131 forum posts
I want to get a new soft shell. Eddie Bauer has a line of clothing called their FIRST ASCENT line. Its only sold in specific stores that are authorized to carry this stuff. Those stores are few and far between, the closest on is roughly 90 minutes of highway driving away.
But, my sister came into town from the UK and wanted to go shopping as prices in the US are roughly 50% lower than prices in the UK due to things like the VAT Tax.
So knowing of the closest FIRST ASCENT store, and knowing its in a mall that will make the women folk of the group happy, I suggest the Oakbrook mall. I can split off, go see what I want, meet up with the ladies later.
Good theory. First, I checked to see that the Eddie Bauer FIRST ASCENT store carries the specific item. Can't say 100% for sure based on their website, but it appears they do. So great, I'm good to go to the mall (something I hate).
90 minutes, across the state line, 4 toll booths on the Illinois Tollway later, higher gas and sales taxes later we arrive at the mall. I depart the girls, who seem to be fascinated by all things shiny in Nordstrom, and head off on my trek to check out the holy grail of soft shell jackets, winner of multiple awards for 2013 from both the climbing and the hiking media. Finding the Eddie Bauer store was easy enough, walk in and the first 1/4 of the store is all FIRST ASCENT clothing. Wow, could this get any better?
As best as I can recall, yesterday's experience went something like this (names changed to protect the hapless)
-------is it too much to expect that clerks know their products?-------
I'm just starting to look around when clueless salesboy Bevis show us with his oh-so-styled hair to ask if I need some help.
Why yes Bevis, I do. I'm looking for a FIRST ASCENT Accelerant Soft Shell Jacket.
hmmm..... is it one of those, over there?
Uh, no, its a technical soft shell for hiking and climbing.
hmmm..... what colors are you looking for?
Uh, not really sure, just want to see the construction and try it on for size. Its the ACCELERANT style, won several awards, I need it for a long distance hike.
About this time Bevis's sales buddy/supervisor Butthead(?) shows up to help resolve the quandary.
May I haalp you fiiind something (I spelled it like it sounded)
Uh, yes, I was asking your boy Bevis over there if someone could show me one of the FIRST ASCENT Accelerant Soft Shell Jackets.
hmmm..... is it one of thoooose over therrrre behind youuuuu???
Well I looked there, I don't see it.
hmmm..... I don't think we selllll that one in thiiiisssss store.
You don't think or you don't know?
Can you figure out where this is going? Need I go on? WTF!?!
I'm not really a fan of Eddie Bauer, at least not for the past 30 years since they got bought out and turned into a fashion company from a real outdoors clothing company. But their FIRST ASCENT line of products seem to be well trusted, well designed, well made and worthy of consideration. Figured I'd give them another try.
I still want to see the specific item, I still will consider it. But I will not suffer fools to try it on.