In the past, where I chose to shop was based on experience and value. I like stores that are well-organized, have high quality merchandise at reasonable prices, and do not employ helicopter clerks.

In my opinion, helicopter clerks are some of the world’s most interesting people in that they have the ability to sustain a conversation based solely on what they say while they hover over customers who are attempting to ignore their presence.

Conversations with helicopter clerks go something like this:
HC (Sweetly):                        
Are you looking for something in particular?
Me (Sweetly):                        
No, thank you. I’m just looking.
HC: (In head):                        
Bet me!  No one is allowed to “just look” in this store.
HC (With set jaw):                  
What size do you wear?
Me (Sweetly, sort of):              
I’m just browsing. But, thank you.
HC (With eyes narrowed):       
What colors do you like to wear?
Me (In head.):                         
Okay, Ms. Helicopter, now I’m going to ignore you.
HC (Picking up an item):          
We are having a sale on our summer tank tops. 
ME (Turning away):                 
I’m ignoring the whirring sounds in this room.
HC (With disgust):                   
I’ll be by the cash register when you need me.
ME (In head):                          
That’ll be the day!!     

Until recently avoiding helicopter clerks was my biggest shopping challenge. But that was before buying things made in America became an issue. It was when Diane Sawyer and ABC challenged us to purchase things made in the USA that I discovered I was mostly shopping Brazil, Indonesia, China, Mexico, Argentina, Japan, South Korea, & Cambodia.

So where is that helicopter clerk when I need her to help me read the fine print on the tags?


  1. Oh, now you want help. Did you look over by the cash register? Yeah/no. She's over here helping me pick a new tank top! "Oooh, this one brings out the green in your eyes."

  2. Vanilla, clerks spend a lot of time telling people how fantastic they will look in various items of clothing. Commission maybe?

  3. I've learned to pawn them off on Merrill and then run! It goes something like this... "honey, I'm sure she can help you find exactly what you're looking for!" and run to the other side of the store! Merrill loves this technique!

  4. Captain Nancy, good thinking!