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The New Brooks Brothers

Phileas Fogg

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Most of the people who complain about “pushy” sales associates are the same assholes who complain that no one is helping them when they are left alone. The same people who complain that the SA “acted like he/she was better than us.” These are usually miserable pricks in other aspects of their lives.


The NYT article references the Gap. The Gap is much different from high end retail and even from Brooks Brothers. The latter usually have professional with deep product knowledge. The experience is totally different. I’ve gone into places just to look. I’m approached, I tell them I’m just looking and they back off with the obligatory “my name is **** if you have any questions.”

when I do need something, I’ll make it clear when I’m greeted. If it’s a place I have a long standing relationship with, I’ll text or email the SA I work with and let him know what I’m looking for. I go in, he’s got everything pulled out so that we both save time.
 

Norwester

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I’ve never had that happen, so my only conclusion is that you’ve only ever eaten at one restaurant in the States and you’re extrapolating that experience to everyone else.
Maybe you should eat at better restaurants.
This has indeed happened to me when eating with colleagues and friends at respected establishments in Boston, Seattle, and Washington, DC. On the other hand it has never happened to me at a restaurant with a Michelin star. Nor has my younger sibling ever complained of such treatment at his favorite restaurant, The Cracker Barrel. So I will agree that at either end of the economic spectrum there is fine service to be found.
 

Phileas Fogg

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This has indeed happened to me when eating with colleagues and friends at respected establishments in Boston, Seattle, and Washington, DC. On the other hand it has never happened to me at a restaurant with a Michelin star. Nor has my younger sibling ever complained of such treatment at his favorite restaurant, The Cracker Barrel. So I will agree that at either end of the economic spectrum there is fine service to be found.
I’ve had bad service before, though never had my plate removed while still eating, but I’ve experienced it everywhere (except Japan). I’ve also had excellent everywhere.

Poor aerobics, like good service, is not the unique possession of any one country or region.
 

upsett1_spaghett1

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The creepiest customer service I've had was at my local BB when I walked in and my usual SA saw me and called out in a scolding tone "You've been shopping online!" He went on to explain that whenever I bought something in the system the local store was sent a notification. I was as disturbed as when I realized that the internet seems to be aware of every Google search I've ever made. He was definitely an old-school salesperson. He found it distasteful to discuss prices, and would even turn away the screen when he rang up my purchases so I couldn't see the total. I would have liked to feel comfortable just dropping in and looking around when I found myself downtown, but found myself only coming by when I had something specific to buy.
That's insanely creepy. Also what is this thing with people being unable to discuss prices? I've had the same thing happen at car dealerships where they keep giving me a monthly figure for what they're trying to sell me and I'm like "no I want to see the total retail value plus warranties and fees."

Is this similar to how Americans are very dubious about discussing salary in hiring negotiations? I grew up in the US but I swear people here are so nervous talking about money.

Poor aerobics, like good service, is not the unique possession of any one country or region.
I'm stealing this quote
 

comrade

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Yes but this is a forum for people who are discerning about clothes. So: padded shoulders, darted jacket, probably doesn't have a centre hook vent (my guess: unvented, given the era). Trousers almost certainly double-pleated. Point collar. It's just not Ivy, and not even the mid-Atlantic style Kennedy wore. It's English trad, if there is such a thing. And sure, English trad is an older cousin of Ivy, but no more than that.
The basic Ivy trad style was already established in the Northeastern US and Ivy College circles by
World War 1. See F.Scott Fittzgerald ( Princeton 1917) in a photo from 1921, the year of Prince Phillip's
birth:
442px-F_Scott_Fitzgerald_1921.jpg

Natural shoulders, Button down collar with a the proper roll.
And what looks to me like a knit tie.
One hundred years on one can buy that identical suit from O'Connells
or Cable Car Clothiers.
I cannot think of an other period in past several hundred years in the
West that men's tailored clothing has remained so unchanged.
Compare 1821- 1921, 1721-1821
 

Ambulance Chaser

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The front of the house is a vastly underrated element of a restaurant's quality. It doesn't make up for mediocre food, but it can be the difference between a good restaurant and a great one. It helps if a member of your party is a regular customer and friendly with the host.
 

classicalthunde

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've had the same thing happen at car dealerships where they keep giving me a monthly figure for what they're trying to sell me and I'm like "no I want to see the total retail value plus warranties and fees."
common car dealership trick to keep you "under your monthly number" but also extending you from a 48 to 60 or 72 month term, thereby making you pay a lot more despite the illusion of being under budget

always deal in total price plus tax and tags with a car dealership, always secure your own financing prior to walking in the door for leverage, always be willing to walk away
 

Phileas Fogg

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Is this similar to how Americans are very dubious about discussing salary in hiring negotiations? I grew up in the US but I swear people here are so nervous talking about money.
I don’t think they’re dubious. I just don’t think they know how.

