JC Penney: Excuse Me Sir, "The Big & Tall Section Is Over There…"

Reader Brandon is writing in to ask if we think he has a legitimate complaint. .

Yesterday I was shopping at JCPenny in Cary, North Carolina. Was browsing through some of the racks, picking up some new outfits for work, when an employee approached me to ask if I needed any help. I told him no thanks, and then he said to me “Well, the Big and Tall section is over there” and points me to a different part of the store…

I immediately turn red and look around at the stunned faces of other customers who were in the area. One woman mouthed to me “How are you big and tall?” I shrugged and laughed it off, but inside I was feeling like shit. I am 5’11 and 210 lbs… I wear a large and a 38 waist so I am considered neither big, nor tall… do I have any right to complain to JCPenny or should I just shrug it off? Thank you.

We don’t think you should, like, picket the store or anything, but yeah. You could drop JC Penney a note to let them know that you think a member of their sales staff was rude and that he embarrassed you.

What do you think, should Brandon complain?



Edit Your Comment

  1. dreamsneverend says:

    Obnoxious yes, but we really do need thicker skins folks.

  2. Black Bellamy says:

    Time to start working out a bit.

  3. AD8BC says:

    There is definitely room for a complaint here. Probably no demand for recourse (don’t expect Penneys to give you gift cards to appease you) but definitely, this rude imbicile should be reported to management.

  4. B says:

    I think this would be the lamest complaint ever. Who cares if some JC Pennny employee thinks you’re fat?

  5. FilthyHarry says:

    I don’t think there is a NEED to complaint. But if you can milk a coupon or free stuff, go for it. I recomment you use the word ’embarrassed’ ‘shocked’ and ‘outraged’.

  6. NardoNardo123 says:

    technically you are overweight and borderline obese…not to say that wasn’t extremely rude, but my guess is jc penney hires idiots, and idiots say idiotic things.

  7. Kat@Work says:

    If it offended you, why not complain? Couldn’t hurt anything.

  8. sophistiKate says:

    I say definitely complain, but I agree with @AD8BC, don’t hold your breath for any compensation.

  9. urban_ninjya says:

    I think the shit feeling isn’t from the comment, but from the comfort with his own body.

    @210 lbs. and 5’11, it’s very likely the BMI is way past the obease scale. I know I’m somewhat borderline at 6’0 and 180 lbs.

    If someone came up to me and said I was a little fat. I’d accept it. If someone came up to me and said I was really fat, I shrug it off, because I know where I stand.

  10. Moosehawk says:

    @FilthyHarry: I’m gonna go with FilthyHarry on this one. It’s not like complaining is going to take your embarrassment any farther, mine as well try to milk it for what it’s worth and shruf it off.

  11. UTC says:

    It seems like so much resentment could have been prevented if he’d have had the presence of mind just to say “fuck off.”

  12. mdkiff says:

    @rainmkr: Exactly. Can’t anyone hear something that doesn’t rub them exactly the right way and just get on with their lives anymore?

  13. sophistiKate says:

    @NardoNardo123 (and everyone else who is going to pick on this guy’s for his supposed weight problem): It is rude to point out someone’s physical flaws, even if they are a public figure. That seems to be easily forgotten in the anonymity of the internet, but it is still as true as it was in grade school.

  14. iwantansi says:

    Brooks brothers did the same thing to me. Note im 5’10” 190lbs.

    Were walking around the store, 1 associate asked if i needed any help and we said no.

    We walk in to a different part of the store and were looking at this certain collection of clothes and were asked “do you know what this line of clothing is called?”

    we reply “no we do not”

    BB associate says “its blah blah collection and its meant for skinny people” and then she walked away.

    Stunned we left the store and sent an email to brooks brothers, upon which we received a reply saying that the store manager would like to talk to me. I replied with my phone # and never received a call back…. i guess brooks brothers doesnt “take my complaint seriously”

    One note to add to this is I have many brooks brothers button up shirts and they fit my neck and arms perfectly, however the body of the shirt is way blousy and im left with a lot of excess fabric around my waist… I think i need to try their slim fit line…

  15. babaki says:

    post pics, we know you are lying about your weight.

  16. cde says:

    @NardoNardo123: 5’11 and 210 is NOT obessed by any scale, especially with a size 38 waist.

  17. KenSPT says:

    @NardoNardo123: Sorry, but you can be 5’11, 210lbs, with a 38 waist and a Large shirt and not be borderline obese.

    That’s pretty much the same size I am, and I’m a very health-conscious, and in shape individual. I’m far from a twig, but I’d also be horribly insulted if I were told to shop in big and tall.

  18. chiieddy says:

    At my heaviest last year, I was 5’0″ and 170 lbs (definitely obese by BMI), but I was never over a size 12. Should I feel insulted, now I’m 146 lbs and a size 8 that Lane Bryant (min size 14) sends me mailings or should I just throw them out with the rest of the junk mail?

    I think, in this case, however, the employee was quite rude in dispensing unwanted information. The customer said they didn’t need help, he didn’t ask where the big and tall section was. It’s like asking a woman if she’s pregnant and finding out she’s not… ouch.

  19. Jon Mason says:

    @NardoNardo123: While he (and I – 6′ 215 pounds) are “technically” overweight – there is a BIG difference between wearing an XL T-Shirt or 38″ jeans and needing to shop in the “Big & Tall” section. Otherwise 90% of US stores would be “Big & Tall” sections…

  20. valarmorghulis says:

    @mdkiff: definatly. the question is, does this person LIKE JC Penny enough to let the managment know that they have an employee who could be losing them sales. If it had been said to an employee, the store probably would have kicked the customer out. If they aren’t notified, it generally won’t get corrected.

    I’d be perturbed to discover though that this person asked for a specific recourse. That would be overstepping.

  21. mac-phisto says:

    i blame this all on h&m. have you ever tried clothes on in there? goddamn twig europeans.

  22. ARPRINCE says:

    Lemme guess….the employee was 5’1″ tall. CASE CLOSED!!!!

  23. samurailynn says:

    I think the problem is that the employee asked if he needed help, and he didn’t. Then the employee assumed that he knew better than the customer and directed him to the clothing that he thought was most appropriate for the customer. For all the employee knew, the man was shopping for his brother, or for a friend. What if the man had been shopping for a dress for his wife, would the employee have walked up to him and said “excuse me but the men’s section is over there”? I don’t necessarily think he should get a lot of free goodies out of this, but the store should know that their employees might need to be trained on how to properly help customers.

  24. Jon Mason says:

    Actually, far from being “way past” – he’s borderline, the first ‘obesity chart’ I found says that for 5’11 the tipping point is 215lbs. So yeah, he’s in the ballpark, but again, technical obesity is not=Big/Tall section.

  25. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    The clerk wasn’t being rude or offending. He was just trying to help by pointing you to, what he thought was, the right section.

    What happened to the days when you could be referred to as “Big Guy” and not take offense?

  26. ohiomensch says:

    Definately should complain, sending you to Big and Tall was not helpful, it was rude and ignorant.

    I was in a store once looking for clothes for my daughter who is 5’1″ and around 130#. (I am on the plus size). I was looking at petite clothes, in fact the whole store was for petites, and the sales rep comes over to me and says, “There is nothing over size 14 in this store”, with a voice that implied, get out you are too fat to shop here.

    That day, I spent my cash at another store and haven’t been back since. It is unreasonable to treat people like that.

  27. DashTheHand says:

    @NardoNardo123: Borderline Obese? Are you stupid and trying to be insulting or are you just ignorant of the words you use?

  28. fashionista says:

    I would’ve told him that I like my clothes short and tight – it cranks up my sexiness factor! Then, I would’ve pointed out that Gap Kids is a few doors down, he might be interested in the new spring collection.

    *Seriously, I wouldn’t sweat it. JCP employees are so NOT known for intellectual (or social) acuity.*

  29. Landru says:

    Hey Brandon! It absolutely was a deliberate insult. Next time, tell him to go fuck himself. Definitely write a letter – with the person’s name if possible, and include the date and time. JC Penny doesn’t want people like that working there any more than you do.

  30. backbroken says:

    Is it too late to add to Ben’s Reader’s Digest story? This is pretty lame. Complaining because an employee was trying to be helpful? Maybe they should get rid of “Big and Tall” sections, if the mere thought of shopping in one is embarrassing. Maybe they could rebrand it “Super Terrific Clothing Section” or something.

    If the OP is clearly not obese, and I take him at his word, then what is there to be embarrassed about?


  31. kingoftheroad40 says:

    ” stunned faces of other customers”
    That tells me public slander What if it was a Caucasian employee and a minority customer the race card would be played and lawsuit time.
    Me id tell him to get his manager and demand disciplinary action be taken up to and including termination. If not satisfied call cooperate or “E.E.C.B.”

  32. kublaconsumer says:

    What would be the complaint? Low self esteem?

  33. Jon Mason says:

    @Diet-Orange-Soda: Yes he was. The customer didn’t ask if they had larger clothes or ask for help, in fact he specifically said he didn’t need help. The clerk offered unsolicited advice based on the guy’s weight… it’s not on, and if it had been me I would have let him have it.

  34. Ragman says:

    Bad call on the salesman’s part. Say something to the manager, but that’s about the extent.

    Comparing myself to Brandon, I’m shorter, a little heavier, and I wear 36″ pants with a belt. I’m guessing (no offense intended) that Brandon is somewhat rounder to fill out 38s at his height, and likely that’s what the salesman was looking at. I’m sure he only meant to be helpful, but it was NOT something he should have volunteered unless asked.

  35. socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

    JC Penny is turning into a rich mans walmart. The only thing I get there are White T Shirts because they stock a very good brand, and underwear for the same reason. They sell the white shirts marked with T (for tall) in with the normal shirts. Not in the “Big and Tall” section.

