Thursday, June 11, 2009

French Boxing

It was boxing day in France today. Did you hear about the all-star boxing match?

If you didn’t have a ringside seat, allow me to fill you in on the details.

In this corner of the ring - La Mom. In the other corner of the ring - La France.

If you’ve lived in France long enough like La Mom has, you’ve learned how to verbally box with the best of ‘em. Who are the best verbal boxers this side of the globe? The French of course! And nothing makes La Mom happier than throwing an upper-cut to a rude French salesperson (feel free to insert “customer service rep” as well.)

This is what went down as I was shopping at H&M for a Hello Kitty belt for Small Fry.

(After 15 minutes of waiting in line, I finally arrived at the cash register and handed over the belt.)

H&M salesperson: There’s no price on this.
La Mom: Oh sorry, I didn’t see that.
H&M: So how much is it?
La Mom: I don’t know.
H&M: Well I need a price.
La Mom: So call for a price check. It’s not my problem.

(I know this sounds extremely snotty, but you have to understand the “it’s not my problem” is a standard line most customer service & sales people use in this country when they can’t be bothered to do something. My advice to you: use it on them first and catch them off guard.)

H&M: I can’t, you have to go get me another belt.

So I went to get a belt only because I just wanted to be done with this stupid exchange. I handed the salesperson the exact same belt, but with Strawberry Shortcake on it instead of Hello Kitty. Silly moi, I shouldn’t have assumed that same belt style + different cartoon character = the same price (especially when they are displayed right next to each other.)

H&M: It’s a different belt.
La Mom: I know, there aren’t anymore Hello Kitty belts.
H&M: (Insert ginormous Gallic shrug and eye roll) Well you could have told me that!
La Mom: Aren’t I telling you that now? And maybe you could try having prices tags on your belts and keeping some in stock. It's not my job to figure it out for you.
H&M: That's ok, I'm used to customers like you.
La Mom: That's ok, I'm used to horrible French service and salespeople like you.

So have you ever had to box in France? What are your boxing stories?


Marla said...

this is the sort of thing that drives me out of the store without the belt :) hope small fry loved it...

Under the Influence said...

I HAVE! My metro ticket wouldn't work and I went to the window to explain this to the guy sitting there. He was yelling at me that the little ticket was for Tuesday and I was yelling in my very ppor French that I just bought it. The train came, my husband was on the other side of the "entrance" and I finally flipped the worker the middle finger (that is universal language, you know!), jumped the turnstyle and got on the train.

The next day, I found some ticket stubs in my coat pocket and realized I was trying to use the wrong ticket to get on that train the day before. I stopped in my tracks on a Paris street and starting cracking up laughing. I had to explain it all to my husband because he speaks NO French and I had to replay the conversation for him. He chuckled, but didn't have nearly the laughing fit that I had.

Cynthia said...

Lol you feel like a VIP when you go shopping while on vacation in the USA after being in France for a while.

Jennifer said...

ROTFLMBO!!! Oh, if only I had your french-ness to do the same thing!

ModernMom said...

Clearly I am not ready to box in France! i would be sooo upset. Yeah you for standing your ground and going a round with that snotty sales person!

SuZ said...

I have a feeling I would love boxing in France... love love love it. :)

Michelle said...

How funny! The bad customer service in the US makes me angry. I would not handle that well.

Mike Drips said...

So would it have been appropriate to say "Pardonnez-moi, mais avez-vous un porc-epic coince entre les fesses?"

Sorry about my poor French.

Alix said...

Hi La Mom !
That's one of the reasons I love being in the US. Sales people find a way to accomodate the customer. et pas le contraire !
A bientôt

Julia@SometimesLucid said...

Sounds like you won that bout with a TKO (yeah I have no idea what I'm talking about).

lunarossa said...

Hi La Mom, I've never had a boxing experience with sales people in France, but plenty in the Uk. I think England has got the worst customer service in the world!!! Have a nice weekend! Ciao. Antonella

Anonymous said...


Lol at my immatureness.
You get snotty girls like that in TopShop. I just threaten to call the manager and they soon back off.

a H.I.T. said...

Well played La Mom, well played. I think you should write a book on boxing. I'm definitely not up to snub.

Vero said...

Let them know how funny it is to see them work in a job they hate so much

Anonymous said...

That is too funny! At least you got the belt. :)

StyleSpy said...

Next time I come to Paris I'm taking you with me everywhere. Honestly, I've always had good experiences shopping in Paris, although it's entirely possible I'm just so clueless they were being nasty to me and I didn't even know it.

La Maison Fou said...

I just started reading this, and it's funny stuff! Love the playdate 101 ...stuff & the mooching friend! ( unfortunatlely those friends are not exept by borders ..there are many here in the states as well as abroad)
Have a good weekend,


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