Most of my readers do not live in Nashville, but I’m sure we can all appreciate the frustration one feels when they’re treated poorly by a retail establishment, have the cojones to actually complain about said rude treatment, and then the store adds fuel to the fire by acting all “whaaah I’m the real victim here!”
Such is what happened to my friend Tina, whose daughter consigned some clothes at the shop FLIP on 8th Avenue South. Here’s the exchange; let me preface all of this by saying that in this day and age, when there is some real shit going down in places like Charleston, S.C., calling for the fainting couches over a comment about hipsters is pretty lame all the way around. Get over your damn selves. You’re not all that special.
So here’s the set-up: In an effort to teach teenage daughter the value of a dollar, parents tell her to consign her cast-offs. Kid goes to FLIP and is ignored for an hour by rude and snotty sales staff. Store eventually takes a few items to consign, then when the family is out of town, store owner emails to say there are more rejections and they need to be picked up right now or they’ll be thrown in the trash. So mom does what anyone would do: begs for more time. They’re out of town, duh.
What follows is hilarious.
Good morning! Due to having minimal space for storing these rejected items, we can sometimes allow for minimal exceptions but we don’t currently have the excess space to store these items through the end of the month. The good news is we do allow a friend or family member to come pick up these items so we will need these to be picked up by their expiration date which is end of business 2/23. There are 2 items to pick up…a dress and a top.
All the best,
Note repeated use of the word “minimal.” They don’t have room to hold onto a dress and a top until the family is back in town, got it? It’s minimal at Flip. Or maybe they just couldn’t be bothered. You decide.
Here’s Tina’s response:
Thank you for always being so nice in your rejection of my daughter, her clothes and her requests. You guys are ALWAYS polite with your communiques.
The good news for you is that Camilla’s brother picked up her items and in doing so, also picked up several bow ties, therefore increasing your bottom line. The bad news is that we won’t be bringing Camilla’s clothes to your shop any more. After she waited for nearly an hour to get attention when she brought in her clothes (albeit with an apology) and you couldn’t wait a few days for her to get back in town, I just don’t see the benefit in working with this entity any more.
I know that you will continue to grow in your business and that it will be successful. You’re smart and you know your market. We’ve just been around too long to be swept up in the whole rude, hipster vibe.
This mom rocks. Wish she’d been my mom, for sure. What happened next, as the saying goes, will blow your mind. The shop owner emailed back. He was, shall we say, in high dudgeon over her “rude, hipster vibe” comment. Read on:
After reading your email below, there are several things that need to be addressed but what I’m most concerned about is your lack of sensitivity. To hear you disparage hipsters is very disappointing. We have come so far as a country but comments such as the one you made below unfortunately show we still have such a long way to go.
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Back to the email:
For the last 4 years, Flip has partnered with a company called Diversity Builder (link below) and as you can assume by the name of their business, they work with clients to help foster a culture of diversity and sensitivity. One way we work with them is to periodically provide them names of people we believe need to be educated on how not to disparage groups of people. Our board meets monthly to discuss topics such as this and during our next meeting, we will discuss your email and vote on whether you should receive this training.
Tina, I see you copied Camilla and Theodore. I’ve copied Mark, Holly and Kelley. They are all part of our board and it’s important they understand what has been said. Last but not least, I know you will continue to visit businesses and be a great but difficult client to deal with. I wish you the best in your endeavors.
Shorter: “We’re reporting you to the Diversity Police, beeeyatch!” Seriously, “we will discuss your email and vote on whether you should receive this training”? OMG is this like the FEMA re-education camps Michele Bachmann was warning us about? Yikes!
You know, when Nashville became “It City” I didn’t realize that we created an “It City Gulag” to re-educate those not already down with the hipster thing. Considering some redneck roared past my house with two ginormous Confederate flags waving from the back of his pickup truck on July Fourth, I’m going to guess that the It City Gulag hasn’t been created yet. Or else we missed a few folks in need of diversity training.
So here is Tina’s response. It’s priceless.
Thank you for that lesson on diversity. I honestly didn’t realize that hipsters were a mistreated, maligned and marginalized part of our society and I am ashamed. To think of the time I’ve wasted on the homeless, LGBT and special needs communities! Quite simply, I am afraid that I am beneath this esteemed company’s target market. My offspring, however stylish and — dare I say hipster — have the misfortune of being my progeny with my tendency toward the sale rack at Target and TJ Maxx. Obviously I am neither educated, nor am I urbane enough to understand the nuances of sensitive language toward the delicate sensibilities of a retail business that is as customer oriented as yourselves.
I do apologize for the frustration I exhibited after my daughter waited, ignored, for nearly an hour while seeking assistance in the shop. I am certain that her purple hair and six foot stature were intimidating and insensitive to the marginalized persons in the shop at the time. I understand why you would eschew her and it is certainly my deep regret that I ever questioned it. I also apologize for detailing my despair after learning that her rejected items would be lost after waiting two-and-a-half-weeks to hear from your establishment if they would be rejected or accepted. It certainly is my very own fault that we were in West Virginia helping my aging parents out as my mother received diagnostic testing in the form of a heart cath and I was frustrated that the store would not wait five more days for us to return. As I stated, it was just good luck that my son could pick up the items as well as several bow ties, therefore ensuring your profit margin and meeting your high expectations.
I shall breathlessly await the board’s vote to discover if I need diversity training. Will it be at the store? Will my 2004 Honda Pilot with Obama Mama, Coexist, Human Rights Campaign, “My Dog is a Democrat” and a quote from Margaret Meade be an embarrassment in your parking lot? I’m afraid I also will need a handicap spot, as I have a rather nasty autoimmune disease and can’t walk very far. Perhaps I should just take it online so as not to sully your fine establishment by my insensitive, overweight and thoughtless person.
Meanwhile, I will set aside today’s tasks of writing my congressman on the ignorance of open carry in light of two people being shot at the Fireworks event on Saturday and instead focus on getting to 12S and East Nashville to do community service and make up for my thoughtlessness directed toward hipsters. I am so very, very ashamed.
Poor hipsters. I mean … seriously. Who knew they should be a protected class? I guess when gay marriage got legalized nationwide we should have seen this coming.