    I’m 6’3 and have only one time shopped in a Big and Tall store, in fact it was at the Big and Tall store as a matter of fact. When I went in there EVERYTHING was way over sized for me. I bought a Tie and dress shirt, and the dress shirt is way too big. I just have a 17.5 neck and most stores, like JC penny only stock up to 17. I did find a new store that stocks normal size dress shirts that are size 18 neck and are extremely comfortable, and they are NOT in the big and tall section.

    This employee was rude, and I would have made a HUGE scene there. But then again I’m a jack ass and only go to best buy if its a really good sale, gift card, or if I want to start crap with geek squad and the warranty counters for my friends who have the service plans through best buy. Its fun :)

  36. MissPeacock says:

    The first time I ever went to Saks, I was with my best friend, a very tall guy. A saleslady immediately came over to us, looked us up and down. She told ME that “The working girl clothes are over THERE,” implying hopefully not prostitution, but the cheaper clothes since I OBVIOUSLY couldn’t afford anything else. She then turned to my friend and informed him that nothing in the store would fit him.

    I’ve not been back since.

  37. Jon Mason says:

    @backbroken: Because there is a difference between being slightly overweight and being a big fat fucking mess who needs to wear 80 inch pants. Implying I am the latter, not the former would piss me off too.

  38. MrMold says:

    Many retail shops have used vendors that skimp on fabric. The clerk may have been trying to steer you to the choices that would fit.

    With the measurements you gave, you are notably overweight. Get used to Reality.

  39. SkokieGuy says:

    Calling the customer fat [which didn’t happen] is an insult. Advising the customer of another area of the store to browse could be construed as a reasonable attempt to provide useful information.

    If the poster has (admits to) a 38″ waist, is it reasonable that the clerk could have slightly over-estimated his waist at 40″? Perhaps pants with a 40″ waist are stocked in the Big & Tall area, not the regular men’s clothing.

    In this case, the clerks comments are perfectly appropriate and meant to help guide the customer to an area of the store where he’d find merchandise in his size.

    I say the clerk gets a pass, unless his tone was such to indicate his comment was something other than a well-meaning attempt to be helpful.

    If one goes through life looking for instances to be offended, one will easily find them.

  40. rjhiggins says:

    @NardoNardo123: Let me guess: You’re using a BMI chart to make this ridiculous assertion, right? For all you know this guy is built like an NFL linebacker and it’s all muscle, in which case 210 is a perfectly reasonable weight. (And in which case I’d like to see you call him “borderline obese” to his face.)

    But even if he weighs 400 pounds it’s totally uncalled for to direct him to the big and tall section. For all the salesjerk knows the customer is buying a gift for a relative (or his boyfriend). Or is in the middle of a diet and dreaming of the day he can wear certain clothes.

    In any case, a complaint is definitely justified. Whether it has any effect on the buffoon of a salesclown is another matter.

  41. cmdr.sass says:

    No offense but 5’11” and 210 is fat. You’d probably find better fitting clothes in big and tall. No need to get your no doubt large panties in a bunch.

  42. clementine says:

    I’ve had a similar problem. I’m a size 14 but I was shopping for a gift for my friend (petite height and size small) and a J.Jill salesperson told me to go to the other side of the store for clothes in my size. I told her that I was shopping for a gift for my friend and that I would get it at somewhere else. It didn’t faze her one bit. I just left and haven’t been back.

  43. Jon Mason says:

    @cmdr.sass: Nice one troll.

  44. SomeoneGNU says:

    Do you have a reason to complain? No. NO! I repeat – NOOOOOO!

    I could understand if it went something like:
    “Hi can I help you?”
    “Ok, because I just noticed you are too fat for this section, why don’t you try over there?”

    Instead, he offered to help and gave out some information which may or may not have been useful. Sure he overestimated your waist size, but it is not like he started screaming, “FATTY THE FATTY SECTION IS OVER THERE FATTY.”

    I have long hair and there have been times I’m standing cluelessly in the men’s section and a sales person will come up(from behind) and say, “Excuse me miss, the ladies section is over there.” Should I complain?

    Now this leads me to two things:

    First: This is newsworthy? Seriously. Surely someone must have visited Best Buy or another big box store and didn’t get worshipped upon walking in.

    Second: I have a feeling that if you were looking for the big and tall section and the guy did not point it out you would be here complaining about how poor customer service is.

    Consumers, please, get a life!

  45. Dr. Eirik says:

    I would look at this as a potential training issue. It honestly doesn’t matter if Jabba the Hutt slithers in and starts looking at size 32 dress pants that he’s clearly not going to fit in without lubricant and a crew of thousands. The most you do is walk over and ask, “How can I help you?”

    If the question is, “Do you have this in a size 320?” then you direct him appropriately. If it’s, “I’m shopping for a gift for my brother, who is but a fraction of my weight, and he wears pants.” then you help him from there. When you as a salesperson assume, you run the risk of offending someone needlessly.

    BTW, I am a bit on the obese side, 6′ and about 215. I’ve never had to even consider shopping in a “Big and Tall”.

  46. Jon Mason says:

    @SkokieGuy: FYI: Just looked on the Penneys site and the smallest size waist in Big section is 46″. The section is for BIG guys, not big guys…

  47. lupe_650 says:

    I admit I lean towards the heavier side of the scale. But god forbid I want to shop where “regular” “normal” people shop. For all the sales person knows the shopper could have been buying a gift. I don’t think the issue here has anything to do with being fat an uncomfortable about it. I think this has to do with an employee having no tact and offering assistance to someone who did not need assistance. I wouldn’t expect anything for your complaint but I’d let a manager know. Who died and made Jcpenney employees the fat police?

  48. bobert says:

    The customer was finding what he wanted where he was and told the clerk he didn’t need any help. Then the clerk made a gratuitous remark the customer found embarrassing and other patrons considered inaccurate and inappropriate. It really has nothing to do with the customer’s size.

    I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape or milk it, but if I had the time and inclination, I would give the store manager a ring or drop a note. She or he might or might not care, but might in fact care a lot and appreciate the heads-up about an employee who’s annoying the customers.

    I’m about to switch banks after nearly 20 years due to something similar. Yesterday, one of their employees picked a fight with me on the phone. If it were just that, I’d merely report the employee. But I was already seriously considering a switch since the bank has screwed up over half of numerous wire transfers I’ve done in the last year. So I’m switching banks, and writing a letter to the CEO about why. Maybe he won’t care, but maybe he will.

  49. Jim says:

    @urban_ninjya: I’m 6’0″ and 165. I’m the skinniest person I know. People tell me I look unhealthy (like in a chronically ill way). Without my shirt on, one can plainly see my bottom 3 ribs. How are you, at 15 lbs. more than me, borderline obese?

    I know people carry weight differently, and BMI is a better indicator, but I wouldn’t consider anyone our height and your weight borderline. Just off the numbers you provide, I’m thinking you’re fit as a fiddle. I’ve actually been working on getting up to about 180.

    @cde, @masonreloaded: Given what I just said, I agree. He might have a hell of a beer belly or something, but I’d have a hard time calling 5’11” and 210 “obese”. A big guy for sure, but at my size, everybody is a big guy. I can look out my window and see 5 people bigger than him.

  50. Aut0mat1c says:

    @B: And you just created the lamest reply ever.. STFU!

  51. The Porkchop Express says:

    The employee should have kept his/her yap shut after he said he didn’t need any help.

    Now as far as big and tall section: is it possible that this employee could have thought the OP was big and tall you know that doesn’t automatically mean fat. I have a meatheaded, jock friend that’s 6′ 220 and he sometimes needs big and tall stuff. I also know an anabolic freak that’s 6′ 250 (mostly muscle and some water due to “supplements”)and he needs big and tall as well.

  52. The Porkchop Express says:

    @ohiomensch: That seems a lot worse than what happened her.

  53. viqas says:

    I second the “Fuck off”, knowing that Cary is full of conservative idiots you might get more than what you ask for.

  54. Recury says:

    Does JC Penney even have a big & tall section? Pretty sure the salesperson was just calling him fat.

  55. SmellyGatto says:

    get a grip people, it is the “Big and Tall” section not the “Lardo and Gawky” section.

    Big and Tall doesn’t always mean fat.

  56. anatak says:

    I am 5’11 and 210 lbs… I wear a large and a 38 waist so I am considered neither big, nor tall…

    Ok, I call bullshit. The 38 waist, may be correct, but a large shirt? At 5’11”, 210lbs? That large shirt must look painted on, buddy. Me thinks you need an XL.

  57. algormortis says:

    wrong: “The big and tall section is over there.”

    right: “If nothing’s fitting, you might want to check our big and tall sizes section.” or “Just so you know, there’s an expanded selection of sizes in big and tall if you need it.”

    I’ve gotten the chick equivalent of the latter, but it was at Nordstrom and the woman even offered to fetch my size if i was squeamish about going over there. Mind, i was buying something for my (size 6 after eating a steak at the outback whilst bloated) girlfriend and when i told her that i knew and wasn’t squeamish she mentioned that we could be noxious and wear matching outfits because they had that in plus, too. I was in retail love!

  58. Aut0mat1c says:

    Even if this guy was 5’5 and 300lbs he should have the right to buy clothes from any section he pleases. From Little Miss to Big & Tall.

  59. cindel says:

    Here comes the “Blame the Victim” crowd.

    The salesperson was rude, not helpful. Talk to the manager.

  60. Dr. Eirik says:


    This reminds me of a story an older neighbor of mine once told me. He was a retired Hughes Aircraft engineer and had made a killing buying apartments in L.A., so he had money to burn. He was going to buy his wife a Jaguar. He decided to do some work on his building in the morning and order her a car that afternoon on the way home.

    He walked on the lot and they basically thew him off, saying it was clear from the way he was dressed he couldn’t afford one of their cars.

    So, he left and bought her a new Cadillac, cash, next door. After that, she got a new Caddy every year, like clockwork. Half the time they still smelled new when they traded them in.

  61. 3ZKL says:


    CARY = Containment Area for Rich Yuppies

    Go ahead & complain. It’s your SUV driving, white-picket, God given, suburban American right! Lord knows if some Cary soccer mom was pointed in the direction of the plus size department it would make the local news.