Trust me, if you’re bringing the goods, you know your worth and aren’t afraid to ask for it.

I think sometimes people get nervous about it and rightly so; they perhaps haven’t done their homework or aren’t bringing anything substantial to the table.
 

Norwester

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As the great Chester L. Karass said, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. There are plenty of people whose particular talent set lies in optimizing the performance of a silicon gate, or understanding cellular pathways, or maybe just carefully balancing the books at a business. Perhaps on a flight to a conference they pick up the copy of SkyMall and think "maybe if I took Dr. K's course I could negotiate a higher salary, or at least get a better table at the restaurant". But they go back to what they are good at, and society benefits.

I'm pretty sure they belong to the segment of the population that prefers shopping online to dealing with salespeople. Plus they usually earn a steady upper middle class salary, so when Brooks Brothers goes under they are able to take advantage of the wonderful sales and look fabulous at their next Zoom meeting.
 

upsett1_spaghett1

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It doesn't make up for mediocre food, but it can be the difference between a good restaurant and a great one.
Having worked both FOH and BOH in fine dining, I can confirm this is 100% true. I'd even take it a step further and say that bad service can take a good restaurant to a mediocre or poor one really quick. Doesn't matter if the food is top notch if it's dying at the pass and customers are not having a good time with their servers. Course this falls squarely on the owner and manager. The food industry is so hard you really really have to hire the right people.
always deal in total price plus tax and tags with a car dealership, always secure your own financing prior to walking in the door for leverage, always be willing to walk away
I do not know at all what it is like buying a car in other countries, but I think that buying a car from the dealership when you're financing is one of the hardest lessons to learn as an adult in the US, and I wish someone had taught me. I don't know it's anyone's responsibility to, but damn if it's not a brutal learning process on your own.
Trust me, if you’re bringing the goods, you know your worth and aren’t afraid to ask for it.
Personally, I've not had problems negotiating pay but I think a lot of folks my age (I'm 29), are pretty insecure and terrible at it. They seem to assume a raise will come when they need it, or that they'll be offered commensurate compensation at hiring without negotiating for it.
As the great Chester L. Karass said, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.
Absolutely.
 

Keith Taylor

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Personally, I've not had problems negotiating pay but I think a lot of folks my age (I'm 29), are pretty insecure and terrible at it. They seem to assume a raise will come when they need it, or that they'll be offered commensurate compensation at hiring without negotiating for it.
It’s a different world these days. People of my father’s generation could - assuming the requisite competence - reasonably expect to work in the same industry and perhaps even the same company for life if they chose, with compensation increasing with experience. It rarely works that way any more. The idea of knowing your worth and demanding suitable compensation seems a touch old fashioned, harkening back to a time when most good businesses saw their employees as a long term investment rather than a disposable commodity.

My old man used to be approached by headhunters several times a year. Conversely, even with a good degree and a truckload of ambition I didn’t earn more than the minimum wage until I started my own business in my late 20s.
 

comrade

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My father was a very successful Dentist and later real estate investor.
He instilled in me to "be my own boss". I didn't listen.
 

upsett1_spaghett1

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It’s a different world these days. People of my father’s generation could - assuming the requisite competence - reasonably expect to work in the same industry and perhaps even the same company for life if they chose, with compensation increasing with experience. It rarely works that way any more. The idea of knowing your worth and demanding suitable compensation seems a touch old fashioned, harkening back to a time when most good businesses saw their employees as a long term investment rather than a disposable commodity.

My old man used to be approached by headhunters several times a year. Conversely, even with a good degree and a truckload of ambition I didn’t earn more than the minimum wage until I started my own business in my late 20s.
I completely agree with this. My father has owned his own businesses for years, but has essentially told me from a young age "son, unless you go to work for a union companies will always try to pay you less than you deserve, so you have to demand it."

I'm a college dropout but I've not had a minimum wage job since high school. I've considered starting my own business many times, but honestly I don't even know what I would do. Still figuring it out, but hey I'm not starving.
 

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