Brooklyn math teacher Tracy Lewinson suffered a severe breakdown over the weekend, after a shopping trip to an Ann Taylor LOFT store.
“I was just there to buy some school-appropriate blouses and camisoles,” says Lewinson. “Instead I left with the sense that maybe I’m not cut out for this whole ‘math’ thing.”
First, the woman in the fitting room threw Lewinson off her guard by excitedly telling her how fun one of her blouse choices was. “I really hadn’t thought about a LOFT blouse being fun before, but she seemed so convinced that I just went with it. I’m pretty sure that’s one of those tactics they use to get you confused, like word problems that give you too much info.”
Lewinson shakes her head, adding, “That made me empathize with my students in a big way.”
Tracy was surprised to be informed that the sweater she found next to the “All Sweaters 50% Off!” sign was actually a sweater dress, and was not eligible for the sale, but that sweater dresses were buy two, get one 40% off. “That didn’t really seem like much of a deal to me,” says Lewinson, “but then I wondered if maybe I should be wearing sweater dresses more often, so I wasn’t sure what to do.”
As she decided what to do about the sweater/dress issue, the employee added that if she spent $13 or more on non-sweater-dress items, she could save $27 the next time she spent $75 during a two-week period in March.
Tracy found a scarf on clearance for $13 to earn the future $27 off. But she says, “Apparently the deal only applied to items at full price, so in fact I just spent $13 more on something I didn’t even need. I mean, I’m a teacher. I’m practically made of scarves.”
Lewinson was stunned, but the hits kept on coming. “While I was trying to calculate the true discount percentage, the employee then offered me the LOFT credit card, which would mean another 20% off today’s purchase, plus triple points toward purchases during leap years. I don’t even understand what the points do.”
Lewinson took out her TI-93 graphic calculator to try and keep up with the arithmetic, but then another employee shoved thin socks in her face and tried to convince her she needed a ten-pack, while the manager slipped her a job application and teased her with a 33.8% employee discount.
“That’s when I threw up,” says Lewinson. “Who could even do all this stuff? It’s too hard!”
After exiting, Tracy realized she’d completely forgotten to ask about the LOFT Loves Teachers discount program, but decided it wasn’t worth going back. “I was worried I might somehow owe the store money,” she explains. “Man, I really blew it.”
We tried to obtain the final cost of Lewinson’s purchase, but at press time, the LOFT regional manager was rounding all the receipts on a curve.