12 July, 2014

Do You Have A Backbone?

Do you find yourself being enchanted into stores?
Do you jump at the sight of "SALE" signs?
Do you buy 3 for the price of 2, when you really only needed the 1?
Do you crumble at the sight of infomercials?
Did you answer yes to all the previous questions?

Then this is the blog post for you!

I am here to tell you, that you, have no retail backbone.

But don't worry, I am as hopeless as you are.
I am as naive, weak, and reckless as you when it comes to shopping.

I am the kind of person who has fallen for the compliments and smiles of the people who work at the pop up stores in Westfield. I am talking about those commission driven, compliment vomiting, manipulative Orcs who pump sales with their expensive products and weak targets.

A while ago now, I was innocently walking through Hurstville Westfield, on my way to meet up with my little sister. When all of the sudden a man wearing a huge grin and suave boots stopped me at his Seacret booth. I told him that I was not interested, but before I knew it we were talking about what skin type I had and I was plonked into a seat.

His comfortable nature and foreign accent lured me into that death seat:

"You are so beautiful..."

"Wow, you have amazing skin!"

"BUT if you could change ONE thing about your skin, what would it be?"

Me: ... I guess I have dry skin.

"Oh! We have the PERFECT product for you, just come sit down, it won't take long."

"Don't worry you can just see if you like it!"

And I suppose when he massaged the facial scrub on my hand and followed that by moisturising it with cream, my hands did feel quite smooth. I was actually almost convinced to buy it... until I heard the price. I remember being shocked stiff into that seat, unable to move. All together with the scrub and cream it would have made me roughly $200 or so poorer.

Now, this may not seem a lot to some of you. But for me, it was a lot. I already had saving problems (I still do in fact), I just spend, and spend and spend out of impulse and obligation. I told him over and over again that I could not afford it (and telling the truth I had just gone on a massive online shopping splurge and did not have the money to spend more that month).

After a little bit of fighting, I got my purchase down to just to facial scrub. Then he offered me a "discount" that he "hasn't given to anyone else"...

We all know that is bullshit.

I'm sure every other struggling deer like me was offered that hush hush price.

I knew that it was not a genuine favour, but I just couldn't walk away. I didn't feel like I could get out. I had gone too far. The point of no return. I knew I should have just lifted up my head, said no, and walked away.


Little by little I felt my soul drain from under me

Little by little I sank

Sank into my bag, reached for my wallet and took out...

               my card.

"Look. This won't make me any more richer, or make you any more poorer", he said.
But you see, deceitful man, it did indeed make me poorer. $100 poorer in fact.

Walking away from the booth with my head slumped and spirits low, the facial scrub snickered in the bag I held and my card might have shed a tear.

I honestly felt humiliated.

Humiliated that I was literally forced (pretty much against my will) to purchase a scrub that I didn't need. I couldn't even make myself return it. I just couldn't do it.

So now a year has passed, and I still have not come to the end of the scrub container. It sits on my table, all smug as it mocks me whenever I use it.

One day I hope to develop a retail backbone. To say no and to hold firm no matter who you might momentarily offend. Because when you shoot down those snipers, they will respawn within seconds and select a new target. It is your responsibility to take care of yourself, and get out of there! Do not put yourself in the same situation as me and get manipulated to the verge of tears, to buy products that are far out of your price range. I will learn how to fight back.

But for now, I have been avoiding that level in Westfield, I even have to run past the volunteer workers who lurk outside the station.

I do this because, I, Claire Jung, have no retail backbone.

From, Boneless Claire.


  1. Haha those people are the worst! I always pretend I'm on the phone when I walk past x

    1. That is such a good idea! I honestly get so scared