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Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

More Rudeness-East Coast style

In Uncategorized on March 28, 2009 at 9:34 pm

March 27, 7:45 PM, Closing Time….Almost

I’ve already turned off the lights and I’ve got my keys in hand, when the phone rings.  It never fails-someone always knows to call at the very last second possible, just when you’ve already shut your mind off for the day.  It’s like clockwork. I wish my lottery numbers were this reliable.

I drop my purse and run to the nearest phone to answer.  An irritable sounding woman with a heavy New York accent starts to speak before I’ve even finished my greeting.

“I’m looking for an Allure dress in Brides magazine. It’s the May/June 2009 issue, and I need a price on the dress.”

“Ok, and what’s the style number of the dre–?”

“There IS no style number in the magazine.” She adds “And DON’T tell me to go on their website!”

Hmmmm. Most designers don’t give you the style number of the dresses they advertise-they want you to go to their website so you can browse through the rest of the dresses until you find the one you’re looking for. Sounds like this woman already talked to another bridal shop, maybe several.

She continues. “I’m just going to describe it to you.”  She begins giving me a detailed description of the dress-the cut, the fabric, the way it doesn’t fit right on the model in the picture…while the whole time my mind is screaming “We have over 1,000 gowns in here-are you really going to expect me to know which one you’re looking at by your description?” I still can’t get over the fact that brides will actually call and expect us to know a dress just by describing it, completely oblivious to the hundreds of bridal gown designer and thousands of dresses currently out there. It must be nice living in their simple little world.

I let the woman finish so I don’t appear rude. “Well,” I start. “It doesn’t sound like a dress we have in our salo-”

“Well the magazine says you do!” She’s flat out yelling at this point.

“Ma’am, that’s an advertisement-they just list the salons that carry their line. It doesn’t mean that we have every single dress that they make.”

She lets out an annoyed sigh. “Are you by a computer?” she demanded.

“Yes.” I know what she’s going to ask next.

“Then go on their website and see if you can find the dress on there.”

I sigh. “Ma’am, they have over 500 dresses on their website. I can’t go through them one by one-”

“Just forget it!” I can already feel her voice fade away as the receiver moves from her mouth to the phone’s cradle.

SLAM! She hangs up.

I hold the phone in my hand, listening to the dial tone, already feeling my anger starting to build.

“Asshole BITCH!” I slam the phone into the cradle. My mind starts shooting off thoughts like electrical impulses, firing off in every direction, with more than one thought/comment/insult running through my mind at the same time.

Really? That’s how it is? This is how conversations take place in your world?  I can’t help you so you talk down to me like scum and hang up the phone when I’m proven useless in to you? So you behave like an ignorant moron? And what, you just had to do it on my way out too, huh? You couldn’t have called me in the morning, or in the afternoon-you just had to wait until the very last second, with my hand on the door to call me with your ignorant, rude, insolent behavior, just so you could purposely keep me angry the rest of the night, asking myself what happened to the civilized brides we used to have. The ones that had manners, and respect, and kindness, and would be horrified if they ever caught themselves acting the way you just did. And you, you probably don’t see anything wrong with your behavior. It’s completely normal to you, isn’t it?!?

I grab my purse, lock the doors, and stomp across the parking lot to my car, the last one left.  I don’t even hear the radio because I’m muttering to myself the entire way home, now thinking about all the other annoying phone calls, insults, or arguments that brides have brought up in the past.  Which is common when you’ve been in this business too long. One little thing that sets you off will bring up years of old memories of bickering brides you’ve worked with, some of which you haven’t thought of in years. But that’s all it takes.

I realize that I’m already in my driveway. My heart is beating furiously, like it usually does when someone gets me riled up. I try to force the bad thoughts out of my head, already trying to forget the conversation, the idiot on the phone, the way she acts like she knows more than I do…yeah, and the way she thinks she can behave any way she pleases…oh, and the way she kept yelling and demanding and…damn it! I’m doing it again!

Eh, maybe I’m just too sensitive.

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Attn Bridal Salons-Discount Websites to Watch Out For

In Tips for Bridal Salons on March 26, 2009 at 10:43 pm

A bride I’ve been working with called me this morning and told me that she had found the dress she was planning on purchasing from us cheaper on a website that she had come across. She emailed me the website and asked if I could match their price. I went to this website, http://www.topbridaldress.com, and discovered that they make exact replicas of well known designers. What’s disturbing is that their basically selling the dress at our cost prices. And I’ll tell you, from the pictures I saw, it was damn hard to tell the difference between the original and the fake (especially when they take the picture directly from the designer’s website-an act that’s prohibited by the way). And to the average bride, especially the budget conscious, I doubt they’ll be able to notice-or care-for that matter.