    Next time swing on by Southpoint & shop with us nice Durham folk.
    Promise, we don’t tease. . .just shoot

  62. rewinditback says:

    go watch penn and teller BS episode regarding obesity. The guy isn’t obese based on the numbers. The gentleman should know his own weight conditions; you don’t need to play DR and tell him what his health is

  63. Peekaso says:

    Sounds like you have short man’s syndrome IE insecurity.

    I’d probably accept it as a sign that you need to work out the poundage. At 6’8″ and 260 i get the “big and tall” comment once in awhile. Who cares.

  64. drdom says:

    Man up here dude. WTF do you care what idiotic drivel comes out of the mouth of some inconsiderate (or not) JP Pennys clerk. Perhaps they thought they were being helpful, who knows. In any event, folks have to stop being so sensitive. Life’s too short to get all out of joint over something as silly as this.

  65. TangDrinker says:

    Ok, well, it IS CARY, NC. I’ve been in that JC Penny, ironically, looking for the men’s B&T section for a gift and they didn’t have it (this was 5 years ago). I’m surprised they let us fatties into that mall at all. Cary supposedly stands for Centralized Area for Relocated Yankees. And yes, I was one when I lived there, but the general population irritated me enough to make me move to Charlotte.

    I think the person working there was just trying to be clulessly helpful – were you taller than they were? was the clerk a teenager with no tact?

  66. jarchie219 says:

    You’re lucky. They send me to the Short & Fat department.

  67. Narockstar says:

    Eh, I don’t think the salesperson was trying to be rude. Sometimes people just say stupid things.

    The other day at the grocery store the clerk asked me when I was having my baby. I’m not, nor have I ever been pregnant. Did I cry? A little. Did I complain? I have better things to do with my time.

  68. BugMeNot2 says:


    Not necessarily. I’m 5’11”, 225, wear a 34 or 36 waist, yet I wear mostly large (though some XL) shirts, and most, if not all, are large on me. It all depends on where a person carries the weight.

    The only reason my waist is 34 or 36 is because sometimes a 34, while fitting properly in the waist, does not fit well in the legs.

  69. eightfifteen says:

    I’m 5’7″ and 155 lbs. I like going into the big and tall sections, grabbing a wide (no pun) selections of clothes trying them on, then coming out yelling, “NOTHING FITS!”

  70. Sir Winston Thriller says:

    Tell the rude bastard that he only works in a shop and to drop the attitude.

  71. backbroken says:

    @masonreloaded: Like I said, if we have come to the point where “Big and Tall” equates to “big fat fucking mess” then I question why the store would even have such a department. Clearly no one would ever want to shop there.

    Being ’embarassed’ when someone perceives you as overweight is merely perpetuating the weight bias. What if the OP had a dark tan and he was equally embarrassed that someone thought he was African-American? We’d be all over the OP’s ass asking him what is so wrong about being African-American that he should be ambarrassed about it. Of course when it is a weight issue, we nod in agreement and say the employee was rude because being thought to be overweight is such a terrible thing.

  72. forever_knight says:

    that sucks. complain.

    but also, exercise more.

    there’s the truth and not politically correct bullshit.

  73. felixgolden says:

    .@Diet-Orange-Soda: I get called “big guy”, “chief”, etc. all the time. Usually its taken in the context of “I didn’t mean to harm you or offend you in anyway, please don’t hurt me”

    @socalrob: I’m in the same boat. I’m 6′ 4″ and with a 40″ waist and I wear XL shirts for the neck and shoulders, but the lower part of the shirt is often too loose. The problem with the Big and Tall stores or sections is that they should be called Big OR Tall. Most of the clothes are designed if you are tall but ridiculously thin or short and fat.

    My family as been in the clothing industry – both retail and manufacturing for over a century. But there is a big difference when you are dealing with someone who considers what they do to be a career instead of just a job.

  74. WNW says:


    Dead on. Don’t hold in your anger and file a complaint later. Call them on it right there.

  75. forever_knight says:

    @backbroken: sarcasm?

  76. urban_ninjya says:

    Ok.. I don’t think it matters what the technical definition is. You’ll still need to buy clothes that fit, otherwise you’ll look like a gay guy trying to stand out or a sagging prison bitch.

    My point being he only took offense to that because he was insecure about his own body. Let’s say if you were a girl and someone told you should look around in the petite section. Are you going to argue?

    I know short people who have to buy shirts from the kids section. Are they going to put shirts with less than 20″ sleeves in the Adult section to please them?

    BTW.. excessive bitching is a classic symtom of people who arn’t secure with themselves and can’t accept the world around them.

  77. rjhiggins says:

    @Narockstar: Well, you’re pretty thick-skinned, given the total rudeness (and stupidity) of that clerk.

    Whether the salesman in this case was “trying to be rude” or not, he absolutely was rude and should be made aware of it. The store manager should be told.

  78. The Porkchop Express says:

    @cmdr.sass: weight and height aren’t always the factors in being fat. Skinny yeah 6′ 120 lbs is skinny, 6′ 200 lbs could be chunky or an NFL corner back, wide receiver.

    The 38″ waist is a bit big though I don’t think the OP is a petit flower by any means, but also not a fat fuck by any means.

  79. Said Not says:

    For someone who works retail and probably makes minimum wage, they shouldn’t be acting as “Impromptu Fashion Consultant”. Definitely pursue this, if not just for the pleasure of having him get reprimanded.

  80. backbroken says:

    I can’t wait to read tomorrow’s article about the customer who complained because the JCPenney employee ignored him as he couldn’t find anything in his size.

  81. rjhiggins says:

    @urban_ninjya: I would guess well over half the people on this board are insecure about their own bodies, in one way or another. That’s why a salesperson in a clothing department should have a degree of sensitivity. This guy did not.

    And I hardly think posting to this board and asking for advice qualifies as “excessive bitching.”

    Finally, you’re probably insecure about your ability to formulate an argument and express it coherently. Or at least, you should be.

  82. samurailynn says:

    @Narockstar: Yes, but what if the employee had come up to you in the produce section and said “maam, the chips are on aisle three”?

  83. ClayS says:

    “What do you think, should Brandon complain?”

    I say no. To complain would help JC Penney improve their business. The best thing to do is just what he did, send the story to Consumerist and let others know not to shop there.

  84. badgeman46 says:

    Happened to me at the Levis store about 5 years ago, I am 31 and you will see why that is important. I am 5’5 and skinny. At the time I had a 28 or 29 inch waist, and they stopped carrying 28 and 29 jeans at the store. The sales girl said to me “Sears has a Junior’s department.” I have never stepped foot in a Levis store since.

  85. rjhiggins says:

    @backbroken: The fact is, in this country it is true that “because being thought to be overweight is such a terrible thing.” Read the comments on this board; people couldn’t wait for the opportunity to tell this gentleman — who they have never seen before — that he is “borderline obese” and “should exercise more” and “is fat” and has “low self-esteem”.

    So until the day comes that there truly is no stigma to being overweight (and we’re not talking Kirstie Alley size here), to suggest that he be happy in his own skin and not take such slights to heart is pretty disingenuous.

  86. Oface says:

    Snarky comments would have ensued from me. I’ll never forget I had lost all this weight and was looking good, even in my scrubs. Some old lady was standing outside my fav department store and asked if I were Jane. I told her no. She said she was stopping all women who looked pregnant to find Jane who was to take her shopping. I looked at her in disbelief and said ‘Thank you SO much for reminding me that I’m fat. If it weren’t for people like you, I’d never survive.’

    Stupid old bat.

  87. samurailynn says:

    @badgeman46: Well, if that store doesn’t carry what you need, I can see why you don’t shop there. However, if you were asking “where are the pants with a 28 inch waist” and she told you, I don’t see how that can be construed as rude.

  88. backbroken says:

    If an employee can’t even mention it by name, then JCPenney and all stores REALLY need to get rid of the Big and Tall sections. I can’t believe I’m in the minority here. This has hurt my feelings and I want to complain.

  89. fashionista says:

    @Dr. Eirik:
    That’s what makes superficial, base judgements so dangerous! Anyone could be the ‘millionaire’ next door – including Mr. Overalls and Workboots. When I (unfortunately) worked in retail, every person that came through the door was a potential sale – my paycheck mattered more than a tailored suit and Italian shoes.

  90. jrdnjstn94 says:

    The employee was stupid in making that comment. Hell yeah he should complain. I work in retail and people complain all the time about “rude employees” or whatever.

    So if I went into JC Penney with my hair not done, I should be expected to have an employee tell me that the hair salon is in the corner of the store?

    If I’m not pregnant but shopping for a gift in the baby section should an employee come up to me and Tell me I’m in the wrong dept. or ask me fifty questions about being pregnant because I’m shopping in that dept.

  91. forever_knight says:

    @rjhiggins: there will always be a stigma with being overweight because it is unquestionably unhealthy. stop pretending it is some great cause to champion the overweight and those that have to suffer the unjust “exercise more” comments. this is tough love.

    most fat people die early in life. that’s why you never see a 95 year old fat person alive. they don’t exist.

  92. Narockstar says:

    @samurailynn: Ha! I’d be shocked that one of the employees actually knew where something was.

  93. tcp100 says:

    Oh of course, here we go with the “5’11 and 210? you are OBESE, so tough luck!” crowd. Naturally, it’s absolutely OK to make fun of anybody who’s not a wiry emo punk. Fat dudes might as well be murderers! Dregs of society, I tell ya! They should walk around all day feeling awful for themselves!

    I love how skinny people always come out of the woodwork to judge people who aren’t skinny, since by nature of their weight they are obviously paragons of health, and anybody with a BMI over 25 must sit around all day shoving cake in their mouths.

    I’ve got a skinny friend who’s 6’1″ and 125 and shoves hardees thickburgers in his face all day. However, he too feels he has the authority to judge anyone with more weight on their frame as an inferior person.

