Trying to outsmart Top Shop

This is a real account about how Phyllis and I were at the New York City Top Shop and tried to play some mind games with the store employees.

We had just finished eating dinner at a Korean restaurant where the waiter kept pushing alcohol on us. Even though we were exhausted from a day of walking around the Big Apple, we figured we had enough energy to take a peak inside the huge Top Shop on 5th Avenue.


I had never been to a Top Shop before. All I knew about it was that Nordstrom carried some of its products back home in Seattle.

We walked through the doors approximately one minute before closing. (Yep, we were those customers!) But, no one rolled their eyes. No one gave us an, “Excuse us, we close at 10.” So, we walked around and kept looking at the jewelry and clothes.

As we were on the second floor looking at shoes, I turned to Phyllis and told her that I thought we were the only customers that remained in the store. She answered back with a comment like “well, they aren’t kicking us out so let’s keep looking!”

So, we did.

We made our way back to the main floor and now I was pretty sure that we were the last customers. Phyllis and I continued to look at some jewelry. At this point, we had no intentions of actually buying anything. I was too paranoid about being the only customers when the store was technically closed to enjoy shopping!

“Two left,” an employee said into his mic.

He was letting the rest of his fellow employees know that Phyllis and I were officially the last two customers remaining. But, he wasn’t standing too far away from us so he was also making sure we knew.

We finally started walked toward the exit and that same employee excitedly whispers, “Yes! It worked!”

I thought to myself, “Does he think we’re stupid?” but Phyllis decided to acknowledge that we knew what he meant by his last comment. When she turned and started speaking to him, he replied with: “Oh, ha ha, I was just using reverse psychology! You guys are welcome to stay longer and look if you want.”

We decided to not be jerks and just laugh along with him and “apologized” that we stayed in the store until 10:20 p.m. We promised that we were planning to return the next day to actually shop.

As soon as we left the store, I annoyingly stated how he didn’t use the term “reverse psychology” appropriately. If he had, he would’ve initially said something along the lines of, “Please, stay as long as you want. The night is yours!” instead of the purposeful “two left” comment.


I gotta admit, props to those employees for not angrily kicking us out at 10:00 p.m. But, in our defense, we actually did return the next day and made good dents in our credit cards.

And, besides, the customer is always right! Right?


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