Appearances Can Be Deceiving
Frugal for Life posted a link to a story entitled "Well-Dressed Women Get Better Service at Clothing Stores." How well-dressed you are is one indicator of your status, and how much money you have to spend. Makes sense, right? But so not true! If any of you have read the Millionaire Next Door, you'll know what I'm talking about.
Okay, a bit of a rant. But a few years ago, my friend (let's call her Justine) and I went to The Bombay Company store because she wanted to buy a birthday present for another friend. There was an older woman standing just inside the door, ostensibly to greet people and welcome them into the store. When Justine and I opened the door, she gave us the once over, and then pursed her lips. No 'hello', no 'welcome to Bombay Company'. Okay, then. Justine and I did a quick loop around the store and then walked out without buying anything.
'Did you see the look that woman gave us?' Yeah. Totally rude. I'm never going back to that store.
Admittedly, Justine and I were dressed fairly casually. She was wearing jeans and a nice sweatshirt. I was wearing jeans and a leather jacket. And admittedly we weren't wearing makeup, and we both look younger than our age. But here's the kicker. At the time, Justine was an auditor at a large consumer products company, and I was an associate in private practice at a large law firm. Could we afford to buy something at Bombay Company? You do the math. Justine was ready to make a purchase that day. But based on the treatment we received, she decided to take her business elsewhere.
In contrast, when I was in graduate school, I needed to buy an interview suit. So, at a friend's suggestion, I went to Nordstrom. I was wandering around the petite section, looking hopelessly lost and confused, when an older saleswoman came up to me and asked me if she could help me find anything. I told her I was looking for a black suit, one that I could wear on multiple interviews. But nothing too trendy or expensive. She sized me up with one look and then found two suits for me, both of which were very much on sale. After trying on both suits, I decided to go with the cheaper one. When she finished ringing up my purchase, she gave me her business card and told me to call her if I ever needed to buy another suit. Again, I didn't have any makeup on, and I was in student attire. You can be sure that I went back to Nordstrom and looked for that saleswoman after I graduated from school and entered the workforce.
The moral of the story is that appearances can be deceiving when it comes to wealth and purchasing power.