This has been bothering me for a few days now, and I want to say something about it, but I’m not out for creating drama so I’m not mentioning the name of the person concerned, or linking to her video. I just want to make my point because it’s nagging at me. Some of you may be aware of who I’m talking about and I’d appreciate it if you don’t mention her name either. Until I watched this I always liked her quite a lot, and I’m not up for an internet war these days.
Recently during a haul video a YouTube beauty blogger told a story about having opened and sprayed a body spray in a shop to see what it smelled like. She was seen and told off by a shop assistant, and the crux of the story is that she considered the salesperson to be rude because:
a) she got annoyed at the YTer opening a product that wasn’t a tester
b) ‘It was only $5 and I didn’t do more than a tiny spray’, and
c) there were no testers available (note - in Australia body sprays are not something you will regularly see testers for, and I wouldn’t expect to as they are little more than slightly fancy deodorants).
She also stated several times that she didn’t think anyone would buying such a product would have a problem with someone else having opened it and tested it. Other rationales:
- I like to test before I buy.
- It wasn't sealed (i.e. it didn't have a plastic or sticker seal, which apparently makes it fair game?)
- The salesperson used the analogy of not being able to open and test a bottle of wine before buying it, and this was somehow the most rude and objectionable comment ever.
I have a number of problems with this scenario. First of all, the wine analogy is spot on. There are loads of things you can’t ‘try before you buy’. You can’t open a bottle of wine and taste it. You can’t open a can of Coke and drink a bit. You can’t open a packet of cotton balls and rub one on your face to see if you like them. We are talking about a $5 body spray, bought by a person who regularly drops up to $1000 on a single video’s haulage. Her argument that they should have had a tester because she likes to see what something smells like before she buys it doesn’t stack up. We’re not talking about a $100 bottle of perfume here. We’re talking about the price of a coffee. Spend $5 on a body spray and not like it? You’ve lost $5. Big deal. Give it to someone else. Use it as a toilet spray. If you’re that strung out about it take it back and demand your money back. Whatever.
Secondly, her entitled attitude really grated me. She did not acknowledge nor even seem to understand that what she was doing was theft. It was ‘one tiny spray’ of a bottle that was ‘only $5’. How is this relevant? Since when do we put a price tag on what one can and can’t help themselves to? Does that mean I can go into Coles and open a bag of lollies and take one? I mean, they’re less than $5 – that’s okay, right? Her admission that she got ‘bitchy’ with the shop assistant (she states at the end of the story that she ‘gave her the hand’ and walked away) is another measure of her entitlement issues. The shop assistant was doing her job, and yes, she got annoyed – probably because she just stood there watching someone open something and use it in the shop. And then argue when she addressed it. And then hold a hand up and walk away. What the hell kind of obnoxious behaviour is that? I’m sure loads of people open things and sniff them, maybe they even spray them. It doesn’t make it right, but it’s common – I’ve seen it a million times. I’ve probably done it myself a time or two (though I honestly can’t think of any, and it has always been something that has annoyed me). However, when you get caught, at least have the grace to accept that YOU are the one in the wrong.
Don’t rile up your 12,000 followers - most of whom also seem to be thieves - to call this salesperson every name under the sun and validate your theft as okay because ‘everyone does it’ or ‘it’s a big company’ (what the fuck does that have to do with anything?). Whether or not the salesperson ever sees all this abuse that has been piled on her (and who’s to know – there’s a good chance she’s a fan of Aussie Youtubers herself) is irrelevant. What this amounts to is bullying. Because you did something clearly wrong, and got annoyed that you were called on it.
So you made a video about it, and had a whine, and called out some innocent retail employee, and got your hive mind to agree with you. If I pulled a stunt like that, I’d be ashamed of myself. As you should be.