Will you be using your employee discount?

Pretty soon I’ll be taking my family out to go shopping for wedding wear. My bro, Joey, is getting married in one month and – being the family stylist – I want to help ensure that our wardrobe selections are both flattering and complimentary. It’s all about the pictures, people. We’ll be cooing and awwing over these for the rest of our lives, so a little forethought couldn’t hurt.

I wonder if Nordstrom will let me have the employee discount this time…

Before moving to Northern Virginia I was almost strictly a thrift store shopper. Someone turned me on to Nordstrom’s Rack and I realized that the Rack is sort of the thrift store version of Nordstrom. It’s not that the clothes have been used yet, but you certainly have to set aside time to dig through the eclectic selections. If you’re not someone with enough free time to rummage, this might not be the store for you.

Well, I spent a LOT of time rummaging. In my defense, I went from being a size 8 to a size 2 in approximately 1.5 years. Nothing fit me anymore. Nothing. So there was a period of desperate and bewildered wardrobe replacement that caused me to spend an abundant amount of free time both at the Rack and various thrift stores. Being a very slow shopper, I’m never inclined to invite people along with me as I fear they might not be able to tolerate two or three hours of scaling the racks just to emerge with one tank top. Brian has accepted the fact that I take forever to make up my mind and we never go clothing shopping together.

About a year ago, I had spent a couple hours at the Rack and scored an adorable skirt suit that fit me like a glove. Heading to the register, I was mentally checking off all the shoes that I own, wondering which pair would finish the ensemble.

The cashier interrupted my thoughts.

Cashier, “So… Will you be using your… employee discount?”

I could hear the uncertainty in her voice as she posed the question. It was obvious that she felt it necessary to ask, but couldn’t put her finger on why she had the impulse.

Will I? Use? The employee discount?!

Me, ashamed, “No… No, I don’t work here.”  I trailed off, “I am here all the time…”

Okay. I’ll admit it. I must have a problem when the woman who works at the Rack assumes that I work there, too.

Cashier, sensing my embarrassment, “No! It’s just that… there’s someone who works at Dulles Town Center (the real Nordstrom) who looks just like you!”

Me, “Sure.”

Now, I don’t know who this lookalike is, or if she even exists, but I mentioned this little episode to one of my clients who works for the company. She explained that during my week of shopping, a substantial employee-only sale was going on and she was sure that’s the only reason why the cashier mentioned the employee discount. I was still skeptical.

At the beginning of the year I got fitted for some bras at the real Nordstrom (per Oprah’s insistence). (Do it. It will change your life.) Upon checking out, another cashier asked, “So, will you be using your employee discount?”

Me, “So it IS true!”

See, I mostly never shop at the real Nordstrom. I can’t afford it.  There’s NO way that I could have spent enough time there for the real employees to think that I was one of them. The saleswoman confirmed that I did, in fact, have a twin working in another department.

Me, “Yes. Yes, I will be using my employee discount. How do I do that?”


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  1. August 26, 2011

    I love this story 🙂

    P.S. I’m also the type of shopper that will spend hours digging through sales bins in hope of finding that one great deal, so if you ever want a shopping buddy, let me know!

  2. August 26, 2011


  3. August 26, 2011

    Made me smile. I like reading your blogs to Sloan.

  4. September 6, 2011

    That’s awesome. lol

  5. October 13, 2012

    Too funny. I quit Target after 2 years last December. I had only been in that store about 3 times after and in April (over 4 months later) 2 different people asked for my discount card. Ha!

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