Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

DONE with Macy’s! Why…?

Lemme tellya why…

So having decided the thing to do with an unexpected free day was to schlep across the city to the Macy’s at Arrowhead Mall — which, unlike their store within reasonable driving distance of my house, carries furniture — and buy a mattress on sale such as this one (sale price $249) or this one, ($349; either of them available with so-called “white glove delivery”), I get in my car, drive until I’m blue in the face, park, and make my way through the hectic, noisy shopping center to said department store.

Easily navigating to the furniture department, I find a saleslady who’s chatting casually with a woman who may or may not be a potential customer. They don’t seem to be talking business. At any rate, she pauses long enough to ask if she can help me.

I say, “I’m looking for an inexpensive twin-size mattress set for a guest bedroom.”

She gestures vaguely in the direction of the mattress section and says, “They’re down there against the far wall.”

Uhm…Lady, I reflect, I don’t need you to point in the direction of a roomful of mattresses and tell me that’s where the mattresses are. Why did you bother to ask if you could help me?

She her companion resume their chat.

I explore the far end of the mattress room. The best price available is “on sale” for $699.

Ohhhkay, I figure…next stop: Penney’s.

As I walk out, disgusted, she pauses the chatfest again to ask if I saw what I wanted. When I say no, she says, well, they’re back there! And gestures again to the far end of the room.

Maybe I missed something, I think. So I go back and look at all the mattresses on the floor, in the area where she was pointing me. The cheapest model was $699, on sale.

The two women don’t even bother to quit yakking as I walk out of the department.

Penney’s and Sears are all the way at the other end of this huge shopping mall. That’s good though: since I’m wasting my time with this trip instead of walking the dogs, at least I’m getting some exercise.

Sears has a saleslady who wants to sell me something, but unfortunately they have no twin-size mattresses that fill the bill. The only ones that come as a mattress/box spring set are kid-size.

Penney’s? Just effin’ hopeless. There is NO sales help on the floor, and it’s impossible to tell where the mattress department is, or even if they have one.

Well, I had no high hopes for Penney’s or Sears, both of which are pretty marginal as department stores go.

But you’d expect better of Macy’s, wouldn’t you?

Or not.

This is not the first time I’ve been unable to persuade a Macy’s sales rep to sell me something when I came in ready to buy, credit card gripped in my sweaty little paw.

Last time, I still had boobs. Indeed, I wanted to buy a brassiere. I wanted one that was not underwired and not made with a pair of styrofoam Dixie cups and not a sports bra. Just an ordinary goddamn bra, like…oh, you remember, Wacoal? Maybe Bali? I’d even have taken a Maidenform, if they had one that fit. And if it didn’t have underwires or Dixie cups.

In the lingerie department, I found another customer, similarly befuddled: we both searched through rack on rack on rack of lookalike junk Dixie-cup brassieres, all pretty much identical except for their prices. There was ONE saleslady in this department.

She was a young thing: maybe just post-high school, or a college undergrad. She was surrounded by a gaggle of young things who were obviously her friends. They chattered and laughed and fiddled with their phones together, while she paid exactly ZERO attention to her department. She clearly did not give one thin damn whether any customers ever bought anything from Macy’s — except perhaps to the extent that she evidently wished we would not, because that would interrupt her socializing.

Neither the other prospective buyer nor I could get this kid’s attention.

I walked out, disgusted. As I walked out today, disgusted.

Two’s a charm: I will never go back to Macy’s again. Period.

Went by the mattress store that used to reside in the Sprouts shopping center down the road: closed.

So that’s it, I guess. It looks like I’ll have to figure out something else to do with the spare room. A guest bedroom, it ain’t a-gonna be.

And what exactly I’m going to do when I need a new mattress & box springs for myself, I can’t imagine. Whatever it is, it won’t come from Macy’s.

Image: DepositPhotos: © Vadimphoto

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  1. There’s a new trend of buying mattresses online – a number of companies are offering their products online only. They come in a box, you unroll it, let it puff up, and then tadaa! is well rated – and they actually have a showroom in Phoenix 🙂 Their twin mattress is $350

    • I’ll check it out — they’ve been advertising fairly heavily here. The problem is, I don’t have the physical strength to drag something like that into the back room and set it up. And if it doesn’t come with a box springs, what am I supposed to do with it — throw it on the floor?

      Really, this experience is a little blessing in disguise: it’s a message saying “WHY do you want to diddle away three or four hundred bucks on a bed (or more, by the time bedding is purchased) that will be used once or twice in the entire rest of the time you live in this house?”

      If my son’s air-conditioning goes out, he has an air mattress…we can bring it up here for him to sleep on until the unit can be fixed. And in the unlikely event that some out-of-town guest wants to stay here for a few nights, I could put them up in a motel for less than it would cost to outfit that room with a bed.

      It’s just silly to spend that kind of money, even on a low-end bed.

  2. What a shame about Macy’s…..I used to shop there every Xmas for DW. They always seemed to have something unique and the staff at the jewelry counter was top notch….loved that place. SO they closed it….of course they did. Despite having huge ads in the newspapers….I couldn’t tell you where the closest Macy’s is because they aren’t noted in the ad. Sad….it’s all about “boots on the ground” IMHO. If that gal would have stopped her gabbing and helped you….God forbid….even go over and make sense of the “bedding array”….I would dare say you would have been a customer for life! Instead …. you’ll never be back….and what’s worse…You’ll “tell ten”. That is, you will tell ten folks or more about the poor experience …who will share this with ten…and with social media it’s even worse. It’s pretty simple in retail….give the people what they want, be honest, be attentive and make them feel special…

    • They say department stores are fast going the way of the dinosaur. Maybe their profit margin is now so low they simply can’t afford to pay for decent sales staff. Or maybe they don’t care.

