I used to sit on the 21st floor. Now I am retired

Monday, August 14, 2006

Snooty Labels

Friend Truth had been wanting to buy a Versace shirt for some time now. We had told him that he was a seeker of glamour and thus wanted to. He said no. He wanted to because he had been wearing fake Versaces since childhood and he couldn't resist now that Versace was in India.

Last Monday, he came back with an expression which was part incredulous and part humbled. This is apparently what happened.

Truth with two others enter store. They find a shirt which looks like a old shirt sold in the Anjuna flea market. They obviously know that this would be way out of their range. They check the price tag just to make sure. 26000 it is written in small bold letters. Which is more than the per capita income in the country.

Not wanting to concede defeat they call the sales assistant.
"Don't you have any formal shirts?"

The sales assistant looks at their sneakers, their Nike T-shirts and Levis jeans with disdain. Putting on his tired look, he sighs and says,
"Versace has three lines. Line 3, which is casual wear, is what is selling here. Line 1 has formal wear. However, that may be little too expensive for India."

Snooty behaviour such as this is a part of the overall value proposition of a few retail brands in the country. Be it Italian fashion labels, or elite restaurants, their appeal is based on a sense of exclusivity which general bad behaviour is guaranteed to bring.

And if the forbidding exteriors (I remember a dark dimly-lit exterior marked by a narrow solid wood door in a particular Italian-label shop in a mall), the frowning security guard and the price tags weren't good enough for that, they have these shop assistants from hell.

In case you don't believe all of this, or in case you, like Silbil, want to uncover salacious details on my life, here's another Miss Snooty.


Blogger silbil said...

thanks for that allegation on me early in the morning :)
i am a wannabe writer so gossip is my modus operandi...don't you agree

and i am totally with you on this snooty sales assistants ...
i have had one annoying experience in marks and spencers at phoenix...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006 11:51:00 PM

Blogger Aqua said...

i wonder if the shop assistants are trained to sniff out and keep out the "riff raff" who have entered the store just for some perfumed airconditioning :) tee hee!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 1:35:00 AM

Blogger silbil said...

about snooty places and all,
i went to mainland china last night...it's not terribly expensive but my bosses are the typically blood sucking capitalists (or so i like to believe) so for me and my flat mate (who earns even less than me) it was a big deal!!!
anyway we ordered, ate had great food and then called the menu again for dessert...we both wanted different things, and we just looked at each other with a like a bit of hesitation (we anyway had gone over the budget), we decided to order both ...the waiter leaned over and said " madam if you don't mind, shall i bring half portions of both so it's not that expensive'
and we were not offended,hurt or embarassed, i thought it was very sweet and thoughtful of him...
so even if these snooty assitants want to tell us something they can totally say it in a non offensive way!!!
in my office boss's wife has a lackey who is more of a prick than my boss can even imagibne to be!!!
same thing for these salespersons!!!
as they say in hindi
"chai se to ketli zyaada garam hai"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 10:19:00 PM

Blogger corporate whore said...

I have had a snooty experience too, but i think it was more racist than snooty.

After a dusty bike trip to Jaisalmer, a punk of a curio seller actually refused to sell a tiny peice of metal to me saying "yeh aap logon ke liye nahin hain"

after a nice stay in a haveli in Jodhpur(dirt cheap actually, more dirt than cheap)
us to owner: "its a nice place, we will reccomend it to all our friends"
owner to us: " no please dont, we prefer foreigners"

Thursday, August 17, 2006 3:41:00 AM

Blogger silbil said...

@corporate whore...that must have hurt but i think both the men had more of financial reasons than racist...
the gujju women and the kashiri man at Janpath, delhi always are so rude to us for that reason.

Thursday, August 17, 2006 5:10:00 AM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Silbil, yes, they are bastards. I remember them looking me up and down when all they have to sell is stupidly overpriced misshapen woolen jumpers (epitome of English fashion, though, that they are) and polycot shirts.

Aqua, I think they are. Plus, they have sales targets of 1 suit a month, so don't really care whether footfalls increase or not.

Silbil, that's sweet. But how did the boss's wife's lackey come in?

Corp Whore, the second incident sounds more like a part of a stand-up routine.

Thursday, August 17, 2006 6:46:00 AM

Blogger silbil said...

i am such a sexist i tell you...boss's wife also was working here as a consultant... so this guy who was his assistant sort of the things believes that he owns the place...
he elavates snootiness to another level!

Friday, August 18, 2006 12:34:00 AM


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