Alfred Angelo #1516 Their price: $319.99. MSRP Price: $849.95

Maggie Sottero “Sabelle” Their price: $623.99. MSRP Price $1560

Salons, contact your sales reps immediately and let them know about this website. Times are hard enough as it is-someone should have told these websites not to sh** where they sleep. Websites like these think they can cut out the wholesaler and the retailer and go directly to the source.

Here are some other websites that may be competing against you:

http://www.topbridaldress.com (replicas)

http://www.bestbridalprices.com

http://www.discountbridal.org

http://www.houseofbrides.com

http://www.cheap-wedding-gowns.com

One of our brick and mortar competitors was constantly selling designer gowns for ridiculous prices on her website, despite that the fact they they were violating the strict MSRP policies from that designer about discounting dresses. After some hassling (and lost sales) from our end, we were able to convince our sales rep to talk to the right people, and they ended up pulling the line from that store. We’ve also had the same luck with a few other vendors who didn’t realize what kind of websites were out there until we opened their eyes.

Hopefully websites like these will fade away over time (or head into a nice bankruptcy like Bridesave.com!), but we have no way of telling how much business they’re taking away from us in the meantime. If you know of any other websites I haven’t mentioned, email me and I’ll add them to my list.

Customer Service, at your service

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Employee: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I’m just looking.”

Employee: “Ok, what type of dress are you looking for?”

“Oh, just a dress.”

Employee: “Ok. when is the date of the wedding?”

Customer: “I’m just looking for a dress. Is this not the right place to look for a dress?!?”

She walks away, intent on finding a dress Ms. Independent-style.

Half an hour later, the customer walks to the front desk and put a bridesmaid dress down by the register.

“I’d like to purchase this dress.”

She picked a sample dress.  One that we have to special order.

“I’m sorry ma’am. You can’t buy this dress. It’s a sample. If you want it, you have to order a new one in the size and color of your choice.”

“Ok, then I’ll order it.”

“All right, when do you need the dress by?”

“In two weeks.”

“I’m sorry, the dresses take 12-16 weeks to make.”

A long, exasperated sigh. Followed by a snippy “Well, why does it take so long?”

“Ma’am, these dresses are made overseas before they are shipped to the US.”

“I don’t understand.”

“All wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses are all made overseas. They’re cut to the size and color you choose. The dresses are basically made to order.”

She slams her purse on the counter to look for her keys.

“Well I wish someone would have told me this when I came in!”

Running of the Babies

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2009 at 8:41 pm

A cry is heard in the distance. The sound of an impatient child. Another cry is heard, this one a little closer. As if the children are communicating in their own code.

Cut to Monday morning, 11:30 AM, a bridal salon already packed with brides, bridesmaids wanting to place their orders…and babies. Lots and lots of babies. As if everyone knew to bring their children in at the same time, on a Monday no less.

Where am I? Hiding in the back room, pretending to do some tedious and necessary work, but all I’m doing is trying to block out the shrill piercing screams of these babies, whose mother thought it was a perfect place to bring their little newborns.

My name is paged over the intercom. Curse the receptionist for forcing me to leave my hiding spot!

I reluctantly make my way to the front of the store. I greet the bride waiting for me. Her friend is carrying a child. Of course.

“Hello, My name is–”

A piercing scream erupts from the baby. One of those screams that chill you to the core, as if their scream/howl was a razor blade that someone just shoved through my ears. This is going to be a loooong day.

………

2:00 PM.

The crying and screaming and running around and fingerprints on mirrors and a trash can full of diapers was quieting down. Short conversations from other coworkers are overheard. The receptionist is complaining that she had to watch the front door because one girl kept trying to run outside into the parking lot. Her mother was too busy trying on bridesmaid dresses for the bride, forgetting her daughter all in the process, or maybe purposely leaving her in the hands of the receptionist.

Another coworker complains of how she found a 2 year old in our breakroom, who had someone found a stash of chocolate belonging to another coworker.

And my baby experience of the day? The bride I was working with got so fed up with her own child, who kept running out of the room as she walked out in a new dress. Instead of watching over her child, the bride decided to lock the baby in the room, so she could concentrate on her dress more. Immediately after shutting the door, the baby would erupt into a continuous stream of long cries. I look over at the bride, whose face is as calm as can be, completely uncaring to the desperate screams of her child, trapped in the room like a dog. Does she care that her daughter is 2nd place to a bunch of wedding gowns? Apparently not. Does she care that it’s annoying the other brides in the store? If she does, she’s doing a good job of not showing it. Finally, my bride narrows down her choice to one dress, so she makes an appointment for tomorrow. Hopefully, the baby will teach her mom a lesson tonight for keeping her trapped in the room for 2 hours.