Mystery Shopper Has Meltdown at Old Navy

Jojay By Jojay, 15th Nov 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1ro1th01/
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Funny Stories

A dramatic account of a Mystery Shopper's meltdown at Old Navy. It didn't happen, but It could have.

I never met a Mystery Shopper face-to-face

I was a mystery shopper for three years. It was an interesting experience for me, but one I would not like to repeat. (There was just not enough variety for me. The forms were all alike, and I wanted to do something more creative) That being said, many people find it fun and a good way to make some extra income.

One day after a particular frustrating shop (right before I decided to quit) I sat down and wrote this fictional account of what might happen if a mystery shopper 'lost it' and had a breakdown in a department store.

(I took out most stage directions except those necessary to follow the story line.)

Characters:
Debra Winston, attractive woman in her middle forties………………………………….

Maria, Assistant store manager, (Early Thirties). Maria wears a white blouse, blue skirt, and red scarf. Maria is fashionable, but in-keeping with the ‘casual chick’ style of Old Navy clothing.

Tina, 20’s She wears a lanyard with her name on it around her neck.

DEBRA WINSTON, is sitting on the chaise lounge in the blue and gray restroom in a large department store. Even though it's summer, she is wearing a gray tweed cape over jeans and sleeveless blouse.

Debra holds a wet paper towel to her face. Maria, the store manager, sits in a chair facing her.

MARIA
Are you sure you’re alright?

DEBRA
The last thing I remember was taking this shirt to the changing room to try on, and the next thing I knew I was on the floor. How long was I out?

MARIA
Only about five minutes. I tapped on the door and asked if I could find you anything else and when you didn’t answer, I opened the stall and found you on the floor with papers over your face.

DEBRA
Papers?

(Debra puts down the paper towel. Maria hands her the forms.
Debra takes them reluctantly from Maria)

DEBRA
You read these?

MARIA
I never met a mystery shopper face-to-face.

DEBRA
That’s because we’re supposed to be anonymous. Once our identity is known
we have no job.

MARIA
How long have you been a secret shopper?

DEBRA
(Wryly)
Five years in September. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Debra Winston and I shop at Nordstrom’s. I also shop at Kohl’s, Macy's, JC Penny's, Talbot's, Target, Marshall’s, T.J. Max., Gap, Walmart, and in your fine establishment, Old Navy.

MARIA
Nice to meet you Debra. I’m the assistant manager, Maria.

DEBRA
(Smiles)
Now that we’ve met, I’m going to have to kill you.

MARIA
Wow, shopping all those stores. You must love to shop.

DEBRA
I hate to shop! My dream is to be a playwright and win a Tony award. Or barring that, write something that’ll keep people in their seats for a couple of hours.

I took the only job that I could do from home that didn’t involve stuffing envelopes, or communicating over the internet with a webcam focused on my naked body.

MARIA
You’re teasing, right?

DEBRA
I wouldn’t consider going into cyber porn business. I’m against it on principle, and besides, I wouldn’t know how to find my unique IP address.

And what in the hell is a router? I could just see me setting up a webcam where the unsuspecting fool who is salivating with the thought he was about to see some hottie take off her clothes, and the next thing he knows, he’s ‘routed’ to a farmer’s field somewhere in Oregon where a group of Holsteins are doing their part to secrete saliva ---- chewing their cuds.

I’m beginning to ramble. I’m going to go home, take an aspirin, and tell my
beloved spouse we’re back to being a one-income family.

MARIA
Are you sure you’re alright?

DEBRA
I just swooned in a dressing room. I’ve known women who have keeled over after
sniffing a perfume sample.

MARIA
There’s more.

DEBRA
More?

MARIA
Before you ‘swooned’ in the fitting room, you were acting a bit strange
out on the floor.

DEBRA
A bit strange?

MARIA
You weren’t acting like a regular shopper. The clerks and I thought you might be ‘on’ something.

DEBRA
Oh, I was just tired. I was up half the night working on a play about a character inspired by Jane Marple.

MARIA
Hummm, maybe that explains it.

DEBRA
Explains what?

MARIA
You came in wearing a tweed cape. We at Old Navy found that a little strange since it was 11 o’clock on a hot July morning.

DEBRA
The only cape I own was one I bought for last year’s Halloween party when I went as Miss Jane Marple.

MARIA
Nothing personal, but you’re obsessed with that broad, aren’t you?

DEBRA
(A bit defensive)
I admire the character very much.

MARIA
Heck, who am I to criticize? I saw Johnny Depp in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” fifteen times!

DEBRA
I don’t understand why I’d wear something that would bring attention to myself. We shoppers are supposed to blend in.

MARIA
You didn’t blend.

