Friday, August 21, 2009

Stamford Mall: Elevator Hell and Annoying Kiosk People

I realized I was going to have to blog about my visit to the Stamford Mall Friday when I overhead a young hipster saying to his mother or possibly grandmother, "...ended up in Hoboken in nothing but a cowboy hat." I saw them two hours later, and he was still talking her ear off- he was languidly going on and on, and I didn't see her speak a word or even make a facial expression. I wondered if she had hired him to entertain her with stories as she walked. Endless, unstopping stories.

I also wanted to publicly rage about a mother with a stroller- who has no other choice but to use the mall's slow, small elevators- having to WAIT while several elevators filled with teens go by. I had to wait a full couple of minutes when I got to the mall for an elevator to even stop and open. The other lady waiting with a stroller said three other full ones had already stopped and she had to let them pass. And they're not full of people with leg problems, or older people- it's thirteen year olds, and sometimes guys in their 20s. In the future, I'm going to develop something to say to these people. I'm going to jam my stroller in the door to hold it open, and say, "Does anyone in here, who has perfectly healthy legs, want to get out so I, who cannot use the stairs, can use this elevator?" And then I'll hold the door until I get some answers. (Actually, I wouldn't do this, because I wouldn't put my baby between myself and the people. I guess I'd use my foot, although the stroller would be more dramatic.)

The only other thing I want to complain about is that kiosk outside the Apple store, where the person selling that nail buffer calls out as you pass, "Can I ask you a question?" See, they get you with that, because people don't want to say, "No." I usually just say, "No thanks." Well, when I was at the mall Friday, I was pushing my baby in the stroller and talking to my boss, who I'd just run into. The lady calls out, "Can I ask you a question?" Her question was totally inappropriate, because I was in the middle of a conversation, so I stammered, "Uh, no, uh, busy." I'm not going to stop and let you file my nail while my boss and my baby wait. DUH.

Back to the elevators. Other issues with them:
1. The floors outside the elevator are not marked. So, you get into the elevator, then realize you have no idea what number floor you are trying to get because you have no idea which number floor you are leaving. Brilliant. Like I am supposed to assume I enter the mall on floor 3, which is the ground floor?
2. For all except the new elevators by H and M, the elevator door is so narrow that only a stroller can fit through. Therefore, if I need to get off, and there are people between me and the door, those people have to get completely OFF the elevator to let me off.
3. Then, the doors start to close before they are back in.
4. God forbid my stroller and I get in when there are already people in the elevator. Then, I'M blocking the doors, and I have to get off to let them off, then swivel the stroller around to quickly leap back in as the doors start to shut on me, or my stroller.
5. Macy's only has escalators. So, if I want to go up a floor in Macy's, I have to go back out to the elevator by the Apple store. (And pass the lady or man who yells, "Can I ask you a question?") Or, maybe Macy's does have elevators hidden somewhere. I'll have to try to figure that out next time I'm there.

So anyway, going to Stamford mall is now really annoying, because I have to use tiny elevators full of teenagers. I suppose I could wear my baby in my sling, but then I'll be wearing a 16 pound baby, plus carrying a diaper bag and whatever I buy (and climbing up and down stairs with all that, or hopping on and off escalators). No, you sorta need a stroller for the mall, but unfortunately, Stamford Mall's poorly thought out elevators can make stroller navigation really frustrating.


Chris Preovolos said...

Whoa, we have hispters in Stamford? I thought we were still relatively safe here. I mean, we aren't THAT close to Brooklyn.

Stamford Talk said...

Maybe I should have elaborated on the hipster. He was a skinny white dude with a faux-fro and ill-fitting jeans. Def. not cool enough to be a Brooklyn hipster, but aiming to be that while still being a Stamford late teen.

Anonymous said...

Macy's has an elevator. Unfortunately I can't even begin to explain how to find it, but it does have an elevator. I'm sure an employee will show you where it is...

Dr Horder said...

Go straight into Macy's. If you are on the shoe floor, head all the way back into Men's clothes. It is on the right by Men's shoes. So, if you are on any floor of Macy's go back about that far and stick to the right.

As for A-holes in elevators. My FAVORITE is the Costco in Port Chester. If you have a stroller, you have NO choice but to take the elevator because the disney style ramp escalator things are not stroller safe. Anyway, I was in Costco one day with Bella and she was raging. We had to take the elevator and some guy who was PERFECTLY capable of taking the Disney-lator gets on the elevator with me and a bunch of other stroller pushers. He is on his phone. Bella is the only one crying. They guy has the nerve to say to whoever he is talking to, "I can't hear you. There is a screaming baby behind me." Well, that was it. I made sure as i was getting off that i commented, "you wouldn't have that problem on the escalator." Then, I followed him ALL over Costco really close with my screaming baby.

Anonymous said...

That is a great story! Some people are incredibly rude!

Mark said...

The just need to get some bulldozers, knock down that awful mall and start again. It's a pedestrian unfriendly, baby unfriendly, cramped, inward facing, poor excuse for a mall. And if divided downtown in two - breaking Main street in two. What a mess. I'll be glad when they tear it down someday. Of course it's probably also full of asbestos.

