12 Ways Not to Be an Asshole While Shopping At Nordstrom!

Transcribed from video. 


Nordstrom was founded in 1901 as a simple humble shoe store and since then has grown into a premier fashion retailer. Nordstrom currently operates about 350 stores in 40 of the 50 United States and a little handful in Canada. They’re known for carrying really great brands delivering very good customer service and having one of the most liberal return policies in the entirety of retail.  


My time with Nordstrom lasted about eight years. I spent all of that time drinking the Nordstrom Kool-Aid extraordinarily hard. I delivered incredibly good customer service to my customers I made a lot of really good friends with my customers. I know a lot of them to this day. However, there were always those certain select percentage of customers who are just complete and total assholes and jerks every time they walked in the store. In addition to that there are a lot of different behaviors that customers exhibit and they may not even realize they’re being assholes. 


During the time that I worked there I so badly wanted to make a video, an instruction guide if you will, that just said “Hey don’t be like this you know I’m a human, being you’re a human being why would you possibly act like this in this environment.” Of course, I couldn’t do it back then because I work there now though I’ve moved on to different things in my life and I’m free to do whatever I want the result of that is this video. 


Watch the video!

Don’t Ask Where the Piano Is 


The number one way not to be an asshole while shopping at Nordstrom? Don’t ask where the piano is, also don’t ask where the piano is and then say you shop there all the time. You know why? Because starting about 2010 or a little bit after that Nordstrom started getting rid of the pianos. By about two years later they were completely gone so if you come in and you ask me as the associate “What happened to the piano because I shop here all the time and I really miss it.” I know you probably have been in the store in five years. 


Mind Your Children


Number two on the list mind your children! Look there’s no doubt about it I’m sure your children are the most adorable well-behaved little angels that ever walk the face of the planet. Except for when you’re in a department store and you’re so engrossed in shopping you fail to realize they’re knocking over every display they come in contact with while pulling items off the shelves and throwing them on the floor. So when you’re in a department store like Nordstrom and you don’t want to be an asshole just make sure your kids are not wrecking the place so that whoever’s working there doesn’t have to spend hours and hours of their day cleaning up after your little darlings. 


No Showrooming


Number three on our list is no showrooming! What is showrooming? That’s when you come in to look at a product in person that you’ve either already bought or you’re about to buy online and you have absolutely no intention whatsoever of buying it in the store. This really sucks for the associates. Especially at higher end department stores because they have no idea that you have no intention of buying that product today. 


You see most associates that work at a higher end department store work almost exclusively on Commission. What this means is that you’ve just taken a huge amount of their time they 

could be actually making money and wasted it. You Expect them to provide you with excellent service telling you everything about a product and not getting paid for it. I asked you would you work for free? Don’t showroom and you won’t be an asshole? 


Keep Your Appointments


Our fourth way of not being an asshole when shopping at Nordstrom keep your appointments! An associate is required to set a certain amount of appointments for almost every single event. They’re going to call the people they consider to be their best customers for that event that means they called you. However, when you don’t show up for that appointment, they have to answer to their boss. Also, when you come in three days later and buy that product from someone else they are not going to get that sale. Keep your appointments don’t be an asshole. 


Be Nice About Those Credit Card Offers


Number five on our list, be nice about those credit card offers! Selling credit is a huge business for most department stores. They make a large chunk of their annual revenue off of the interest you pay on those cards. The associate that offers you that credit card when you’re checking out at places like Nordstrom, well they have to. It’s a job requirement and if they don’t they’re going to be fired. So, when they offer you the card politely decline if you’re not interested. By the way, you may want to listen to what they have to say. Sometimes they have some pretty good offers with those cards and the associate might just be trying to help you out by saving you a few hundred dollars. So, don’t be an asshole when someone offers you credit.  


Don’t Wear Headphones And Be On Your Phone 


Number six on our ways not to be an asshole while shopping at Nordstrom? Don’t wear headphones and be on your phone. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen this when I’ve been watching what goes on in department stores but you will inevitably find somebody who is doing both. You will see an entire trail of associates behind them saying hi and greeting them trying to get their attention. Wouldn’t you know it? It’s always those people who are on their phones who are the first ones to complain they’re not getting any service. Could it be you’re not getting service because no one wants to interrupt your text conversation while you’re wearing headphones? Could it just be that you didn’t hear them when they did? Either way don’t be an asshole, don’t wear them! 


Don’t Feed the Sharks 


Number 7 on our list of how not to be an asshole when shopping at Nordstrom, don’t feed the sharks! This one has nothing to do with aquatic animals! It does however have to do with overly aggressive sales people who monopolize the sales floor and take every customer they see. Nordstrom being a commission environment you have some associates that just run rampant. They will take every single person that walks past them and claim that they’re theirs. Thereby giving no other associate the ability to make money. Customers seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that there may be six salespeople on the floor but only one of them is hoping everybody. I think they naturally presume that the other ones just don’t want to help them and in a commission environment that would be pretty crazy. More than likely that associate that is monopolizing that floor has claimed you as theirs. You know kind of like they peed on you to mark you or something.  


Next time if you’re being helped by one person who has six customers and there’s six other associates you see them eagerly waiting for you to say something. They’re eagerly waiting for you to say is, can you please help me. Because then they can help you and they don’t have to worry about being called into the back later by the other associate claiming that you belong to them like a piece of meat. 