    Yes, what the salesperson did was rude. It would have been easy to ask “What size are you looking for, sir?”

    Of course, if the guy’s a little big, he deserves everything he gets, right? Oh, and people will come on here and feign that it’s under the guise of health – but let’s be honest – you just don’t like looking at fat people.

    (Oh, and I know plenty of friends who are 5″11 and 210 and nobody would ever look at them and say they’re “fat”. How convenient this stupid BMI scale is, that everyone can be put into a little box! FYI, BMI was not instituted for reasons of individual health – it was created by insurers to classify large swaths of people. However, everyone uses it as the end-all-be-all today, because they are lazy (lazier than a fat dude, lol! HA HA so funny, get it?)..

    Lifestyle? Genetics? Diet? Blood pressure? Frame size? Oh, none of that matters! Height times weight, folks! That’s all you need!

    For those defending this ass at JC penney, just come out and admit you’re superficial and wish the world was filled with nothing but twiggy vegans for your visual pleasure. Let’s stop kidding ourselves.

  94. backbroken says:

    @rjhiggins: Any stigma felt about being overweight comes from within. Using the culture as an excuse is, well, an excuse.

    During a trip to India (back when the dollar was worth a dollar and deals could be found) I went shopping for a couple of suits to bring back. Now, I am 6′ and maybe 175 lbs if I’ve just eaten Thanksgiving dinner. But most of the stores had nothing in my size. Was I embarrassed to be the Big and Tall guy in India? No. Clearly I was in a culture that considered me such, but what was I supposed to be embarrassed about? I am what I am. I would hope to think that if I was big and tall in America that I would feel the same way.

  95. onestep says:

    Absolutely not. More than likely, the associate thought they were being helpful. Did they make the remark in an condescending way? If not, maybe you just took it personal because you feel a little overweight and it touched a nerve.

  96. UpsetPanda says:

    My mom regularly went shopping in high end boutiques like Chanel wearing track suits. She was comfy and she didn’t care what they thought of her. But if they ever voiced any rudeness to her, she’d tell them they lost a good sale and would leave. No one, no matter wha t they wear into the store, should be treated with rudeness – it doesn’t matter whether it’s Brooks Brothers or Wal-Mart.

  97. trujunglist says:

    Listen, you can’t just stand around looking all shocked and embarrassed, you have to ACT people. If someone insults you, whether intentional or not, you should come up with something to say back to them, even if it takes a second and you have to yell at them from like 10 feet away.
    In this case, I probably would’ve yelled something really stupid like:


  98. tcp100 says:

    @forever_knight: That is anectdotal bullshit.

    My grandmother is 89, and she has never been a petite flower. Stop trying to shove bullshit stories around to prove a point that is not true.

    Self-righteous skinny people love to pull out the “lol, you never see skinny old people!” as if it’s some morsel of wisdom and truth.

    Hey, guess what, everybody, even animals, lose body mass as they get older. Even if your little anectdote was true (it isn’t), that doesn’t mean its because anyone who isn’t stick-thin is on a rail towards a cardiac arrest at 45. It just isn’t true.

    Being “morbidly obese” is unhealthy, but there are plenty of skinny people running around with cholesterol and blood pressure higher than your average guy with a 38 inch waist.

    So, again, nice try, but it all comes down to the fact that people like you don’t like people who are bigger than you purely for superficial reasons, and enjoy prodding them because it makes you feel superior.

    Think about this.. If fat people die earlier, than they don’t need geriatric care into long old age, do they, huh? So much for that societal cost argument. Using your logic, medicare’s about to be overburdened as nursing homes start bulging at the seams with skinny centegenarians that simply refuse to die.

  99. Ex_EA_Slave says:

    The sales persons comment doesn’t make you fat. Being 5’11”, 210lbs, makes you fat. I was 6′, 210lbs, in high school and yes, I was chubby. There is no way possible he should be wearing a L shirt. XL at the minimum.

  100. one response would be “hey, I bet you’d know where the fuckwit section is too” or something before throwing the merch at him and walking out.

    jesus. grow a fucking pair, Brandon.

  101. backbroken says:

    @rjhiggins: Well, I’m not trying to say that there isn’t a weight stigma in this country.

    All I am saying is that someone telling you where the Big and Tall section is, is a far cry from being stigmatized for your weight. And the suggestion that the OP was offended enough about it to raise a stink is only perpetuating the stigmatization.

    Sorry for all the posts. Just feeling the flow.

  102. bohemian says:

    If I was in Lerner and the store clerk tried to direct me to Lane Bryant (I’m a sz 10) a few doors down, she would get a hearty fuck off before I left.

    I was in the Frederick’s at the local mall looking for a bra. Since sizes are never the same I took a few to try on. As I was heading to the fitting rooms a middle aged guy in a suit was exiting with a bunch of hangers with extra large sized women’s lingerie. He was the only person in the fitting rooms. The clerk asking him what ones he was taking today and rang him up. She treated him like any other customer and was polite and helpful. That would be what you call customer service.

  103. tcp100 says:

    How would some of you skinny guys feel if the same thing happened to you, but the clerk said “You could try the misses department.”

  104. anonymouscoworker says:

    Technically, you’re an idiot. He’s not overweight, and definitely not borderline obese. Learn how to use the internet. BMI Calculator

    @urban_ninjya: “Way past the obese scale”? Really? You must need to learn how to use the internet too. BMI Calculator

    It’s funny how easy it is to talk smack when your facts are completely wrong.

  105. Joafu says:

    @masonreloaded: Smallest in B&T is 42, regular pant sizes go from 26-42 waist(44 for some brands). Website is different from the store. All the worker suggested was area, not that the customer was fat, maybe a little bit bigger but not fat; the worker was trying to be helpful. Shrug it off.

  106. Trai_Dep says:

    Of COURSE the clerk should have promptly apologized.

    Followed by, “But isn’t it too early to be wearing a Halloween mask?”

  107. sarabadara says:

    My friend was browsing in Hollister (blech!) with her daughter and an associate told her (the not-by-any-means large 13 year-old girl) that “we don’t sell anything in your size.” If I hadn’t moved 700 miles away, I think I’d go in there and slap her in the mouth.

  108. BlazerUnit says:

    The J.C. Penney salesman may have intended to be helpful without an ounce of malice in his suggestion. But he/she still made one tremendously inappropriate assumption.

    Just based upon seeing Brandon’s browsing, how could the salesman know that he was shopping for himself? For all he probably observed, he may have been shopping for a gift or on someone’s behalf.

    I don’t think it would be out of line to POLITELY have management make a note of this–the salesman could be new and making this mistake with other customers.

  109. tcp100 says:

    @anonymouscoworker: Unfortunately according to the BMI, he is overweight.

    The problem is, however, is that the BMI is a stupid scale:

    “The medical establishment has generally acknowledged some shortcomings of BMI.[11] Because the BMI is dependent only upon net weight and height, it makes simplistic assumptions about distribution of muscle and bone mass, and thus may overestimate adiposity on those with more lean body mass (e.g. athletes) while underestimating adiposity on those with less lean body mass (e.g. the elderly).

    In fact, some argue that the error in the BMI is significant and so pervasive that it is not generally useful in evaluation of health.[12] Due to these limitations, body composition for athletes is often better calculated using measures of body fat, as determined by such techniques as skinfold measurements or underwater weighing. However, recent studies of American football linemen, who undergo intensive weight training to make their muscles extremely large, show that they frequently suffer many of the same problems as people ordinarily considered obese, notably sleep apnea[13][14].

    In an analysis of 40 studies involving 250,000 people, heart patients with normal BMIs were at higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease than people whose BMIs put them in the “overweight” range (BMI 25-29.9).[15]

  110. The Porkchop Express says:

    @tcp100: I hate to do this, but the anger in you made it happen. How fat are you to be so pissed at skinny and average weight people? And some weight lifting or jogging can be a great/healthy way to vent this frustration.

    I’m against all the people calling htis guy fatty and obese too and I agree that the BMI is crap, but damn man chill.

  111. backbroken says:

    @tcp100: Well clearly I would be greatly offended because being a female is a terrible, terrible thing.

    Honestly, I’d be a bit bemused. The clerk is the one who should be embarrassed. Why would I be embarrassed about someone else’s mistake? Help me on this one.

  112. BlazerUnit says:

    I’m note really sure what all the fuss about Brandon’s body is. The salesman made an assumption he/she really had no business making.

  113. tcp100 says:

    @Lo-Pan: I’m 5’9 190, so about the same range as him. Again with the “wow, you must be HUGE to be so mad” argument?

    I’m mad because of people like you. I work out absolutely regular, and can run a six minute mile. I mountain bike and cross country ski. I will never be 120 lbs, and I’m sick of folks like you who assume that someone who isn’t tiny is a lazy, slovenly slob.

    So yes, I’m angry. And you underscored exactly why.

  114. Trai_Dep says:

    Although, every time I leave the country and return to the US, I’m floored by how obese typical Americans are. We are (the greater, the further you’re from the coasts?) a nation of unhealthy overweight people. Less Freedom Fries, people!

  115. tcp100 says:

    @backbroken: People who don’t fit into average archetypes have a hard enough time shopping for clothes; nevermind when the help decides to add fuel to the fire.

    I’ll leave a car dealership if they misjudge my income and ability to buy a car (happened last time I bought one, actually. Ever try and walk into a decent dealership wearing jeans and being under 30? Good luck.)

    The point is that the clerk was rude, and service people should not be rude to customers, period – even if they are fat.

  116. AnnC says:

    @forever_knight: That used to be true. They would die early because they were hunted for their meat and blubber. Now they’re a protected species and their populations are thriving.

