Home Depot and Sephora blend together

Since Sarah kept complaining about Amy using her desk, I dragged Sarah’s old desk out of the garage so that Amy could have a desk of her own. The desk has been in storage for several years and I had forgotten it was multiple pastel colors. Pastel green, yellow and purple are fine for a nursery, but the girls room is teenage funky. I knew that one of the desk colors would be the same raspberry sherbet as their walls. The second color was found on one of Amy’s hair bows. A bright, cheery turquoise blue paint was needed, so I headed to Home Depot before afternoon carpool time. If I go to Home Depot with Doug, I am the invisible consumer. If I go alone, I must look like a complete dimwit who is incapable of buying a hammer and nails. I was asked if I needed help twice before I even reached the paint department. I was barely to the wall of paint chips when a third employee offered assistance. I held out my small child’s turquoise hair bow that was covered in clear sequins and told the employee I was just looking for paint the color of the bow. The man’s shoulders dropped several inches and he shouted out a name that made employee number four magically appear. “She wants paint that matches THIS thing.” The newest helper shook his head a bit and pulled out his radio to call in employee number five. Employee number five was clearly the authority on paint mixing and he quickly took over the drama I had accidentally created. His reading glasses were on the tip of his nose and he studied the bow carefully before telling me to give him 15 minutes to work his magic. I walked a short distance away, not wanting to disturb the territory of yet another employee. After staring at paint brushes and tweeting to pass the time, I returned to the counter. The expert paint mixer held out a sample of the mix in one hand and the hair bow in another hand. He looked at me through his eyebrows to judge my reaction. As I smiled and thanked him, another female customer walked by us. “Oooh, that is SUCH a pretty color.” The expert rolled his eyes all the way into his head. I had to run away before I laughed out loud.

Yesterday, I took Sarah and her friend E to Sephora. I’ve heard the myths, but never braved the beauty mecca. It is everything that you’ve ever heard. There is no color or texture not represented in one of the many lines of makeup. The walls are lined with posters of beautiful people without body hair. Despite all the people trying the samples of powder based products, the store is immaculately clean. Sarah and E were crushed that they were completely invisible to the employees. I could understand them being given no more than one “can I help you with anything” if they were alone, but the employees should have known that when Mom is there too, a sale could be made. On the other hand, every single employee in the store offered to help me. I wandered the many aisles looking at the products not aimed at the under 30 crowd. There were names like – filler, putty, glaze and caulk. Young women just need a splash of any color or glitter and they’re beautiful. Adults are dilapidated shacks who need the kind of makeup they use in funeral parlors. I felt certain that if only I could spend a small fortune on the store’s “repair” products, I would look and feel ten years younger. Unfortunately, filler and putty for the house would be a better investment than spackle and grout for my aging face. The teenagers who were ignored, oddly enough, will be in there every time they have spending money. E and Sarah tried on so many different colors that they looked like peacocks. Thankfully, they didn’t have that hideous wrong foundation line along their jaws, but they had enough eye makeup to last all week. E repeatedly exclaimed, “My mother would kill me if I wore this” and whenever I questioned her the story would change to “Oh, she lets me wear any makeup I want.” I suspect the truth lies somewhere between the two statements. I did refuse to buy one line of products in the store on the grounds that, “If you can’t say it without giggling, you are not mature enough to wear it.” Since I can say it, I think I deserve some though.

3 thoughts on “Home Depot and Sephora blend together

  1. I myself have been ignored about the half the time I shop in Sephora. The other half I’ve been fawned over. I don’t know why there’s a difference in treatment–same store, same kind of wardrobe(“just left the office” look) and even sometimes the same employees! That said, I always bemoaned Knoxville retailers’ complete lack of customer service. My mother would explain it by saying that so many of the employees were just college students and weren’t being adequately trained but the longer I lived there, the more I saw that wasn’t always the case.

    It happens because you have NO OTHER CHOICE. They’ll roll out the red carpets for you when you shop in Dallas (highest number of stores per capita than anywhere else in North America) because they ALL know–down to the newbie teenage floor assistant–that if they don’t treat you well, you’ll walk right next door and spend your money there.

    Knoxville can’t say that and they know they can’t. They (retailers) behave accordingly.

    It’s too bad, really. We let them get away with it too. I boycott Ann Taylor for this reason, but I doubt they are aware of that fact. πŸ™‚


  2. Why would Sephora employees ignore YOU? You are their target customer – young and attractive. That’s just wrong.

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