a peek inside the fishbowl

27 Nov, 2007

Shopping issues

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life|Ottawa

I spent a couple hours shopping at Rideau Centre this morning.

I have questions. I need answers.

1) Why do stores think that building fitting rooms without mirrors inside them is a good idea? Do they think I enjoy leaving the change room wearing nothing but an ill-fitting dress with black socks?

2) Since when is there an Old Navy at Rideau? And why does O.N. always have to look so messy?

3) Why didn’t I leave my coat in the car?

4) I know they’re probably trying to conserve energy, but the lighting in the Gap really doesn’t work for me. Is the whole store on a dimmer or what?

5) Why does the person who is ringing up the sale ask me who was helping me? I don’t know their name you know.

6) Why are the aisles in the underground parking at Rideau so poorly marked? I know I’m on P2, but where on P2?

7) Why are the bathrooms always so far away?

8) How many little black dresses should a gal have in her closet?

That is all.


10 Responses to "Shopping issues"

1 | Anne

November 27th, 2007 at 2:51 pm


The new Gap lighting does really suck doesn’t it?
Tip: for nicer, cleaner bathrooms I always go to the Congress centre or to Sears (used to be Eaton’s) something I learned from my years woking at Magpie. Mall washrooms are gross, especially at Rideau.

2 | J.

November 27th, 2007 at 3:10 pm


I totally agree with your first statement. What are we supposed to do! See how the outfit ‘feels’ first? Or hope that we buy it anyway.

I’d like to say, that I am one of those awkwardly (sp?) shaped people, who does not like to show off outfits that do not look good on me. If I don’t like seeing it on me, why should anyone else!

Please stores, just put the mirrors in the change rooms. That way no one else has to see anything.

3 | Marla

November 27th, 2007 at 4:41 pm


1) Because in the old days, that would give the salesperson another opportunity to sell to you. You would come out and they would fluff, adjust and make suggestions and sell you more. And no, they’re not thinking at all – it’s the bottom line. They save money that way now, not having to buy and maintain more mirrors. It’s also a take -off on the New York City Bargain basement shopping experience, where the no frills communal dressing room gave you the impression you were getting a bargain. Was it Lerner’s? Loewes? I forget.

2) I don’t know – but because they understaff, and hire people with an underdeveloped work ethic, and because the volume of merchandise and means of display allow for “helpy selfy” and easily messed up displays – it just does.

3) Because we expect stores to realize HEY! Employees can put on a sweater, but the customers! They will be hot! But they don’t.

4) I look better in the Gap’s new lighting. Practically poreless. They’re following the highly successful Abercrombie and Fitch model, because they’re business is down like never before.

5) They do wear name tags, sometimes. Or, at my employment I often introduce/d myself. And sometimes they’re on commission or get bonuses or better performance reviews if their help has been noticed by a customer. Good help is so rare these days that if someone is even only slightly friendly, I thank them a lot, I find a manager and mention it, or fill out a ratings card. At places like Old Navy if you do this, you often get a 10% off coupon for your next purchase if you complete an online questionnaire.

6) Do my trick: just remember the car you parked next to. Then you can wander around infuriating your husband by going “but we were next to a red van!”

7) Old Navy has bathrooms in the store. Which is why I shop there for Josie so often and why I know so much about them.

8) One for every year since she’s been 21, and each one increasingly expensive as befits her age, stature and bodily needs. Each with little shoes to match. Maybe a bag.

That is all.

4 | Marla

November 27th, 2007 at 4:46 pm


Oh…and the they’re that should be a their above? I was interrupted – it’s not quite a typo. But a mistake all the same.


But more — I forgot to say – when you go shopping for a little black dress? PREPARE TO SHOP FOR A LITTLE BLACK DRESS. Really – throw the hose in your bag (or ask a salesperson to bring you some – it’s worth it) and if it’s a department store, borrow some shoes for it too. It’s worth it. Really. Because it’s a big treat to do it, and even you don’t want to see yourself in an ill fitting dress and black socks. I mean, I could go on – undergarments are SO important. In the movies, to show the difference between low -class and high class, they use better support systems on the classy ladies. It matters so much. So do. DO bring the spanks or the control tops or the slimmers and wear the heels and try the dress on properly.

6 | porter

November 27th, 2007 at 6:15 pm


What I dislike most about some change rooms is the spotlight type lights which are so unflattering and make me feel horrible about myself. I almost never buy items that I try on in change rooms like this.

7 | DaniGirl

November 28th, 2007 at 8:03 am


That Old Navy has been there for a couple of years now – at least before last Christmas (the years all blur together) but it is always unbearably hot. I have no idea why.

The Rideau Centre in general is a place to be avoided, IMHO. Give me Bayshore or Place D’Orleans or even Seniors Hell at Carlingwood any day.

8 | andrea

November 28th, 2007 at 10:26 am


Good news! A “little black with some red and white” dress has been added to my wardrobe. Mark took one look at me with it on and said “wow, that’s busy!”

Heh. But I will let you be the judge of that later today. Stay tuned! ;)

9 | andrea

November 28th, 2007 at 10:26 am


And thank you Marla, for all your caring. :)

10 | BeachMama

November 29th, 2007 at 9:58 pm


And that is why I don’t shop at Rideau anymore. It is just not right.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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