DEBRA
This morning is all a haze. I remember printing out the forms on my computer, eating breakfast, and getting into my car. But I don’t recall putting on the cape, or coming to the store.

Before the company sees the store video, Maria, I need to know what happened.

MARIA
Well, it’s not pretty. But here goes. You charged into the store a little like Carrie Nation with her hatchet and headed straight for New Arrivals.

You began to paw through the pile of women’s drop-waist top as if you were looking for a clue or something.

One of the clerks, Tina, came over to assists you.

Why are you standing in front of a naked mannequin with her dress clutched in your hand?”

Flashback to earlier part of day
Tina comes over to Debra

TINA
Can I help you find something?

DEBRA
“Good girl! You asked an open-ended question. That is to say you asked a question that required a response.

TINA
I beg your pardon?

DEBRA
If you’d asked a close ended question like “Can I help you? It’d been all over.
I’d said, Nope, just looking. And “Nope, just looking” won’t result in a ringing cash register, now will it dear?

TINA
I guess not.

DEBRA
“Why is the door to the storage room open?

TINA
“Uh, we’re just going through some inventory. “Would you like to take a look at our roll-sleeve Henleys?” “They’re very volatile, I mean, versatile.”

(Debra takes an orange drop-waist top from the pile
and holds it to her face)

Does this look like something I’d wear?

(She grabs Tina’s lanyard and pulls it toward
her as she read it.)

…Tina?. I look like a pumpkin in orange! Halloween is three months away.
And what is that?

TINA
A ruffled jersey. Isn’t it sweet?

DEBRA
(Debra goes over to it, and pulls the fabric.)

It might be ‘sweet’ if the damn thing fit! Anyone can see that the dress is in a plus size. Your mannequin looks to be about in a size ten.


Maria comes from the dark part of the stage. She walks over to Tina and Debra.


MARIA
Is everything okay, here?

DEBRA
A closed question. Requiring only a yes or no answer.
You’ll be marked down for that. Yes, everything is hunky dory.”

MARIA
If everything is ‘hunky-dory, why are you standing in front of a naked mannequin with her dress clutched in your hand?”

DEBRA
The dress must fit the mannequin.

MARIA

(Maria says to Tina)
Find a size ten Tina, dress the mannequin and take the rest of the day off.
(Addresses Debra)
You need to sit down and relax.

DEBRA
I’m on assignment posing as a typical shopper and I’m going to a typical dressing room and try on a typical top.

(Debra points to a torso mannequin)

“I’ll take that typical tonal-stripped Henley. In a size medium.”

(Maria goes over to another table,
selects a shirt from it, and hands it to Debra)

MARIA
Would you like me to show you a nice walking short to go with it?

DEBRA
No, I have all I need.

LIGHTS GO DOWN AND WHEN THEY COME BACK UP Debra and Maria are seated in the same position as before the store scene.


MARIA
You went into the changing room, and when you didn’t come out in ten minutes,
I rapped on the door. You didn’t answer, and so I opened the door and found you fully dressed, lying on the floor with the shopping forms on your face.

DEBRA
You’re really enjoying this, aren’t you?

MARIA
Oh, just a teensy bit. Secret shopper’s appearances are not exactly looked upon in the same spirit as say, “A visit from Saint Nic.”

DEBRA
I’m so embarrassed. I made a complete fool of myself at Old Navy, and I made your day.

MARIA
What you ‘made’ might last a little longer than a day. At least be fodder for a few hundred coffee breaks. It’s not every day that we see a mystery shopper become unraveled.

(Debra gets up from the chair.
She picks up her tweed cape and her purse
and walks toward the exit)

Maria gets up and follows her door.
MARIA
All is not lost----with your sense of drama, I’ll bet you’re one hell of a playwright.
My advice is to concentrate on your playwrighting and leave the mystery shopping to someone who enjoys the work.

DEBRA
Speaking of plays, all I can think of for an exit line comes from the play
“Tea and Sympathy”

(Debra pauses, put her hand on the knob
and then in an English accent says)

“Years from now, when you talk about this…and you will…be kind.”

Debra goes out the door. Maria looks at the door for a moment, and then says, with no trace of irony.

MARIA
Works for me.

Lights dim then OUT.







Tags

Department Stores, Macys, Mystery Shopping, Nordstroms, Old Navy, Pennys, Secret Shopper, Service Evaluator, Target

Meet the author

author avatar Jojay
I am a published and produced playwright. I enjoy writing about anything that strikes my fancy as well as engages my passion for a lifetime of learning.
Also find my
writings at

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Comments

author avatar Denise O
15th Nov 2011 (#)

This put a smirk on my face. Great ending. Thank you for sharing.:)

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