An advantage to shopping in Sweden – you can wander around alone in a store all day and not one salesperson will bother you. If you need help, they are pretty easy to find, but they are polite enough not to interrupt your browsing.
Whenever we go back to the states, it throws me off to have people constantly approach me while I shop. “Do you need anything?” NO. “Have you heard about our special offers?” DON’T CARE. “Has anyone else been helping you today?” LEAVE ME ALONE I JUST WANT A PENCIL.
And I can’t get over how everyone gives out all of their information to the sales people. Here’s how buying a shirt goes in Sweden:
I put the shirt on the counter. The clerk rings it up and tells me the price. I pay. The clerk says, “Thanks.”
Here’s how buying a shirt goes in America:
I attempt to put the shirt on the counter but it’s covered in all sorts of extra tiny knick-knacks they are trying to get me to impulse buy. The clerk says, “Oh, that’s a nice color. Did you know we also have that in red?”Me: DON’T NEED RED. JUST WANT THIS ONE.
Clerk : But if you get 2, you can get a 10 percent discount.
Me: DON’T NEED TWO.
Clerk: Do you have our club card?
ME: NO, ONLY SHOP HERE ONCE A YEAR.
Clerk: That’ll be 25 dollars. Can I have your phone number please?
ME: ARE YOU TRYING TO ASK ME OUT?
Clerk: It’s just so we know what area our shoppers are from.
ME: WHY DON’T YOU JUST ASK ME WHERE I’M FROM.
Clerk: Well can I have your email address for extra coupons?
ME: NO, I DON’T LIVE HERE, I DON’T WANT COUPONS.
Clerk: How about your zip code?
ME: I THINK YOU’RE TRYING TO STALK ME. YOU’RE MAKING ME NERVOUS. I JUST WANTED A SHIRT. ALL I WANTED WAS A SHIRT! AHHHHHH!!!!!!!
And that’s a typical shopping experience for me when I travel in the states.
Americans, please quit giving out your phone number and email address. You don’t have to do this. Plus, I’m really tempted to call or email one of you after you loudly announce this personal information all over the store. From me, you’ll get an annoying warning not to do that again. But that guy in the Hello Kitty sandals and the trenchcoat hanging out over there by ladies lingerie might not be so pleasant when he calls you on the phone.