooke: "A lot of foreigners would agree to open Angel Cards after we sold them on all the coupons they'd subsequently get in the mail. Many of them didn't speak English and I'd wonder if they knew what they were signing up for. Not paying your bill on time can destroy your credit and it felt morally wrong to mislead people just to get our store numbers up."
There's a zoning policy (and hierarchy)
Brooke: "Contrary to popular belief, we aren't personal shoppers. But so many clients expected to be hand-held by the same associate as they perused six rooms' worth of lingerie. I recall one woman calling me rude for politely handing her off to another associate in the Sexy Little Things section, but I was just doing my job. Employees are trained to stay in our assigned zones to prevent shoplifting."
Julie: "There was definitely a hierarchy within zones. Employees with the highest sales numbers were put in the front of the store by the signature Body collection because it got the most foot traffic -- one time I was zoned there and got sent home early by my manager because my conversion rate was slacking. Being in the Pink room was exhausting -- you’d spend hours folding itty-bitty thongs, only to watch a client pillage the panty bar display looking for a size small when we only display mediums. The beauty room was boring because no one wants your help picking out perfume; I'd end up using all the makeup testers to pass the time."
Cassandra: "Working in the stockroom was my favorite. It was just a matter of organizing merchandise, checking out the new product, steaming silk robes, and best of all, not interacting with needy customers. Plus, we could snack, gossip, listen to music, and wear yoga pants [instead of the designated 90% black business suit dress code]."