The Artema (theartema) wrote in bad_service,
The Artema

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Sewing woes

I'm making two dresses for an upcoming convention, using early 60's vintage patterns that took me forever to track down. I already have my fabric and zippers purchased, but I dropped by Jo-Ann's after work for thread/seam binding/interfacing/belt buckle.

I manage to find most everything without an issue, at least until I get to the interfacing. Now, the last time I bought interfacing it was at a Hancock's that had a grand total of two choices: fusible or non-fusible.

Jo-Ann's had three baskets of interfacing, with close to a dozen bolts per basket. Oh, there was fusible/non-fusible, but there were also loads of different price points, different weights; differences abounded and I, for one, was a little intimidated.

So I go track down one of the ladies in the fabric department, my patterns in hand, and go for it- I succinctly explain my project, my fabric weight and ask for her opinion. Since, y'know, I trusted that her working around fabric constantly might have allowed her some insight into how it all worked.

She doesn't know. But! But she's going to ask the other girls. Okay, sure.

I overhear her telling the other two girls of my plight, only her question boils down to: "This lady wants to know the difference between the interfacing." No other details. One girl, wearing a pair of steampunk goggles on her head, looks bewildered, as though the mere thought of actually knowing about a product other than 'durp, it's over there' is a completely alien idea. The other girl's expression takes on a weird sort of smirk with a side of pity.


The second girl sidles over, shrugging lazily, and gives me the kind of look one might offer a child who's asked a dull question that's entirely beneath them to provide an answer for. She sidesteps me, offering me a wide berth, talking as she walks.

"I'm sorry," she says, in a tone that tells me she's not sorry at all, "But I dunno. I make my own patterns so I never have to use interfacing. Sorry." She then chuckles and flits away without ever having looked me in the face.

The other two girls are watching me carefully, and bustle away when I turn to meet their stares.

Inwardly, I seethe. What the hell. What. The. Hell.

I spot a bolt of fusible interfacing that's a medium weight, the right width and not ludicrously expensive, grab it, chuck it onto the cutting table and frown long and hard at Miss Bewildered.

"One yard."

She smiles nervously as she shrugs, offering me another pithy apology, which I return with a tight smile.

Interfacing cut, receipt given, I gather my things and make a beeline for the checkout counter.

And you bet your ass I complain.

Seriously, what the freaking hell? What kind of an assholic comment is that to make? 'I make my own patterns', well BOY OH BOY I didn't realize I was standing in the shadow of Coco bloody Chanel herself, jfc. Her claim that she didn't have to use interfacing because of this fact aggravated me even more as even I, a relative sewing n00b, still understand the value of interfacing parts of your damn garment so it's not a floppy, structureless mess.

The lack of product knowledge just floored me, too. As a former retail sales manager, I would have been sorely tempted to light my associates on fire for brushing off a customer's questions and demonstrating a lack of product knowledge like that.

I'm almost tempted to call later today and get my hands on the store manager. I did speak with an assistant last night, but it had to be brief since I had to hurry home. One employee's rudeness I can brush off, but three not knowing an important part of the section they work in? Screw that noise.


I got a hold of the store manager a minute ago, who was very pleasant and agreed with me that the girl's behavior was unprofessional and apologized for the shenanigans. She was also surprised and skeptical of the associate's claim about not using interfacing, heh. The fabric counter will be getting some retraining on how to address a customer's questions when they don't have the answers.

I was offered "compensation" for my troubles, but I politely turned it down. So, management there is absolute win.

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