Sharper Image Dulled

A reader squirts, “I just came across your website today…pretty funny stuff! I have to relate to you an experience last week that for some reason really left me fuming.”

Please don’t come across our website. These socks don’t come cheap. That’s not the point of this post, however.

Andrew went to get his uncle a nasal fur trimmer from Sharper Image. He approached the counter, device in hand, thereupon entering in a delicate softshoe with the clerk sparking Andrew’s desire to trim the hairs in the back of the cash machine pumper’s retina.

That’s because “…shoppingggg… in the reaaalllll worllllld… is com-pli-cated!

Read Andrew’s story and vote to tell us whether he got his Bic flicked, after the jump…

Andrew writes:

“So I go into the Sharper Image on 57th Street at about 6:30, just off work and need to get my uncle a birthday present…I walk in, grab a nose-hair trimmer and take it up to the counter and tell them I need it gift-wrapped. The smug dude behind the counter asks if I would like to include batteries with my gift. Sure, I say, why not. Then would I like a service protection plan for “whomever the gift is intended for.” No thanks, I say. “Are you sure, it’s only $10 and it lasts two years…” No thank you, I say. “Are you sure?”

Yes, very.

Okay now all that is pretty much expected these days. It doesn’t really bother me. HOWEVER…this is where it gets good. I give him my credit card and he hands me a copy to sign. I take a pen from the counter to sign it. I sign it and hand it back to him. He hands me my receipt and card. Now at this point I have my wallet open and am putting the card and receipt into my wallet, still holding the pen between two fingers. I am literally still putting my card in my wallet when he says…

“You can just leave that pen right there on the counter so that another customer can use it.”

Like I was gonna walk away with the chewed-up capless black Bic (of which at least four were on the counter).

Is this grounds for getting pissed?”

Let’s vote!

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There’s no reason for the clerk to say, “Are you sure?” twice, especially when the second one offers no new information, except possibly that he thinks you’re stupid and can’t make up your mind. The bit about the pen is ridiculous, sounds like he was just pissed he couldn’t inveigle you into the protection racket.

At the same time, it’s not that big a deal. Annoying? Imperfect? Yes, but Andrew should be to Bic as water is to duck’s back, you know?

Who knows, maybe the Sharper Image employees don’t think very highly of purchasers of their nostril trimming products, reserving esteem instead for the buyers of 1950’s themed electric massage pinball machines.


Edit Your Comment

  1. girl150 says:

    During the 10 hours I worked as a Walmart cashier, I learned that I would have to provide my own pens for patrons to use. (Apparently Walmart could not figure out how to supply pens?) Anyway, perhaps this cashier had used the last of his lunch money to purchase those 4 Bic pens, and couldn’t handle seeing another one walk away.
    (I know… it’s a bit of a reach.)
    It’s the same reason you might find a big, fake sunflower taped to the top of a Papermate: cashiers do not appreciate pen theft, especially when they have to purchase the replacements.

  2. Existenz says:

    Dare I ask what happened after 10 hours? Did an unsuspecting customer
    slyly try to pocket one of the pens, only to be met with the fierce
    reprisal your fist?

  3. If he hadn’t asked ‘are you sure?’ twice, I would have been ok. But I agree with Andrew.

  4. Paul D says:


    1 x “are you sure?” = let it slide.

    2 x “are you sure?” + pen comment = cockpunch

  5. ModerateSnark says:

    Isn’t it Neil Young who urges us to “Keep on shopping in the real world”?

    Bought a nose hair trimmer…
    You pushed protection plans…
    Used a pen from the counter…
    Still had it in my hand…
    You said “leave that pen, put it back for another”…
    Yeah, like I wanted it; now listen to me brother…
    Bought your batteries when– I know they’re overpriced…
    Jerks like you– make it hard to be nice…
    …but I’ll…

    Keep on shopping in the real world…
    Keep on shopping in the real world…
    Keep on shopping in the real world…
    Keep on shopping in the real world

  6. Sir Winston Thriller says:

    As Edina Monsoon once spat, “You can drop the attitude, you only work in a shop.”

  7. etinterrapax says:

    I’m with Paul D. Pen loss is just an occupational hazard when you’re a cashier. If you get snotty with anyone who takes your pen, you’ll be snotty all day, and the job’s bad enough without that waste of energy. I always had about six in my apron pocket when I worked for the Evil Empire, and I suspect that my supervisors were just stealing them from the stationery aisle anyhow. Sounds like our friendly purveyor of nose hair trimmers has a chip because he’s basically a Best Buy employee working for a company that sells goods he can’t afford.

  8. Smoking Pope says:

    Yeah, it’s right to get pissed. The douche obviously said that last part because he was tweaked you didn’t fork over dough for a dubious “protection plan”, of which he probably gets a cut.

    Customers shouldn’t be subjected to rude behavior or snide comments because they exercise the right to not buy something they don’t want.

  9. kerry says:

    Sir Winston Thriller said:

    “As Edina Monsoon once spat, ‘You can drop the attitude, you only work in a shop.'”

    Words to live by, my friend. I seem to remember spitting that line out myself in a few uppity boutiques.

  10. shaperimage says:

    I have been a sharper image employee for 4 years now (how sad) yes I know. It wasn’t as bad when I started but recently the company has been trying to enforce employees to sell all these add-on’s. We knew it was going down hill when we started carrying baby toys and ‘as seen on tv’ products. Most products do not hold up. oh and if you have an old Ionic breeze, take it back and up grade!!