Sleeping Service

We’ve needed a new mattress for awhile, the Husbit and I. Our old one – a memory foam mattress we got off E-Bay when I was still at uni – is no longer moulding to our bodies. It’s just flat. And kinda lumpy. We’re both waking up in pain and the shoulder injury I picked up at Jitsu last autumn just isn’t healing and I think the mattress is part of why.

A few months ago, when we were shopping for cat bits and pieces, we spotted a bed shop so went in for a browse. The bed department was upstairs in a furniture store – the stairs split, with one direction leading to sofas and the other beds. We hadn’t finished going up the stairs in the beds direction when we were accosted by the sales demon assistant. She hounded us so intensely when we just wanted to get an idea of how much we needed to save up that we left and put the idea of a sound night’s sleep out of our minds again.

We have just come into a bit of spare cash, so decided to restart the mattress hunt. Reluctantly, we decided to go back to that shop because I wanted to pop into the next-door pet shop again. We pulled into the car park and spotted another furniture store selling beds in the retail park, so we went there first. They didn’t actually have many beds, but as we wandered through and lay on those we could afford, we were chased by two young girls playing ‘it’, with a mother shouting to them to “come here!” and not mess around but never looking over to see whether they obeyed, or seemingly even noticing that they never did come hither (they were perfectly polite children, smiled at us and apologised when they got in our way). The sales assistant caught Husbit’s eye on the way in but waited until we reached the last beds before bothering us. Mattress we liked best in our price range was in a 10% sale which included delivery, so that seemed like a bonus but we wanted to get the best we could afford so needed to shop around.

Which meant going back to the other bed place. We took the stairs up in the other direction, towards the sofas, this time (another couple were fleeing the sales pitch onslaught down the bed stairs) so managed to have a bit of a look around before we were accosted. Same sales assistant, on spotting us, came running over. Started the same explanations she’d given us last time – we cut her off (I felt a bit rude but she was being so insistant), explaining that we had been here before. Every few minutes, she came back over to see if she could help.

To be honest, the beds weren’t as nice and were more expensive but, for politeness’ sake, we admitted to liking a couple so she then tried to get us to try others. She seemed very put out by our low budget when we explained we couldn’t afford the ones she was showing us, and then tried to sell us a mattress that was available for us to take away there and then because it was a roll-up mattress. When we declined, she admitted roll-up mattresses aren’t as good, being less sturdy.

We ran out of there.

The next day, we went over in the other direction to the shop Husbit bought the bed from originally. I was all buzzed from having been allowed to drive over to our friend’s the night before – the longest I’ve driven in the Scooby – so was feeling shiny and excitable when we got there. Child-like. Or annoying puppy-like. We scooted in, avoiding the sales assistants and bee-lining for the beds. We were testing the first when we were approached. Smiley, friendly assistant who explained the shop layout to us and then – relief, oh relief – left us to it.

And we found a lovely mattress. A little over our budget, but not insurmountably so. And then I lay on the bed next to it and…. heaven! We snuck to the nearest cash point to check if we could scrape the money together, it being substantially above our (admittedly conservatively estimated) budget. We did. By delightful coincidence, the projected delivery date is my birthday!

The thing is, it needn’t have been a chore, the first day. Why do some sales assistants think that the best way to get a sale is to pester pester pester? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t find it frustrating. If you’re worried about the person feeling ignored, make eye contact. Approach and ask if they need help and if they say “no” then piss off to an appropriate distance and leave them be!

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