July 19, 2008

Because Nobody Likes a Rude MA

I am normally quite happy and nice. And this is going to sound rather condescending, but when someone steps on my toes with her pointed stilettos, it just can't quite be helped.

I think I speak for quite a few when I say I have encountered some makeup artists (MAs) who are just plain rude. I can bear with mild incompetence, but I cannot stand plain rude.

Don't get me wrong, I've met some really lovely and helpful ones. Justine from Stila in 1U is just lovely. She's friendly, obliging, helpful, and would gladly show you the latest products at the Stila counter without making you feel obliged to buy anything.

Now THAT is a great MA. But some should really just reconsider their jobs.

Consider this:

I was in MAC in Pavilion a week or so ago (it's bothered me THAT long, before I decided to write this), and I was really overjoyed to see that Cool Heat had finally hit our shores. (Yes ladies, they're here!)

While oohing and aahing over the collection, I noticed a Slimshine which did not have the sticker on, hence I couldn't tell the shade. I asked MA#1 what shade it was, and her reply was, "It's lipstick."

Sigh. Nevermind. (I found out later it was By Degrees.)

I had been rather keen on trying out a few eyeshadows and so I finally selected three and asked MA#1 if she could please let me try it on (since they hover over you anyway). However, as another customer had walked in, she told me to kindly wait a while she entertained them. I said, "Sure, okay."

A while turned to about 10 minutes, and still no sign of her coming back to me, so I just asked another MA (let's call her MA#2) if I could try on Blue Flame and Cool Heat on my eyes.

She got me into a chair and got the eye shadows and a Paint Pot base, whipped out her brush and applied the eyeshadow. So far so good, right?

Her next question was, "So which do you want to get?". No "Do you like it?", or "Is that okay?". It's "Which are you going to get?". As I've been keen on all three, with the third being Gulf Stream all along, so I decided to get them all.

I was also a little curious about the Paint Pot she had used as my eyeshadow base, and so I asked her what shade it was as the sticker was so faded, I could no longer read it. Her reply? "It's a base."

Me: Yes, I know. But what shade is it?
Her: It's a base. (She never bothered to find out.)

I am also normally quite fussy about the condition of my products before I pay for them (as Malaysia is not known to have a return policy, better safe than sorry!), so I started opening the little boxes to check on the eyeshadows. I may have been opening them a little too slowly for her liking as she started snatching them out of my hands, opening them, and then gave me the look that said, "Here, they're fine. Satisfied?"

I was still looking around to see if anything else caught my eye, when I saw another MA whom I had met at another MAC store. We were just about to say hi, when MA#2 stood between me and her, and said something to the extent of "She's my customer. Go find your own."

From the nasty glare MA#3 gave her, it's quite obvious she's not only rude to customers, but to her fellow colleagues as well.

After which, MA#2 came up to me and asked, "Can we go to the cashier now?". Not "Would you like to try anything else?", but "Can we go to the cashier? Now?".

I know you're probably wondering WHY I still bothered buying the products from her. I did REALLY feel like walking away, but I was going through a really busy period and I wasn't sure when I'd get the chance to hit the malls next. And I didn't want to go to MAC again only to see the "Sold Out" sticker on these babies. Which is why I gritted my teeth and headed for the cashier (Oh, actually, the boyfriend paid for the eyeshadows as a Just Because present =D ).

But seriously, MAC. Would it kill some of your MAs if they were a little more polite to their customers? Again, I'm not talking about ALL your MAs, some have been helpful enough.

But there are a few which you really should send for more PR training. Why?

Because nobody likes a rude MA. That's why.

Anybody has any experience to share? Good or bad, I'd love to hear your story.


kahani said...

Ooh wish you'd pulled the Julia Roberts line 'You work on commission right? BIG mistake. Huge!" And walked out only to come back and ask the friendly MA to process your purchase. =P

I generally only encounter incompetent or unenthusiastic MAs. Letting drop that I'm a beauty writer (or just plain journo) usually helps to shut up the marketing jargon pouring forth.

