Shopping is not Jenga. Sure, it can be a balancing act – I mean, who has time for endless browsing when you’re juggling work, school, family, relationships, and budget all within the constraints of a stopwatch – but it’s still not Jenga.
With that being said, it’s time to talk about stacks of clothes, how to approach them, when to accept help, and when to ask for it.
Most stores – for men and women – have tables displaying some of their newest stock. You’ll often see these pieces accented on mannequins so you can preview how they look when they’re not neatly folded (if only they looked that good on you, right?).
When you approach a table, look around to see if these items are displayed so that you don’t have to pick up a shirt and attempt to refold. If it’s not displayed, then you have the go-ahead to hold the shirt (sweater/pants/scarf/etc.) up. If you think you’re going to buy it or try it on, attempt to find your size before you mess up more than necessary.
If you can’t find your size without destroying the folded clothes, simply ASK. In all honesty, employees would rather you take a second of their time asking for their help as opposed to using 30 minutes of their shift refolding the pile you just knocked over.
A lot of the time, an associate will offer you help while you browse. Instead of raising your hackles thinking her motive is to MAKE YOU BUY THINGS, relax and accept the help graciously! The employee’s motive is simply making less work for herself in the long run – and trying to help you, of course. (By the way, you’re the only one with a credit card, purchasing power, and the power to make decisions so CHILL; no one can force you to do anything you don’t want to do.)
One last thing I never understand, is why people try and fold things but the wrong way. If you’re going to take your time to refold the article you picked up, look at the way the rest are folded. Contrary to (apparently) popular belief, folding it incorrectly is not better than leaving it in crumpled mess: it’s still wrong. Give the item back to an associate, refold it properly, or just walk away from the table.
This is mainly a concern for young adult and adult clothing stores. When you are walking into a “youth” retail store, all rules are off the table for etiquette since the clothes are usually messed up before you get there.
All of this just leads back to thinking of others. If I do this thing, who does it impact? Positively or negatively? Remember, most retailers’ employees no longer work on commission. These minimum wage masters aren’t directly impacted by whether or not you make a purchase, but they are impacted by the state you leave their store in.
This isn’t a game of Jenga. When you knock over a tower in Jenga, you lose the game. When you make a mess of a store, the thing people witness you lose is your manners.