Don’t Brag About How Goodofa Customer You Are 


Number eight on our list of how not to be an asshole when shopping at Nordstrom, don’t brag about how good of a customer you are. It never fails the people who brag the loudest and claim the hardest that they are the absolute best customers, of almost any place really, but especially Nordstrom are usually the ones who haven’t been there in a while. It almost never fails in a situation with a return, or sometimes just a customer service disagreement, a customer always pulls out the “I’m the best customer Nordstrom has ever had” card. As a former associate I’ll tell you almost every single time they pull out that card if you actually look at their purchase history they’re usually one of the least spending customers. It’s just the way it is when you brag about how good of a customer you are the associates probably thinking I know what that means! You’re an asshole! 


Make Only Real Request or Orders


Number 9 on our list of how not to be an asshole while shopping at Nordstrom, don’t make special requests oh and or special orders and then never pick them up. Nordstrom is not like other stores. First of all, the associates they really do believe that if they go the extra mile for you then you’re going to respond. They presume you will treat them like human beings and you’re going to become really good customer as a result. Because you’re going to appreciate the effort that they put into it. It’s not uncommon for a Nordstrom employee to spend months sometimes searching for something, and if they haven’t spent months, they will definitely dedicate days in days to fulfilling your special request. Spending many many many hours that they could be selling things to other people actually putting money in their pockets. Usually they do this because they think it will pay off giving them money to feed their children. They also presume that you the consumer who has said I really want this was sincere when you said that. Keep that in mind when that associate calls you and says I found hem for you, I have them in my hands, I would love it if you could come pick them up. Otherwise you are an asshole and have just wasted a bunch if their time for nothing. 


I actually saved my last three as my top 3 favorite things that used to annoy the crap out of me when I worked at Nordstrom. 


Don’t Complain About Being Greeted


Number 10 on our list of how not to be an asshole while shopping at Nordstrom, don’t complain about being greeted. Nordstrom has a policy where their associates must acknowledge your existence if they’re anywhere in your vicinity. That means that yes, it’s very likely multiple people are going to say hi, or how are you today, or that’s a very nice necklace, or may I help you, they’re doing their job. It’s really good service so you really shouldn’t complain about that. By the way as a bonus the appropriate response to how are you today is not “I’m just looking thanks” or “I don’t need anything.”  If you complain about people being nice to you you’re just being an asshole 


Don’t Put Stuff onHold That You Have No Intention of Buying


Number 11 on our list and how not to be an asshole when you’re shopping at Nordstrom don’t put stuff on hold that you have no intention of buying. This happens at Nordstrom more than any other place I have ever worked it seems customers feel really bad about taking up your time sometimes. When this happens, they will just use the magic words “Put it aside for me I’ll be back later” in order to get out of buying it right then and there. Now this would be really great, and I know it seems really harmless, but it’s not because at the end of your shift you have to put all that stuff back. Which means you spend hours sometimes putting back merchandise that customers did not have any intention of buying in the first place instead of helping customers who might actually want to buy something. 


Also, because Nordstrom maintains such low inventory levels usually that is the absolute last one of those items. It’s really not uncommon to have one or two customers after you who actually wanted to buy the item come in and ask for it but now you can’t sell it to them because it’s on hold. So if you don’t want to be an asshole just tell the associate you’re not going to be back. 


 Don’t  Abuse the Return Policy 


Number 12 on our list of how not to be an asshole when shopping at Nordstrom, don’t abuse the return policy. Nordstrom is known for their return policy. It all started years and years ago when they were taking hold in the United States. A story began to circulate in the media called The Tire Story where Nordstrom became known as the store that would take back everything.  

At some point they took over a chain of stores that used to sell tires and one of that stores customers came into the new Nordstrom store to return their tires. Nordstrom took them back and that story took hold in the media and they gained lots of publicity as the store that would take back everything. Alot of people they kind of believe this today. It is true I mean Nordstrom will take back virtually anything virtually always and they do it a lot as a customer service. There will always be instances where you want to return something and that’s fine. However, problem there are a lot of people who completely abuse the Nordstrom return policy. 


Some Customers will go through their entire closet and decide they need a whole new wardrobe. Grab everything they ever purchased from Nordstrom and they’ll bring it back. I know what you’re thinking right? what’s the big deal? The customer gets a new wardrobe, Nordstrom gets a happy customer, it’s a win-win! Well not so fast! If it was any time in the last year that any of those items were purchased the commission that the associate who sold it to you got is going to be taken back. 



Nordstrom’s Commission policy states that when an associate gets paid their money is considered a commission advance. They don’t actually own that money until one year and one day after that sale has taken place. That means that when you return something at Nordstrom they’re going to go back to that associate and they’re gonna take that money out of their paycheck. This may not seem like a big deal to you but think about it this way. The associate, because this is their livelihood, this is how they make a living this can be devastating. If you have a customer who comes in and returns either one very expensive thing, or a lot of less expensive things that you’ve sold them, you’re not going to be able to pay your rent. Your car payment, feeding your children, anything else that you’re relying on, will not be happening that pay period. All because some customer decided they needed a new wardrobe. If you want to make sure you are not an asshole when shopping at Nordstrom don’t abuse the return policy! 


Shawn J. Shoulders

Shawn J. Shoulders is an Actor, Comedian, and Lifestyle Expert who has spent many years learning about his fellow humans for the sake of his art. He has spent years in the pursuit of truth about the human condition and comprised a vast database of information neatly stored in his brain. The majority of this information is uniquely suited for trivia competitions and drunken bar conversations. Shawn J. Shoulders is a regular contributor to Screwy Monkey.

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