  117. Carencey says:

    The salesperson was probably trying to help and just has an astonishingly low EQ. However, if someone is in clothing sales, having at least a little bit of tact is part of the job (as opposed to commenting on a blog, where it is generally considered a liability). The OP should stop by and just let the manager know what happened. You probably shouldn’t expect anything more than an “I’m sorry, thanks for letting me know”, but it’s a perfectly legitimate thing to comment on. Now if the OP was to sue for pain and suffering or demand that the salesperson be fired, that would be a response for Ben’s book, but a minor comment to management about a minor incident isn’t out of line at all.

    LOL, that’s why I like shopping at H & M — they haven’t inflated their women’s sizes to a ridiculous degree like most of the other mass market clothing stores, so I can actually find stuff my size there.

  118. elijah_dukes_mayonnaise says:

    Time for some fen-phen….

  119. forever_knight says:

    @tcp100: 1. your grandmother is anecdotal bullshit. if you are “calling” me on mine why provide yours? how about some studies instead? i would love to read them, even if i’m completely wrong.

    2. “everyone loses body mass with age” does not support your claim or refute mine. most likely, people lose body mass at the same rate.

    3. yes, there are skinny people out there that are more unhealthy than overweight folk. these people are most likely the exceptions and not the rules. i’m not claiming that some skinnies aren’t more unhealthy than some fatties.

    4. i don’t have to look at fat people if i don’t want to. i’m more bothered by the fact that fat people don’t seem to give a rats ass about their lives. they take it for granted and some even defend fattness as if its some great quality we should all strive for.

    5. you have a point. fat people may actually cost less for healthcare, since they won’t live long enough to need the most expensive kind. they are more likely to die of a massive heart attack in their 40s or 50s.

  120. CumaeanSibyl says:

    This is the same problem that the other customer had with the clerk who told her to get a breast reduction. Employees should not offer unsolicited advice. Yes, of course, they’re there to be helpful; however, as complete strangers, they’re not in a position to know what advice might be useful to a customer, what might be useless, and what might be inappropriate or hurtful. The only way they can know is if the customer tells them, so they should listen to the customer’s stated needs instead of wasting time and courting trouble with assumptions.

    I would talk to the store’s manager, because that employee needs someone to tell him that making such assumptions is a horrible idea. Brandon obviously isn’t a vindictive person, but another man might make a scene, call corporate, and demand the employee’s job on a platter — and he might get it, too.

  121. The Porkchop Express says:

    @tcp100: Um, I never called the guy a slob. or you, I asked how big you were thinking that maybe you were so pissed because you were this guy’s size and bothered by people calling him a fatty. Read my comments on this post. The worst I have said about young brandon is that he ain’t tiny and he ain’t a fat fuck. I said a 38″ waist is a bit big, this may have been an insensitive way to say it (to you at least not to me because i think brandon knows he’s not a little guy) if it was I apologize to the OP.

    I just think you’re getting so angry that nobody is going to even consider what you are saying because of the ranting, everybody’s against us nature of your posts. It actually got me a bit angry, because according to you I’m a superficial asshole because i’m on the thin side of things. same as saying big guys are all lazy dude.

  122. buzzybuzzy says:

    Even if the sales guy was justified in pointing out the Big & Tall section (which he wasn’t), how did he know that Brandon was even buying the items for himself and not as a gift.

    The only situation in which he would have been justified in pointing out the Big & Tall section is if he were asked where it was or if the pants in question came in bigger sizes than were on that rack. The conversation should have gone like this:

    Sales Guy: Good afternoon, Sir. Do you need an assistance?

    Brandon: No, thank you.

    Sales Guy: OK – well, if you should, just ask. Have a nice day.

    End of story.

  123. tcp100 says:

    @Trai_Dep: Every time I leave the US, I’m floored at how many people still smoke, particularly in France and other parts of Europe.

    The US does not have the market cornered on unhealthy habits, as popular as it is these days to label America as such.

  124. ChuckECheese says:

    Here goes: I think there’s a reverse-overweight stigma developing in this country. Through various means, people are trying to normalize being overweight, and attack anybody who says otherwise. I lost a friend two weeks ago, because, as an overweight diabetic who was warned recently that she would have to inject insulin if she could not get her blood sugar under control, I wondered out loud why she had to get the large Blizzard at DQ–wouldn’t a smaller size be enjoyable also without causing her feet to turn blue? I was actually caring for my friend, whose health is in the crapper. Mix-ins aren’t going to make her feel better. It’s amazing that somebody would rather take offense and/or dump a friend than accept the obvious.

    In Brandon’s defense, JCP’s salesperson wasn’t caring. It would be possible in the context of good customer service, to direct Brandon to anyplace at all, with the enthusiastic promise of discovering some good-looking, well-fitting clothes. No need to discuss BMIs (Brandon’s is 29.3).

    Back in the good ol’ days, if somebody was rude enough to point out one of your flaws, you had enough sense, after you removed your hand from your face, to recognize it as a potential self-improvement opportunity. Now we only improve if we have an ankle monitor and a probation officer. If you ain’t right, ain’t nobody gonna love you like you are ‘cept your momma.

  125. tcp100 says:

    @forever_knight: Knock yourself out:


  126. DrGirlfriend says:

    I would consider talking to the store manager just to let him/her know that what the clerk said was inappropriate. Not making a big deal out of it, just to offer up a training opportunity. Regardless of whether or not the OP is fat, the implication was made that he was. And last I checked, someone insinuating you should be looking in the section of the store meant for larger folks does not constitute a pleasant shopping experience. The OP could have been in that section of the store in order to shop for a gift for someone else who did not fall under B and/or T.

  127. tcp100 says:

    @Lo-Pan: Fine, you’re right, I did rant. I acknowledge that. I didn’t mean to lash out at you in particular.

    The reason I ranted is that it doesn’t seem to matter what anyone says about this issue, basically it’s considered OK to demean people for their weight, most of the time people saying it’s because of health reasons.. Which I find interesting..

    Really, people make fun of fat people, because they just care so much? Please.

  128. urban_ninjya says:

    @rjhiggins: Ooo.. getting personal here. I guess I sort of started by calling the guy fat. Oh well, I’m probably a big bigot myself.

    From my point of view, all he said was where the big and tall section is. It doesn’t communicate the tone it was said in, and all the nuances that can determine the real meaning. I assume the tone was casual in the same tone he asked, “can I help you.” To one person, “Big and tall section over there.”, might go, “Thanks.”, in another case feel offended. It really is more of a personal interpretation.

    2nd. When he said another customer mouthed something. I assume he’s listening to his own internal dialog. Does the guy read lips? Maybe, short sentences like “I love you”, are recognizeable. My assumption is his personal interpertation is a reflection if his internal state of mind.

    3rd.. Why is he even asking if he should complain? That is seeking external validation for his reaction. Does he need permission to complain? He’s seeking external approval for self assurance. A self assured person would of either ignored the comment, or just voice their opinion right there to the person, “I think what you said was offensive. And here’s why…” Telling a manager via complains behind his back won’t help the guy. It’ll only piss people off and not constructive by any means. If he was accidentally rude to the customer, knowing up front so he can correct himself, apologize, etc… is more helpful than going behind his back. Frankly, I think people won’t don’t take their issues with those involved first, don’t deserve to bitch about it later.

  129. Manok says:

    at least he didn’t call you a cheeseburger locker.

  130. mjsager says:


  131. ChuckECheese says:

    @tcp100: There’s a story on AP today that the German Army is more out of shape than German civilians, and that about 70% of German soldiers smoke: [www.telegraph.co.uk]

  132. acasto says:

    It really has nothing to do with J.C. Penny’s, but rather the fact our society is full of idiots. My wife actually works in the jewelry department at J.C. Penny’s, and has had customers do this to her. Just the other day she had a women say she was looking for a necklace for a friend who was big, then looked at my wife and said, “big, like you, can you try this on?”…

  133. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @masonreloaded: That just sounds oversensitive to me.

  134. The Porkchop Express says:

    @tcp100: Nobody that’s making fun of them cares, that much we certainly agree on.

    I have some owerweight and obese friends. And I don’t joke about it…they do though, I guess trying to beat people to the punch. I just wish they would at least try to do something about it if it bothers them so much. And, yes, I do know that in at least three of the cases I know they haven’t tried.

  135. AMetamorphosis says:

    I had an experience with a rude salesperson @ JCP’s about 2 years ago. I did not blow up but I simply stated that I wanted to speak with the service person’s manager. I KINDLY told her that her salesperson was out of line and needed to be talked to.

    Not to be unkind, but I think this guy is either trying to use this as a means to a gift card.

    The truth of the matter is the salesperson probably was trying to help you find clothes that would fit.

    If your that offended, perhaps its due to your weight.

  136. rjhiggins says:

    To all of you who are judging this gentleman based on his height/weight: Can you image how obese a guy must be if he’s 5-11, 219 pounds? Get him to a gym, right?

    Check out this NFL draft prospect:

    Name: Robert James
    College: Arizona State
    Height: 5-11 Weight: 219
    Position: OLB
    40-yard-dash time: 4.64
    Bench presses (225 pounds): 22
    BMI: 30.5 (OBESE!!!!)

    Anyone out there want to tell him to his face he’s obese?

  137. Jon Mason says:

    My final comment, as this thread is kind of getting pointless and annoying. I am (I would guess) about the same size as this guy, inch or two taller, about 5lbs heavier.

    Am I a little heavier than I want to be? Yes.

    Could I do more to lose weight? Yes.

    Am I a little sensitive about it? Sometimes.

    Do I need to shop in the Big & Tall section? Absolutely not.

    I would be taken aback to be told I should be – just the same as if a waiter told me “maybe you should try the low fat version?” or “you sure you don’t want diet soda instead?”

  138. The Porkchop Express says:

    @rjhiggins: That’s why BMI is the dumbest thing that ever happened. it means nothing.
    what about a guy that isn’t in the same shape, but weighs the same…holy shit they have the same BMI. the weight means nothing, why don’t people get that. It’s the actual body fat and the shape your in that make you John Candy or Robert James.

    Also Robert there probably has a smaller waist than the OP. and may need shirts from the B&T section for his shoulders and neck.