But the few times I've encountered rude salespeople. I tend to get stubborn and refuse to buy anything at all. And if they're really nasty, I make a point of glancing at their nametags and telling them they're the reason i'm not buying anything.

They're being paid to serve you. It's their job. You should be nice to them, but no way should you put up with rudeness.

Tine said...

MAC Malaysia (and here in Melbourne too actually) has totally ruined my experience in buying MAC products. The snooty makeup artists and sales assistants who think they're above everyone else just because they work at MAC.

I would have told off the makeup artist, if I were you. You're a potential customer, who has every right to find out what it is that you're buying before you actually buy 'em. I've ranted about the MAC sales assistants cum makeup artists (never the other way round; I don't want to give them that so-called status. They're sales assistants, nothing more) in Gurney Plaza, Penang in my blog. I'm so glad I wasn't the only one who find these people bloody arrogant.

Yeah, and as Kahani said, go back to the friendly one. That would show the rude one who pays her (well, part of) salary ;)

Anonymous said...

The same thing happened me in Brown Thomas Limerick (Ireland) but it was at a Clinique counter. The Sales Assistant treated me like dirt. I did have over €60 to spend, may not seem like a lot but its better than nothing. Anyways I complained to clinique about her and they offered me a free make over at a counter of my choice and I told them that I didn't want it and would never again buy any of there products and I haven't bought any of there products since then. I buy most of my cosmetics online now so I don't have to put up with snotty sales assitants.

Syen said...

Kahani: You're right! I totally forgot that line when I was there. =P That would have given her the "How'd you like THAT, missy?".

Tine: Oh yea, you're sooo not the only person who finds these MAs and SAs arrogant. I've got half a mind to really tell them off the next time they try to act all snooty and high n mighty. Sombong!

Anon: I guess this prob is worldwide huh? It happens in Msia, Australia, Ireland etc. I'm sorry you had a nasty experience with Clinique. Thankfully, the Clinique girls I've come across have been rather nice so far. The really snooty ones are more often than not, usually from MAC. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

Anonymous said...

Write a complaint letter to the manager.

A friend of mine encountered bad service in a hotel, and found out that despite the hotel's bad reputation, no one had complained about their service for two years. You'd be surprised as to how few people complain in Malaysia.

Askmewhats said...

Oh I am so sorry to read about your bad MA experience. I know a lot of bloggers in the PHilippines have a lot of MA friends as they call it but not for me. I have encountered really rude MAs as well. I was trying on this e/s to use as eyebrow shader, and I was asking for some recommendations and the MA just stood there and said, "yeah, whatever you're using it's fine" but it wasn't! It was too dark on me? And once I was buying this MAC Sculpt and shape. I was asking for other colors and she just whipped this one that is readily available and I told her "I don't like how it looks, do you have anything else?" and she looked around and said "NO". But I can see they have it, just other MAs are using it!! Grrr..they pushed me to Paul & Joe, that's where my love for P&J began, from my MAC MA allergies I guess it's worldwide? LOL I'm sure there are some great ones, but some are just IMPOSSIBLE!

Syen said...

Karcy: Thanks for your suggestion! A very valid one at that. But yes, I guess it's true Msians are somewhat "selamba" when it comes to actually writing complaint letter. Thanks again for the suggestion.

Askmewhats: Haha.. I like what you called it - "MAC MA allergies". I just don't get it. Either MAC's management has no idea that their MAs are being so rude. Or they're simply not doing anything about it. It's silly isn't it? Don't they know their losing customers this way? Heh.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about that. I've bought MAC in Malaysia (the one in KLCC) once and the MA was really helpful. I've so far met a rude MAC MA that's here in Prague. I didn't buy from her that day, I thanked her and walked away. I wouldn't want her to make any commission from my sales! 99% of the MAs here are really sweet and helpful. I've bought MAC in several countries and the MAs were really friendly.

Syen said...

roxkitty: Hey! Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree that most of the MAs are normally nice, but there are the one or two odd ones. Oh well, we know what to do now, don't we? =P

Thanks for commenting again!