Obviously people who have read up on this tiny little consignment store in the East Village will know what I'm talking about, people who have endured it as I did yesterday will understand it to its full extent, and people who have no clue, well, be happy you're blissfully unaware and if you want to keep it that way, don't read on.
I frequent Tokyo Joe for it's collection. Not bad stuff for not bad prices. But after yesterday, I don't think I'll be going back.
My friend and I went over there yesterday so I could grab some cute shoes I saw a few weeks ago that happened to still be there. But of course, since it's a clothing store and it's nice designer stuff for moderate prices, I decided looking around to see if anything else would suit my fancy didn't seem like a bad idea.
Now, I'm Japanese, born in NY. I know English and Japanese both fluently, but if I'm with a friend who doesn't know Japanese, OBVIOUSLY I would not be speaking Japanese to her. I guess for some ridiculous reason they must have thought that I was not Japanese then (which is the stupidest deduction) and therefore safe to do what they did next.
After maybe perusing for a good 20 minutes, looking through their dresses and shirts and jackets, I hear the girls chattering away again (they're like mocking birds, they don't stop chattering about the most pointless things). Then the girl right behind my friend and I look over at us and says to her staff friend "I don't know what they've been looking for all this time but they're getting super annoying."
True, they could've talked trash about how we looked or what we were talking about or whatever whatever, but it just made it worse that they had a problem with us browsing. The whole point of coming into a clothing store and browsing is to figure out if we want to BUY something. If you have a problem with people looking through your store, then obviously you should be working else where. It was also the specific phrases she used to say "they" and "annoying" that made it even worse.
That comment was only made worse by the fact that I remembered at that point they were saying things when I was trying on the particular shoe I wanted as well.
I thought about leaving on the spot, but decided I would get the shoes because it's not like the shoes were at fault. I waited for one of them to get the other pair, took out my credit card, and waited to sign. Then as I was signing, I knew I just had to say something. So I looked at them and said, "By the way, next time you say bad things about other people, make sure they don't know Japanese." I took the shoes and left after that.
They were pretty silent when I said it and they didn't bother looking at me afterwards so I'm sure they got it. I could've asked for an apology in Japanese, but didn't even want to deal after that.
If I'm ever in the area, I'm going to Buffalo Exchange right next door. All the staffers are friendly there, and you don't end up leaving, ticked out of your mind.