  139. erratapage says:

    What does obesity have to do with size, anyway? The guy wears a 38… you get those in the regular men’s department. If the clerk can’t identify a size from looking at someone, he should hang up his pricegun and go work at MickyD’s.

  140. tcp100 says:

    @Lo-Pan: And that may represent a good part of the population, but I also know overweight people who have been struggling and trying for years, and it just doesn’t work for them.

    A lot of the time the jokes are to beat someone to the punch – a buddy of mine who’s unfortunately on the ugly side of things does that all the time, and I always feel bad about it – but it’s certainly a defense mechanism. Kinda a “Look, OK? I know I’m this or that, just leave me alone.”

    I guess I’m angry because I personally have been through the dieting and working out til I injure myself roller coaster, and my body just won’t get me down to “skinny”. Will never happen. Blood pressure’s fine, cholesterol is fine, and I can be perfectly active – but it just doesn’t work as far as raw pounds go.

    I work out regularly to maintain health – not for aesthetics. And according to my doctor and how I feel, I am perfectly healthy, regardless of what the BMI says.

    Then you have skinny folks tell you to drop the McDonalds (have been thre maybe 3 times in 8 years, and it’s just that easy.. Sure.. They also look at you in disgust if they see you eating anything but a green salad.

    Personally I was a bit vindicated when I was able to beat my gym rat friend in a quick sprint, but most people don’t go past initial glances… Which is exactly what happened to this OP.. He was sized up, considered past a limit, and considered fair fame for rudeness, IMHO.

  141. normanm4 says:

    the staff person is an ass, but the complainant is whining.

  142. unklegwar says:

    Shrug it off and don’t be such a whiny pansy. If you don’t like the way you were treated, don’t shop there anymore. That’s the appropriate way to protest. Letters to consumerist and to the store? Maybe he should have pointed you to ruffled skirts and training bras.

  143. tcp100 says:

    @Lo-Pan: Well you and I are in total agreement on the BMI.

    Seems that’s all any “health” article talks about these days, however.

    But, like I said – and this especially goes for the media (there’s another thing I could have a schizo rant about like the earlier post where I lost my cool) – if it’s easy, that’s what they’ll use.

  144. Vilgrom says:

    This sounds like something that’s best dealt with immediately..

    You either get confrontational or you forget all about it. If I was to keep my senses in a situation like that, I would say something to make the salesperson extremely uncomfortable and just as embarrassed.

  145. ChuckECheese says:

    @rjhiggins: A lot of football players look like lycra-wrapped spam bombs, despite your single example–is he related to you? It is well known that athletes can be large without being fat. It is also known that some skinny people are fat despite not looking so. But this is really beside the point. I imagine our Brandon would have taken the time to defend himself (and gain some sports cred) by telling us about his athleticism, had he any–you know, a boilerplate history of highschool football OT-ing, or heavyweight-class wrestling in college. Have you ever known somebody who has been an athlete who won’t tell you so at any opportunity? Methinks Brandon’s “shock” is derived from his embarrassment that he spent too much time wondering if the salesperson were right to defend himself in the moment.

  146. tcp100 says:

    @Vilgrom: I think that would be the best course of action though, but you always think of the best response when it’s too late.

    You know, that perfect ascerbic snarky comeback that comes to you 90 seconds after you had the chance.

  147. picshereplz says:

    C’mon guys. Thicker skin is in order.

  148. thesupreme1 says:

    “I am 5’11 and 210 lbs… I wear a large and a 38 waist”

    I’m 5’10 1/2″ I weigh 200-205, and I’m a size 32 and can squeeze into a 31…

    I want to know what is going on here, I know I lift weights but this is a pretty big difference.

  149. SomeoneGNU says:


    But having thicker skin is so boring. Why can’t we just beat on our chest about how JC Penney’s hates fat people and threaten to never shop there again(which only lasts until their next sale, but then again, who needs principles).

    I’m not calling the guy fat, not saying the sales associate wasn’t wrong, but is this really that big of an issue?

  150. picshereplz says:

    @thesupreme1: Way to show off, show-off! :)

  151. hate2brippedoff says:

    Yes, Brandon has a very valid reason to complain. JCP has always erred on the side of tact. When I worked at a JCP store in a town of 1,500 I was warned to treat the cross dressers just like any other customer if a man wanted to try on ladies lingerie, they could.

    I just got gently guided out of the ladies “queen size” area when I was inqiring if a certain style would be back in. It was for a family member who does buy from that department, but the clerk had the best intentions.

    It’s all a matter of attitude on the part of the customer and the employee. I didn’t get the impression the employee was being very tactful.

  152. tcp100 says:

    @thesupreme1: Umm, I think you just proved that the BMI and raw weight measurements mean very little when judging someone’s overall shape and health?

    People of a given height and weight can, and will, vary DRAMATICALLY in health, size, and shape… Yet, they’ll all have the exact same BMI.

    Yet people still use that dumb number to put a be-all end-all gauge on your health.

  153. rjhiggins says:

    @ChuckECheese: I just picked a quick example; as you point out it would be easy (but unnecessary) to find a whole lot more.

    My point is simply that the people who are so quick to call this man obese and thus obviously deserving of the salesman’s rudeness — knowing nothing more than his height and weight — are judgmental fools.

  154. reznicek111 says:

    C’mon, admit it … the JCPenney dude was inappropriate. Think of this somewhat similar scenario and the poo-storm that might follow: salesperson asks random somewhat overweight female clothes shopper, “can I help you find anything?”

    “No thanks, I’m fine.”

    “No problem. By the way, the maternity section is over there.”

    Unless shoppers specifically ask for help, it’s inappropriate to offer where to find deodorant, acne medication, mouthwash…you get the idea.

  155. thesupreme1 says:


    Sorry, but I am very seriously wondering how he can be a 38″ and weigh almost exactly the same as me and be slightly taller. I always thought BMI was skewed, it doesn’t take into account enough variables IMO.

  156. HeyThereKiller says:

    @rainmkr: or just thinner folks

  157. Woofer00 says:

    I know this is a tangent off the original post’s purpose, but it’s relevant to the “informed” consumerists responding on this thread.

    Here’s an interesting tidbit at 5’7″, 195:
    According to the BMI scale, I’m obese (~30).
    According to an impedance scale, I’m on the heavy side of average (~16.5%)
    According to the last few caliper tests performed on me, I’m pushing toward the athletic side of average (~15%).

    Waist ~33, wear a medium-large, gym multiple times per week.

    Your number and tests mean nothing. Aside from submersion methods, few if any tests are remotely accurate. Height/weight calculations take into account little to none of the body’s composition. Impedance meters are flawed for a number of reasons, including hydration, localized effect (through only upper or lower body, never the entire system, and miss the entire stomache region). Caliper exams are topical only (surface/skinfat). Aside from total submersion or x-ray methods, you can’t really know for sure.

    It seems consumerism is the only thing many people are informed on. Perhaps this thread should focus on the consumer issue, which is poor sales service and rudeness.

  158. stuny says:

    Was maybe your zipper open at the time?

  159. SaraAB87 says:

    I don’t think this person is fat at all. We have become too obsessed with even a person who is 10lbs overweight, but I am betting this person doesn’t even look the least bit fat. 215 is NOT a lot for a guy to weigh.

    This was totally rude and uncalled for and very embarrasing for the person shopping. They should have at least assumed that he was buying a gift for someone else and left him alone. Don’t these stores know that gift giving buyers spend the most money in their stores!

  160. quieterhue says:

    Look, it’s common courtesy not to imply in public that a stranger is fat–regardless of whether it’s true or not. It’s one thing if the customer asks where the big and tall section is, but this guy actually told the salesperson he did not need help. Why would the salesperson offer that sort of potentially insulting information unsolicited? Even if this guy was fat, what if he was shopping for someone else?

    I would send JC Penny a note and recommend that they send their employees to Miss Manners academy.

  161. maztec says:

    No point, was just a stupid kid. Grow a thicker skin. Laugh it off. Turn it around on them, pass it back as a joke. Schoolyard tricks that we learned years ago. use them, they really do get you somewhere – there were lessons there. Better than punching someone, better than crying to the teacher.

    Now, if it was a manager – you have a store-wide issue, rather than an idiot kid.

  162. EmperorOfCanada says:


    As a fat mess I take offense to the fact that you imply there is something wrong with weighing 400lbs. Just more of me to love honey.

  163. jon-e says:

    That reminds me of the time I was shopping for a Seiko at Macy’s. I was wearing short sleeves and shorts (I’m covered in tattoos). The old lady behind the counter walked up to me and said, “Our Fossil brand merchandise and the less expensive watches are in the cases over there” pointing behind us.

    I just smiled and walked away. I’m a Creative Director, so I earn an above average living, so purchasing a $600 watch isn’t much of a sting.

    In instances like that, though, I think it’s better to let it slide off your back and move on. If you feel compelled to complain (which is justified) better to make your complaint to the manager of the sales associate at that moment rather than at a later point in time. That’s the only way to make a criticism stick.

  164. Garbo says:

    Prejudice against obesity is the last acceptable form of bigotry. I encounter it every day, and often it is much more embarrassing and upsetting than this incident. Brandon should definitely complain, and the commenters here who perpetuate this prejudice here on Consumerist should also take note: uninvited negative comments on a person’s physicality are unacceptable. Some of the comments made here angered me m ore than the incident. Go ahead, fat haters, flame me!

  165. ToddC says:

    @Woofer00: While I don’t think what happened was right, please.. we can all tell when someone is fat or not. I don’t need to dip someone in a pool of water to know if they are significantly overweight or not.

  166. ToddC says:

    Sorry.. one more followup. I don’t think this guy is severely overweight. So yeah, I would complain to the store.

  167. ananke says:

    too bad brandon didn’t have the speed to come up with a flippy answer like the anecdote below, or something like “shouldn’t you get back to the obnoxious a-hole section, it looks like its unmanned.”