      The cost of sales staff is apparently the reason Penney’s has taken up their present annoying model: one or two people operating cash registers stationed in the middle of a large department, with exactly NO one to help you even find where stuff is shelved, much less locate a particular brand or model you want. That’s one reason I rarely shop there, either.

      Really, Amazon is SO much preferable to this kind of thing. Why drive across the city, put up with crowds, and try to wrest a salesperson away from their personal conversation when you can click a button and get what you want delivered to your door?

      Spiffikins’ idea of checking out Tuft & Needle is interesting. They do seem to be selling a good product, as foam mattresses go. Personally, I’ve never cared much for foam — it’s hot and smelly. But their mattress IS well reviewed. A-N-N-D it’s made in America.

      Ha haaa!!! Lookit their sales pitch at Amazon: “Has bounce for night activities…” 😀

      Not surprisingly Amazon seems to be sold out of the things: “currently unavailable.” Heh heh…wonder if we could sell some Camptown Races books through their outlets: the perfect accessory!

      As Spiffikins notes, T&N has an outlet here in the Valley of the We Do Mean Sun. And there’s a futon store that sells an unobtrusive slat bedframe for not too many $$$.

      Still…the vagrant mind keeps returning to the question of “WHY?” Why, really, do I need this? Especially considering that by the time I buy twin-size bedding it’s going to rack up a good $500?

  3. Maybe that really WAS your Frugal Fairy Godmother doing you a favor: This way you keep the money and no one is really inconvenienced. Besides, if you make your guest room too comfortable people might never leave. (Remember what Mr. Franklin said about fish and visitors.)

    However, I’d put this out on Twitter with #Macys or @Macys. Sounds like the store needs to assign a mystery shopper or two.

    • Yes, that’s what I think, too. The only inconvenience is to me: having to schlep through the traffic and mobs of bargain-shoppers to the Arrowhead Macy’s. Plus the trip consumed a fair amount of gas.

      LOL! I did put it on Twitter with those tags. Also on Facebook. Kinda doubt that anybody who cares will see it, though. Or that anybody at Macy’s cares what shoppers think at all.

  4. Most people just use air mattresses for the few times guests drop in. There are some very comfy ones that are raised up off the ground.

    The mattress buying model has changed so much in just a few years. There are a bunch of online mattress vendors now: Purple, Tuft & Needle, Casper, and Leeza are the ones I’ve seen or heard advertised. Heck, when my sister was furnishing her rental house as an Airbnb rental, she ordered the mattresses and frames off Amazon and set them all up herself. You may not be able to do that, but your son should be able to help you.

    When I needed to buy a mattress for my second bedroom, though, I went to a local mattress store. I wanted to try the mattress and get a really good one that will last for many years. I’m renting out the bedroom, so just using an air mattress wouldn’t work, otherwise I probably would have just spared myself the expense and purchased a nice air mattress.

    • Yah, we’ve tried the air mattress gambit several times. Every single time, the air mattress has leaked and the victim…uhm. ahem… the GUEST has ended up sleeping on the floor. 😀

      I’ll look up Purple, Casper, & Leeza. Thanks for those leads!! With a brick & mortar Tuft & Needle store in town, that looks pretty promising: at least you can see what on earth you might be getting.

      Boyoboy….if you still have b&m local mattress stores, you’re doing better than we are. Most of them seem to have gone out of business…except for the outfit that sells funky refurbished beds as “new.”

  5. Another thought….You just may want to enlighten the management at Macy’s that you found the “leak” in their boat….customer service. I have been in business my whole life and I know I would want to know if someone had a poor experience at my business. And let us not forget this was a $500+++ purchase …. not a pair of footsie pajamas for $10. The thing that “frost me” is management just doesn’t get it many times….they will send out $10 coupons in the paper with no minimum purchase to build/attract “traffic”….but don’t know what to do with the “traffic” once it’s in the store. My parting hope is that the fine folks at TIAA-CREF where I have some $ invested are holding NO Macy’s stock…..

  6. I truly don’t think they care, JestJack. If they did, they would’ve done something about it by now. This has been going on for a long time — videlicet, the business in the lingerie department. Y’know…a Wacoal bra runs upwards of $50. Check out what they could’ve sold me and my fellow shopper:

  7. Well it’s obviously too late but I’ll offer my two cents. A couple of years ago we needed a mattress set as my daughter was done with being in the crib. We looked around and found a deal at Macy’s that we kept coming back to. The only trepidation is that it was an online only deal, meaning we’d have to purchase it sight unseen. This is not something we’re used to with mattresses, but we gave it a shot, and it was a great process. The mattress set is very comfortable, the entire process from order to delivery was perfect, and the price was great. It was great having to avoid potentially rude salespeople.

    • Yes, I saw that they had a much better deal online, and of course you wouldn’t have to deal (at least not face-to-face) with an employee who doesn’t care whether you live or die.

      But…there are two of you. I’m here by myself, and I’m an old lady! How on earth am I going to get a mattress and box springs from the front porch into a back bedroom, down a long hall and through a doorway that requires a 90-degree turn (because the closet wall next to it allows no leeway)???????? And how am I going to set up a box spring by myself? They have to be put together, and the comments on Amazon say that is not an easy job.

      So I think the better part of valor is to dispense with the bed-as-decorator-item scheme. Sooner or later I’ll have to replace my own bed…and will have to figure at that time on spending top dollah to do it. Argha!