So as most of the six of you know, I have a kickass job now. That said, it's rather labor intensive, as I have to generate forty article ideas per month, write up articles for each, and acquire photos for the posts. Often I take my own photos. Often I ask folks to recommend places they love here, so I can keep my ongoing list fresh and not miss places I haven't heard of before.
Toward that end, I was in yoga the other night, when I noted my friend was wearing some new yoga pants. She explained they cost a fortune, but that she'd been given a gift certificate to LuLuLemon, a chi-chi yoga clothing store on Sixth Street. I've been doing yoga for over a decade now and I practically live in yoga clothes, which also give me the added benefit of accommodating my ass, which has been growing lately courtesy of all the fancy restaurants I've been reviewing (another lovely part of my job). My friend noted that the service at LuLu is pretty kooky, that they rush the customers, gush over them, write their names on dressing room doors, etc. Intrigued, I figured I'd include the store for my next round of stories.
So I popped by today-- it's right behind Waterloo Records. When I walked in, two harried clerks were waiting on one woman, who interrupted her checkout to take a phone call. Though she stepped out of the store to yap, the clerks ignored me and ignored me. Then the woman came back in, decided she didn't want her purchases after all, prolonging my wait. When she was at long last finished, one clerk turned away, while the second moved from behind the counter, setting off to another task. She realized I was still waiting-- and hello, I was standing RIGHT THERE-- and said, I shit you not, in an extremely impatient voice, "What do you want?" Then, seeing the puzzled look on my face, she corrected herself, "How can I help you?" though this, too, was delivered in a most exasperated tone.
I identified myself as a writer and said I was hoping to take a few interior shots. She said she'd check with her manager. She came back and announced no, they "don't do that." So I asked for the manager. A woman appears from the back of the store, looks at me like I'm an idiot, and we have an exchange that set my Bullshit Meter flashing and blinking. She said, very dismissively, that their company is "based in British Columbia" and they "don't do advertising." I explained I wasn't selling advertising, that I was a writer with a major company and it's my job to highlight companies in Austin of interest to visitors. She said she hadn't seen the blog. I asked if perhaps she had a computer, to which she snapped she did.
Of course at this point, I had no interest in writing about them-- I'm not sending people to a store that treats customers like complete shit. There are too many excellent places in this town for me to write about. But I stuck around, wondering just how rude this woman would be. I asked her if they just don't get press coverage or what? She said no, they only do grassroots, no press coverage. I seriously doubted this and now that I'm home at my computer-- Hey, Guess What Miss British Columbia Yoga Store Manager I HAVE A COMPUTER TOO!!-- and, as I suspected, of COURSE they have press coverage. They have a WHOLE PAGE OF PRESS COVERAGE at their website.
So I'm wondering-- why did they treat me like shit? Is it because I weigh more than eighty-five pounds? Is it because I do not match the profile of the young, hip, demographic they are courting-- fat wallets/skinny asses? Admittedly, I was wearing one of my '70's lesbian ensembles, of which I am so fond (when I am not in my yoga clothes). Call me paranoid and overly suspicious, but I've seen that look before, times I've gone places in Austin where the hired help conveys that they don't want my kind around, clearly judging me by my appearance, which doesn't meet their standards.
Okay, fine. Fuck you LuLu. I'm going to keep shopping for my yoga clothes at the locally owned Whole Earth Provision Company, where the staff is always super pleasant. Might I encourage the rest of you to do the same. Boy it just chaps my poly-clad ass when bonehead boutique clerks act like their shit doesn't stink.
Bye-bye LuLu, I hardly knew ye.