  168. Cupajo says:

    @rainmkr: Saying that people need to be thicker skinned is letting assholes of the hook. No, this guy shouldn’t picket and he shouldn’t sue and it doesn’t merit a “I’m never coming here again”, but I think he has cause to call up the store manager and let him know that one of his clerks is a dickhead and will probably end up costing the store money if he doesn’t change his tactics.

  169. Woofer00 says:

    @ToddC: Actually, I think you can’t tell when someone is overweight simply by looking at their height and weight. You might be able to judge on sight, but I’d have to point out that on the internet, noone can see you.

  170. ironchef says:

    dude, lighten up…literally.

  171. PeggyK says:

    The whole issue of whether the shopper was fat or not is a red herring. The fact is that he told the salesperson he didn’t require any assistance, who responded by essentially telling the shopper that he was in the wrong section. Not only was it rude, it was poor salesmanship, because, as it turns out, the shopper was shopping in the appropriate section for his size. And what if shopper had been shopping for his son, or dad or friend? Would all the blamers here feel the same way if he had been shopping in the young men’s section and the salesperson had volunteered directions to the regular men’s section?

  172. ElenorR says:

    How do you know that he is overweight and borderline obese? Have you met the man?

    A 38″ waist is not that bad and a man who is 200+ at 5’10” is pretty average.

  173. elijah_dukes_mayonnaise says:

    @thesupreme1: muscle weighs more than fat.

  174. ChuckECheese says:

    @rjhiggins: Well, if what you said was the whole story, I’d agree with you completely. However, we do have one more piece of information: his waist size (38). And we also can compare this to the silhouette of thesupreme1 who is approximately the same mass, but has different credentials. Many health researchers think the waist size:hip size ratio is the defining measurement when determining whether somebody is healthy or not. So, if you’re athletic, but massive, I would expect you to nonetheless have a waist narrower than your hips, and health stats say you would be as healthy as a skinny guy. These studies show that no male would be considered truly healthy with a waist much over 34″. Check out this article on the topic of waists and hips: [www.msnbc.msn.com]

  175. jimconsumer says:

    I say, get over it. My wife was shopping with a friend at Victoria’s Secret. A saleswoman approached her friend in the same way and said, “Our plus sizes are over there.” The friend was pissed off.

    But here’s the thing: She’s also 5’4″ and 230lbs. So, you know, she was a big girl. If you don’t want people bringing it up, lose the weight.

  176. Maulleigh says:

    Who knows what’s going on. It’s probably the employee’s problem and not JC Penney’s.

    I say shrug it off. If you’re not big or tall, have a laugh.

  177. Thorny says:

    INTENT INTENT INTENT. Some people are weird and think their unsolicited advice is actually helpful. My guess is this employee thought they would save you some time.

  178. forever_knight says:

    @AnnC: :)

  179. forever_knight says:

    @tcp100: “INTERPRETATION: The better outcomes for cardiovascular and total mortality seen in the overweight and mildly obese groups could not be explained by adjustment for confounding factors. These findings could be explained by the lack of discriminatory power of BMI to differentiate between body fat and lean mass.”

    uh, so BMI isn’t a great indicator. that wasn’t what we were talking about. the argument was fat people don’t live to 95.

  180. gruffydd says:

    Most of the comments are way more offensive than what the JCP clerk said.

  181. vermontwriter says:

    Reminds me of what happened to my former sis-in-law. Around Christmas, she went into Victoria’s Secret to get a gift certificate for me. She was in a car accident a while back that left her with a broken back and laid up in bed for a number of months, so she was definitely out of shape.

    When she walked in, a clerk came right up to her and told her that she may as well leave now because she’d never find anything in her size. Not only did they lose a $50 sale that day, but I stopped shopping there too.

  182. Chase says:

    @tcp100: I am often mistaken for a woman and addressed as “Ma’am.” This happens more with my longer hair, but it also happened with a very short cut. I find it flattering, as not many men have the ability to be hit on by both genders.

    As for another thing said in this topic, one can control their weight. Height is an entirely different subject, as one has no control over it.

  183. Smashville says:

    Sidney Crosby is 5’11″/200 lbs and women fall all over him…

  184. shor0814 says:

    The salesman is just clueless. Tell the manager if you really care but don’t sweat it. I blame this one on complete stupidity.

    I am way bigger than the OP, but the JCP big and tall stuff is usually too big for me. An intelligent salesman would have offered to be around if he had any questions and left. An intelligent salesman would also know the products they carry.

    I think the salesman should be practicing his “do you want fries with that?” line, he will need it for a long time.

  185. Icantlikethat says:

    5’11 + 210 lbs in the U.S. = SLIM
    I can get my 230lbs (on a good day) in 38’s.

  186. forgottenpassword says:

    floor salesmen… I really dont like them. One thing they do the most that just pisses me off is that when I tell them I am looking for an item…..instead of telling me where it is… they ask me what I am trying to do or use it for. And usually I am using it for something that it wasnt exactly designed for (I am a tinkerer who likes to find practical uses for different items). And trying to explain it to them is just a pain in the ass!

    An example…. At a hardware store I wanted some electrical conduit holders so that I could use them to mount & lock a longhandled tool (like a rake) in place to keep it from being stolen. The electrical conduit holder is perfect for this as you can bolt it to a wall & put a padlock in the bolt holes at the ends …. effectively clamping & locking the tool in place.

    I guess they automatically assume that I dont know what I am doing or using the “wrong tool for the job” & want to set me straight. I dont want that… I KNOW what I want… just freekin tell me where they are at!

  187. Balisong says:

    @sophistiKate: (and everyone else who thinks this guy has no weight problem): 210 lbs at 5’11 is overweight by BMI scales. Please everyone let’s quit pretending noone has weight problems in this country so everyone’s poor little feelings can be spared.

    Aaaaanyway, I don’t think there’s any reason to complain. I think this person thought they were helping, and weren’t quite thinking when they said that. Perhaps they even had an “Oh crap why did I say that??” moment later. Since they don’t know what the intention of the seller was, there’s no reason to get the seller and/or the store in trouble.

  188. purplegrog says:

    @badgeman46: Are you sure the person was not trying to be helpful? Yes, you’re not the age group for juniors any more, but you might still be the size. I was in your waist size range for a very long time (a sedentary job combined with little exercise and poor diet has beefed me up to a 32″ waist). I regularly had to go to juniors sections for things like belts. I wasn’t terribly upset by the location. I just go where I need to go to get the goods I need.

    @ everyone who says the sales person was rude. Is it really completely impossible that he wasn’t trying to make the shopping experience easier for the OP? I don’t think many people would be up in arms if an average size woman was shopping in the average size women’s area and a sales clerk pointed her to the petite section because there might be more appropriate clothes there.

    Lastly, in terms of a complaint, I think the real question would be whether the clothes the OP was looking for could be found in the “big & tall” section. If that’s the case, rather than complaining about the sales clerk, one should complain to JCP corporate about the categories and clothing placement in the store.

  189. kerry says:

    @Sir Winston Thriller: Absolutely Fabulous FTW!

  190. StarWhores says:

    Being about in the same size boat as the OP I’d admit I’m a fatty. He may on the other hand be more fit than I am.
    An overweight person is likely going to be “sensitive” about their weight and don’t need anyone rubbing their nose in it so to speak.

    Besides, what ever happened to “You finding everything ok?”

  191. TickedOff says:

    Just some suggestions to stand up against people who are nothing more than bullies. You’re old enough to not take it anymore. Please do something about for next time.

    The correct response to rudeness in this case would have been (in a loud, penetrating voice):

    “F***-off ***-hole!” (or equivalent)

    Learning a bit about “diaphram projection” is quite useful – you can make your voice seem as loud as yelling while sounding like perfectly normal speech. See, there are some benefits to being in high school glee club after all. Also good for public speaking without a mike. Only wimps and no-talents have to use a mike – even in a big auditorium, but I digress.


    Leaning into him “Lyndon Johnson”-style can be effective too but not everyone can pull it off. President Johnson used this all the time to wrangle political deals. Do you think the guy in the first link got chance to put a word in edge-wise or ever imagined challenging Johnson against, on anything? Probably not.


    Alternatively, a long, uncomfortably silent stare with the Zen mental state of being the disappointed “Wiser Elder”/”Alpha Male” can shut down their enthusiasm pretty quick. Referring to him only as “son” can be helpful in reseting his place in the pecking order.

    The key thing is that jerks like this only have power *if you give them the power* by not responding against them or by letting them control the situation. They’ll just take the power like scavengers stealing a kill – that’s the game of bullies.

    This sounds like the Male Role Model stereotype because it is; that’s what men are – it’s biological and not amount of politically correct, radical feminist crap is to going to make any man’s life easier in situations like this. Time to grow some. Good luck.

    PS I am an ardent supporter of the spirit of feminism but I’m old enough and wise enough to not think much of, let alone tolerate, the blind dogma and orthodoxy that falsely passes for the same. Men still need to be men for the most part.

  192. forgottenpassword says:


    You are full of it! I am 5’7″ & 216 lbs. And I have a 40 inch waist & wear between medium & large shirts comfortably (not tight). I have a small frame & never had to wear an XL anything! I shop in the regular size sections of stores. Never once have I had to go to the big & tall section for clothes.

    I find it amazing how people LOVE to hate on people who are even a bit overweight (not to mention peole who are obese).

    And yeah, I would complain if some floor salesman had referred me to the big & tall, because I am niether. Quite frankly I prefer to go up to them if I need help & not have them bother me while I shop.

  193. falc says:

    @rainmkr: i absolutly disagree about the thicker skin comment you made. the employee is totally in the wrong here. brandon said himself the employee asked him if he needed any help. brandon said no thanks. and THEN the employee made the big and tall comment. totally not necessary because you know its meant as a snide, passive aggressive attack. sorry, i have to call bullshit. the conversation should have ended after the no thanks…

  194. StevieD says:

    Hey OP, you are fat.

    I am fatter.

