Sunday, 15 November 2009

No.181 Of YoYo Shopping Weekends

Yesterday was a shopping day and one of extremes with the worst shopping experience in my life ever immediately followed by one of the best.

It started out at the Outlet Centre near Banbridge. I had been wanting to go to this for a while to compare it with J1. I couldn't see much difference between the two. The lay out is more or less the same. The type of shops are much the same too.

First stop was for a suit so I ventured into a shop called Savoy Taylors Guild about halfway along the horseshoe curve of shops on the lefthandside. Within a few seconds a lady shop assistant approached to ask me if I needed any help. I said no thank you but I'd let her know if I did. A couple of minutes later she asked again and I said No thank you. Then her male colleague who has also been watching me asked and I said no thank you avoiding any eye contact. Then a third shop assistant (possibly the manager) walked onto the floor from another room and asked me if I needed assistance. Please don't explode and be rude to this woman I said to myself when I heard with relief the words coming out "Thank you but no I'm okay". Two minutes later the male colleague tried again and I barked "No I'm okay". Five minutes later and the first assistant asked "Do you need help with sizes?". I can't remember if I bought something or whether shoppers outside saw the Incredible Hulk burst out through the shop window of Savoy Taylors Guild covered in glass, rage and a whole lot of gear I was about to try on.

Less than half an hour later I was in a shop called Collar and Tie in Lisburn. This is not a shop I would normally have ventured into but for a recommendation from a friend. From the outside it doesn't really appeal and draw you in. Inside I was treated to a cheery good afternoon from a gentlemen called Ray who I assumed to be the owner. I told him I was looking for a jacket and matching trousers. He politely suggested that I wasn't and that to attempt a match was a mistake. Instead, he showed me how to "pair" a shirt and trousers. He showed me German trousers and how they compared to French and advised me that in his view I could get away with wearing quite a strong coloured shirt. He guessed my waist size perfectly and some great patter later he led me to the till and announced to the cashier "this gentlemen is first time in with us if we don't look after him he wont come back throw in 20% discount".

Ray, it's great to see someone so passionate and good at what you do and I salute you.

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