"Mind the Gap! -- Mind the Gap!" If you've been to London, you know exactly what adage I'm referring to. In London's Underground tube system, there are spaces (gaps) in between the platforms that you stand on while waiting and the cars of the trains that you step into. Some gaps are far wider than others due to different train widths. And so, the proverbial message from the overhead loudspeaker system, "Mind the Gap!" There are t-shirts, ball caps, and coffee mugs sporting the message.
Just a smattering of a few days ago in Orlando, I was at The Gay Mecca with Sorted. Cute boys everywhere sporting the latest trendy jeans showing their tummys and tight t-shirts prompting their hairless pecs to pop out. We had bantered back and forth about my shopping mantra: That I never buy anything at full price...it's always on sale and, most of the time, on clearance. Plus, I don't actually need anything...at this point in my life, it's definitely wants. Beyond that, I don't shop at expensive name-brand stores like Bloomingdales, Macy's, and Saks. I'm much more of a Target sort of guy with an Outlet Mall Mentality. So, we had just been in and out of a Lacoste shop where Sorted's friend works. I'd looked at a Tuque that was on sale for $41. You know me and my collection of tuques. But there was absolutely no way I was going to pay $41 for this hot one...my entire collection didn't cost that much. So, we move on. To the Gap and that's where things got a little more interesting.
We entered Gap Store #07036 at The Mall at Millenia in Orlando on Conroy Road. And the first thing you know I've tossed a hot little gray and black stripe pullover on my arm and have found a pair of black jeans that hugged my baby ass nice and proper (in spite of the extra five pounds,that's gotta go bye-bye, around my mid-section). Total = $36 and I'm feeling happy. My cashier's name tag says "Ryan." Here's how things played out:
Ryan: Would you like to apply for a Gap credit card today?
Me: No, thank you.
Ryan: Are you familiar with Old Navy Stores and blah blah blah stores?
Ryan: Do you shop there?
Ryan: Do you know that you can use this credit card at those stores too?
Me: No, thank you.
Ryan: Are you sure? It would save you 15% today.
Me: Would you mind just finishing up my transaction, please.
Ryan: I'm just required to ask.
Me: And if you ask one more time, I'm going to ask you to refund this entire purchase. When a customer says "no, thanks," it should mean exactly that.
Ryan: Not in this store. We're required to ask through the entire transaction.
So, he finished up the transaction, places the clothes in the bag and hands me my receipt. Oh, and just one more thing......
Ryan: Are you sure that I can't just place an application for the card in your bag to take home and look at?
Me: I'd like you to refund the entire transaction, please. You've now turned a pleasant experience into an unpleasant one. And you're now losing my sale.
I spoke to the store manager who, while concurring with me completely, agreed that their training does ask for what Ryan was doing. She apparently has mentioned this to their uppity-ups and they don't care. She encouraged me to write in -- which I am doing by way of an email with a link to this particular post in it. I'm not sure I'll go back into a Gap store to repeat a bad experience. No should mean no. Don't forget to Mind The Gap. I will be.