    There is no way to confuse our size. When I was 210 lbs (Oh God how I wish I still was 210 lbs) I found lots of nice accessories items in what I call the big boys section.

    Give yourself a few more lbs and you can join me in buying everything in the big boys section.

    The employee was being kind, ask management to give the employee a raise.

  195. WalkTheLine says:

    Your energy would be better spent getting into shape rather than writing a complaint letter.

  196. Rode2008 says:

    In the field of law, something called “justiciable controversy” often comes up. Consider, for example, the following: if a pharmaceutical company is legitimately liable for some deaths (or serious injuries) due to a toxic compound in their product, certainly all injured by the product would have cause under tort law. If a person was using the same drug and did NOT suffer any harm, that person would have “no justiciable controversy” (viz, damages) and could not file suit against the pharmaceutical company.

    The question to the O.P.: do YOU have justiciable controversy on this matter? What were your “damages”?
    A blow to the self-esteem – -maybe. Did this blow to your self-esteem result in any significant emotional of physical harm? In “emotional damages” suits, typically some physical consequence has to have manifested – emotional harm (without any physical consequential “damages: is too subjective to prove in a court of law.

  197. failurate says:

    Lamest reason for a consumerist thread ever? I think we have a winner… and a loser.

  198. D.B. Cooper-Nichol says:

    @iwantansi: That reminds me of my favorite Brooks Bros/”you’re fat” story.

    I’m in the BB outlet to buy a suit, and your stereotypical 70-plus, “lifer” suit salesman walks over as I’m going through the rack: “What size pants, son?” “I wear 36 waist,” I said.

    He looks me up and down real quick (I hadn’t tried on anything yet), and says, “you may wear a 36, but your size is a 38.”

    My first thought was to be offended, but I had to laugh, and when I tried on the 38s, they fit great.

  199. Decaye says:

    His call. Seeing as it OBVIOUSLY was not warranted, she was probably being bitchy on purpose. I personally would have either fired back, or left the store, but he’s probably justified in getting her in trouble.

  200. forgottenpassword says:


    I personally LOVED your rant (and I agree with it). I am going to have to keep an eye out for your posts, because I like how you think.


    Hmmm… dont know where that came from…. must have been an automatic response to how I hate being treated by salespeople. *shrug*

  201. camman68 says:

    A similiar thing happend to a friend of mine. We went to applebee’s and while we were getting seated, the waitress asked my friend if he had seen the new Weight Watchers Menu.

  202. AmericaTheBrave says:

    You should have just said, “And where is the ‘I’m going to stab you in the fucking eye’ section?”

  203. loueloui says:

    I once worked for Macys doing visual effects. One day while I was hanging a sign a lady came up to me and asked if they had any additional swimsuits. I admit I was largely ignorant of the layout of the store at this point, and suggested she look upstairs in Macy WOMAN. She just stopped for a second, and with a puzzled look on her face said ,’Isn’t that for larger sizes?’

    I had never really noticed this before, but the ‘Woman’ moniker suddenly made sense. I immediately recognized that I had said something stupid, and could no longer recover from that. I stammered something out like ‘I don’t know’, and then took off.

  204. ampersand says:

    @backbroken: Haha, the “Super Terrific Clothing Section” reminds me of a store I went into that had their section for larger teens labeled “Extra Cool Juniors” or some similar nonsense. How absurd.

  205. ampersand says:

    @Chase: “I find it flattering, as not many men have the ability to be hit on by both genders.”
    Clearly, you aren’t visiting the right bars.

  206. arilvdc says:

    @maztec: But if that idiot kids never realizes he offended someone, and keeps offering unsolicitited advice and no one ever says anything…he may eventually become a manager. He thought he was being helpful, and from the sound of it wasn’t snarky or rude, so why wouldn’t he eventually get promoted? If you don’t speak up, nothing will change.

  207. Trai_Dep says:

    Anyone wanna bet the guys pulling atypical pro athletes out as an example of how off the BMI is (and yeah it is, IF you’re in great shape, as they themselves note) are flabby guys with stomachs leaking past their mid-thigh?

    It’s a ballpark estimate, guys, meaning most (but not all) people fit.

    If you’re 220lbs w/ a body fat index under 5%, fine. But I’ll bet a double-deep-fried Snickers bar that you’re not. So stop the whining – geezus, it’s unmanly.

  208. snclfe says:

    @B: To answer your question – no one should really care what a JC Penny’s employee thinks. BUT – a JC Penny’s manager should care about an employee voicing a rude thought to a customer.

  209. Phildawg says:

    @NardoNardo123: You probably aren’t a Big & Tall customer, but FYI, at JCP, Big & Tall starts at size 46 waist… Yes, Size 42 waist is considered normal clothes. So this is really ridiculous.

  210. Phildawg says:

    I meant to say Size 44 is considered a normal wait, 40 used to be the normal limit, then 42… and now it is 44.

    Normal of course as in what section you look in. You won’t find size 44 pants in JCP’s Big & Tall section.

  211. alexiso says:

    This JUST happened to me at Pac Sun on Monday. I went shopping to see about bathing suits and I tried on a bikini. I had a gay man assist me and he said “Oh are you going somewhere or is this just wishful thinking?” It didn’t even register to me what he said until I was in the changing room – I did not buy the bikini since it was ugly and now I’m doing 100 sits ups a day because of him.
    Thanks Pac Sun!

  212. anatak says:

    @BugMeNot2: Is that a ‘big and tall’ large, or a real large?

  213. dirk1965 says:

    5’11” & 210lbs… you may not be ‘big’, but you’re overweight. You should be in the 175-180lb range. I’m guilty like a majority of Americans of being overweight, but I’m doing something about it. Minus 20+ lbs and counting. Sometimes it takes comments like that to give you a swift kick in your fat butt to do something about it.

  214. LawyerontheDL says:

    It doesn’t sound like the salesperson was necessarily being insulting. It sounds to me more like the customer is really sensitive about his weight. The salesperson may have considered the customer TALL, since the section was big and tall, not Fatties.

  215. dafountain says:

    In retail, you need to learn to keep your mouth shut any never assume anything. Offer help and answer what’s been asked. This way you don’t piss off the person who is about to give you money that pays your salary. Absolutley turn the asshole in.

  216. cockeyed says:

    Well, it was rude, and if it bothers the op, then yes, he should say something. But, maybe the problem is that the seller could have said it with more tact. For example, “Just to let you know, we also have another section over there that might suit your needs,” or whatever.
    I have never had someone suggest I go to petite, and I wouldn’t be insulted if they did (less of a stigma there anyway), but because I am in my twenties and small, I still shop in Juniors and constantly get mistaken for a teenager. I find it irritating, but I understand it’s a reasonable mistake.

  217. TexasScout says:

    “Oh yeah, BTW Mr. Sales Dude, the “Dumb and Crass” section is over there.”

  218. bobblack555 says:

    Oh just shrug it off. Jeez. The store employee was a jerk, yes, but grow a thick skin. I’m 6’2 and 200 lbs. and I wouldn’t have been offended, I would have just thought the employee was an a$$hole.

    Thick skins, people!

  219. Sounds to me like the employee was just trying to be helpful – in a weird sort of way. I honestly believe the employee legitimately thought he was being helpful. Obviously this person nor the persons around him thought the same.

  220. failurate says:

    @alexiso: I think that was just a comment about the weather and whether or not you are taking a vacation, or just wishing you were somewhere warm enough to wear a bikini.

  221. Saboth says:

    I dunno, I’ve seen some “Big” sections start around size 38…sounds like he would have been in the right area. I’m 5’10” and 200 lbs, and I know I am getting on the pudgy side.

    Sounds to me the salesperson was on the right track.

  222. sibertater says:

    Why not retaliate? Who else but a giant homo would say something like that to a customer? I should know, I’m a giant homo.

  223. witeowl says:

    I think the greater issue is not that the employee was implying that the guy was overweight, but that the employee was implying that the guy was a complete moron.

    Ooooohhhh…. so THAT’s why none of this fits me! Thank you SO much. I’d be walking around NAKED if it weren’t for kind strangers like you.

    Seriously. Reverse the roles. A slenter woman is shopping in the plus-size area. A clerk offers help. The woman declines. The clerk points out where the misses clothing is. Yeah, thanks. I’m not an idiot. My mom is a 24W, not that it’s any of your business, bitch. Let me repeat again that I don’t need help.

  224. witeowl says:

    @witeowl: *slender

  225. lakecountrydave says:

    @210 lbs. and 5’11 is not necessarily obese. I am 6′ and 250# (before breakfast), and I am by no means obese. I have 3% body fat. Mike Tyson stands 5’11”, and weighed 215 3/4 when he weighed in for his fight against Larry Holmes in 1988. He might be a joke today, but then he was certainly not thought of as pudgey. Obesity has a direct relationship with your body type (genetics) and lifestyle (tv veiwing habits).

  226. thisisjacked says:

    Well, how short and skinny was the guy that directed him to big and tall?

  227. freedom69 says:

    I say yes go ahead and complain. The associate was aboviously an ass. They did not know who you were shopping for, and really should not care since you did not ask for his/her help. I am glad i was not in your shoes because I would have had a few choice words for them and none of them would have been very nice.

  228. painfullyblunt says:

    5’11 and 210 is borderline big/tall depending on what brand of clothing, what store etc. Many different clothing makers use different standards for sizes and cut can also affect what will fit comnfortably and what won’t (though this is more of an issue for the ladies then the guys)

    That said, it’s not always easy to accurately judge weight and if you see a tall person (sorry but 5’11 is tall to me) I could see where they genuinely thought they were being helpful. Again, the poster is borderline in that catagory.

    All that said, it’s generally a bad idea to make assumptions about a persons weight or size because you’re probably wrong. So I don’t think I’d go on an email bomb but a politely worded letter is probably a reasonable idea.

    Where you would wanna go ballistic is if, on Mother’s day, the waitress says to your pleasantly plump wife “congratulations!” and pats her belly. Hell, I think slugging the waitress might even be legal in some states.