It’s been a while since we hung out with and despised Liz Jones, but Samantha Brick is busy conjuring up the latest unbelievable amount of trip about men and being pretty and Bettina Ardnt hasn’t come forth with her latest lady-hating bile so I guess we’re stuck with poor old Liz.
This week Liz has her beady eyes on the high street. On shops and people who work in shops. Now I hate shiteful service as much as the next person who paid actual money for a thing and got treated like a twat but I get the feeling Liz’s standard border on the quite frankly do not exist category.
I had what could only be described as The Worst Meal Ever at a well-known winery restaurant. Luckily, I was reviewing it for a food guide and they have been kicked to the kerb and will no longer be able to put those stickers in their window proclaiming they are any actual good.
After being ignored for a good 15 mins, my friend flagged down a waitress and asked her what the fish of the day was. “YOUR waitress can tell you when she comes to your table”, we were snippily informed. We waited ages, the food was shit, OUR waitress laughingly told us she’d only just started and knew nothing about the very expensive menu, nor the wine and left us mostly gasping for booze. I had to order the dessert before the mains came so we’d have some chance of making it make to the city before dark. This is Bad Service. But Jones, who expects a Next employee should be able to give her fashion advice and tell her, off the top of her head, what material a skirt is made of, it a tool.
I worked at Next once. They have lots of clothes. And more come in every day. And when the label is within your grasp Liz, why don’t you fucking look at it and see what the damn thing is made of yourself? You’re not completely incapacited or fucking daft are you? And sorry, but you kind of deserve the derision the staff rightly give you. If you’d asked for it in a size 10 or queried “where are the sweaters?” then fine. But demanding some uni student know the precise wool/cashmere/polyester/mix of every goddman skirt in a highstreet store is ridiculous.
Please don’t feel I have a vendetta against this once- fabulous chain, given a week or so ago I criticised its womenswear. But, today, I’m in the Taunton branch of Next to put the staff to the test instead.
First impressions are not great: the store is a mess — clothes hanging half of the rails, untidy piles of sweaters, toppled shoes — while the staff stand around chatting to one another. YOU ARE IN DURING THE HALF_YEARLY SALE LIZ, IT’S CHAOS AND WE PUT UP WITH IT BECAUSE WE GET SIXTY PER CENT OFF.
There is no uniform, making the assistants hard to identify. THIS IS BECAUSE THEY ALL WEAR NEXT CLOTHING BUT HAVE BADGES IDENTIFYING THEM AS NEXT STAFF.
I stand in full view for about ten minutes, arms full of clothes, and not one sales assistant comes up to offer help or to show me to the fitting room, even though the store is almost empty. DID YOU HAVE MORE THAN SIX ITEMS LIZ? DID YOU?
I ask one young woman with laddered tights some basic questions: ‘What do you think would be good for a wedding this weekend?’ HOW WOULD SHE KNOW WHAT KIND OF WEDDING IT IS AND WHAT YOU SHOULD WEAR YOU MUPPET?
‘Um, I’ve no idea. It’s not really a good time with the sales on. Why not come back when we have autumn-winter?’ GOOD ADVICE
OK, something a little easier: ‘What is this skirt made of, and where was it made?’ OH FFS
‘I don’t know. Have you looked inside?’
Why should I do their job? IS THEIR JOB TO SHOW YOU THE LITTLE FUCKING LABEL FOR A $50 SKIRT? IS IT?
Sure, the girl could have treated you like the massive retard you are and said politely and preferably with a patronising tone: “I’m not entirely sure, shall we look at the label and see?”
Despite my ranting Liz, you’re still preferable to Brick and Ardnt, mostly because you’re annoying but kind of harmless and probably a bit mental. Loves…