Anonymous said...

glad i'm not the only one who secretly curses people in the elevator who could be taking the stairs. strollers take precedence! burn a few calories, people.

Notes in the Sandbox said...

As for those annoying kiosks, I have come up with a pseudo solution. Personally I never knew what to say to them when they asked me a question. What I have started to do (I'm really not a rude person 99.99% of my life...except when I frequent the mall and happen to pass by the Apple Store) is pretend they are not asking me a question and pretend I don't hear them talking to me. After a few times of them asking to speak with me they get the hint and move on to the next unsuspecting person. I know they are just there doing their job, and I hate being rude to them, but sometimes they are so irritating that it is the only thing I can do to make it bearable to walk around in that part of the mall. I love the Apple store, why did they have to place one of those kiosks there?!!

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anne said...

The able-bodied, stroller-free people in the mall elevator are major players in the ongoing Peeve Drama that is my life. I've been known to send my husband and son (in stroller) into the mall elevator and loudly say something like, "I can walk, so I'll take the stairs and meet you on level #. No room in the elevator for extra people!"

The best things to do to avoid this are:

1) Stick to the elevators by Barnes and Noble.

2) Locate the secret Macy's elevator. (Slow, but big and reliable.)

3) Avoid the mall as much as possible.

Anonymous said...

hey watch out you dont turn into "Pittgirl" and then get outed like she was!..or actually go for it. Stamford needs a good public advocate.

That makeup/nail stand is annoying. Though they sell those jars of animal fat by the gross pun intended.

Stefania said...

It's funny what you say about the Kioks becuase my husband and I always joke when we pass them: Look at that one who got tricked! It's usually men... I do answer "No, thank you!" in a determined but polite tone. It's not rude to decline something you do not want.

Melina said...

Ah K- you are right exactly where I years ago!! See, Will was a toddler and this house, which grandpa bought in the 40's had NO air conditioning.
When it got hot for those first few years, we went over to the mall and hung around. This was the old mall...and those damned teens were packed in the elevator along with all sorts of able bodied folks who should be able to at least walk to the escalators.

I spent alot of time back then considering the poor design of the mall, but you must see that they are pushing people to walk past the stores while avoiding the stairs; thats how lazy Americans are! Its just the heavy handedness with which the architects did it is apparent, and there is probably no way that the mistake in the escalators can be fixed.
Back then there were signs that said to please allow parents with strollers or handicapped folks use the they still have that?
I know that there used to be a teen outreach center at the mall because alot of bad stuff goes on there in the fringe teen society (from what Ive heard) and its the first line of catching kids who might make mistakes early...
It may be worthwhile to complain to the management and the security office, if for nothing else then to try to teach these kids to look around and care for others...and to take the stairs. That experience taught me to always take the stairs if I could.
Things are SO different now in how Americans treat each other, and in the city I am always shocked to see people not offering their seat to a pregnant or very old person...its a lesson that needs to be retaught, and we all have responsibility to point this out to people and to complain to establishments that don't enforce this...
If you think this is bad, wait till Christmas!
It happens everywhere, but its just more apparent at the mall.
Teens in Stamford don't have alot to do and with the school budgets getting cut more and more, outside interests are cut as well.
I feel for you, and I think that its worthwhile to speak up if you're comfortable...but they really should have the guards there stand by the elevators during busy times!
Let us know if you want to start a campaign....we can email and call to complain about the elevators and see if there is any movement.

The Kisoks are also annoying. Those people are not supposed to be as aggressive as they are. At a point I just start yelling NO at them. They are trying to make a living, but rental of a kiosk does not give them license to harass customers. I am less likely to go to the mall because of these people! Its like saying that SPAM mail is more likely to sell a product...its not! Its annoying!
The other thing about the Kiosks is that the products they sell are available elsewhere for MUCH cheaper. I was able to teach a teen girl I was mentoring about it with the hair iron thing that they sell for $100. I found the same thing on line for much cheaper! Since it was her money that she had saved, it was a good lesson...but I too feel bad for people who are punked by those Kiosks.
I wonder why the management of the Stamford mall hates it's customers so much that it wants to have these crap traps placed strategically around every major hallway? Is it worth losing the trust of its customers?
and I wonder why the management of the Stamford mall hates mothers with strollers and old or disabled folks so much that they don't provide a way for them to get from floor to floor.
welcome to the wonderful world of motherhood in Stamford.
I have a feeling that you will be writing this comment in 15 years to another young mother, because they will never change!

Karen Brewer said...

My eldest child is now 24 years old.Thats how long that mall has been Mom unfriendly.Years ago, I thought there was no excuse not to remodel. You have to walk all the way to each end of the mall to get the escalator to upper floors, God forbid you have a stroller as you point out. The mall is in BIG trouble now though and Im sure remodelling is out of the question. Try the mall in White Plains.Quiet,better stores,mom friendly all around better experience.Also I agree about Rye but do try Darien which is closer for you.Great new coffeehouse called Espresso Neat.People are friendly. Try the great parks too particularly,Cherry Lawn on Brookside Road.Let me know how you do.

Anonymous said...

If you need an elevator from levels 4-5 that is never busy, there is one in the xxi forever store. when you go in, its on the left wall in a little alcove hope this helps.