June 22, 2005
Oprah gets a retail snub in Paris, and if some of the ever-changing facts of this story are correct, it’s a racial slur, certainly, as well as commentary on her lack of celebrity power in Paris. But a crucial piece of information is being overlooked:
She arrived after closing time!
As anyone who works retail can attest, there’s nothing more annoying than someone banging the doors at 6:45, when it clearly states in airbrushed letters to the right of their anguished expression that the place closes at 6:30. No employee wants to stay on to cater to a tardy customer unless a whopping commission is guaranteed, and even then it’s just bad manners to expect everyone to stay over just for your retail whims.
And as anyone in retail can attest, the second most annoying thing just may be when celebrities throw their weight around. They assume that simply because they are famous, special attention should be paid, discounts should be given and, yes, the place should re-open when it’s closed. I realize a celeb’s positive retail experience could result in positive PR for the establishment, but just how often does that happen when compared with how often they fuss it up?
I’m the last person to get uppittude about special star treatment, since I’m a celebrity junkie. But as a retail employee who gets abused by customers multiple times a day, I've gotta say this:
when the store is closed, it's closed, and there's truly nothing inside that's that important (just ask your Buddhist friend, Tina), so realign your priorities and let it go.
For Oprah to want a store to remain open because of who she is goes against her supposed empathy toward the underpaid working girls who would have had to stay on to help her out. Yes, the French are rude, but so was Oprah, and I hope she doesn’t make too big of a stink about this.
But then again, it’s not a good idea to piss off Oprah. Putting herself on the cover of every issue of her eponymous magazine certainly qualifies as egomania, and she’s been fingering her narcissism hard for a long time now. The media seldom overlooks this type of over glorified self-worship (Trump, Paris Hilton, Geraldo, etc.), but in Oprah’s case, there’s barely a negative comment made. Why is this?
I have a (barely) cockamamie theory:
She has overwhelming amounts of money, power and influence. She has hordes of devoted minions to do her bidding. No one dares say a dirty word about her. Then, she insists upon keeping every aspect of her empire in Chicago…
She is obviously now the head of the Chicago Mob, the don of the Chicago Mafia family! Mull it over, add it up, not as preposterous as it seems, and quite the coup. And is that a My Little Pony head in the Hermes manager’s bed?
Posted by tobyweiss.com at 8:55 PM