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Once a friend of mine and I were bored after swimming/surfing at Waikiki beach one day. We decide to go into Louis Vuitton and browse around. Sure we were dressed in beach attire. Sure we didn't look rich. But did that mean we didn't deserve the same type of service that the other people were getting? First, we didn't have the doors opened for us. Secondly nobody helped us or approached us... Finally when I wanted to ask for assistance, even those who weren't helping customers seemed reluctant to help us. Of course nobody said goodbye or thank you for coming to the store either as we left!

So, my friend Todd and I decided to do an experiment. The next day, we went back to Louis Vuitton as tourists. Since we are both Japanese-Americans, we thought we could pull off acting as rich Japanese tourists. We took pains on our costumes - down to the cameras around his neck and my cheapie nylon and plastic flower haku. With our outfits, we not only had the door opened for us but as I started speaking to Todd in my halting

 

Japanese there was almost a stampede of clerks trying to help us. You could tell who really wanted their commission. We finally decided on a wallet and asked if we could get a new one from the back. They brought one out and as we walked to the register I pulled out 5 one hundred-dollar bills from my wallet (we did this just for the sake of authenticity). As they started to ring it up I said in ENGLISH, "Hey Todd, you know what? I change my mind. This isn't what I wanted at all..." and we left. The employees looked quite flustered, pissed off and confused. It was really a fun day! (I made sure to go directly to my bank and redeposit the money... pretty much all I had being that I was and still am a starving college student from Maui!)

Candace Miwa Takatsuka 2003