Yesterday morning at my workplace it was announced that due to celebrating some milestones, we were having a Game Day, meaning all employees were supposed to play board games, card games, pinball, pool, video games, computer games, or watch a movie (my office actually has facilities for all these activities and more; unbelievably, we develop productivity software), but no working was allowed.

I always feel out of sorts when my office does this. It’s not like it happens all that often, but I don’t really like playing games, and honestly, if I were going to have a chance to watch a movie during the day, I’d rather go to the theater. Plus, it’s never announced ahead of time, so I always feel annoyed for having gone through my normal hectic morning routine and wasted the time and gas on my commute, and if there was going to be no working required then I can sure think of about a million ways I’d rather spend my free time, none of which involve hanging around the office. I like my coworkers, don’t get me wrong, I just . . . don’t necessarily like spending more time at the office than I have to, you know? Basically, I’m a giant gift-horse-looking whiner who can’t enjoy a free day off. I know, sometimes even *I* can’t believe how much I suck.

Anyway, I spent some time chit-chatting, then went slinking out the door while the cacophony of pinball and the Star Trek arcade machine filled the air, and while I had very good intentions for heading directly home and tackling the monstrous amount of housework and laundry that had been piling up, then getting some freelance work done before getting the kids from daycare, I somehow found myself driving to H&M.

H&M is new to Seattle, and I’d never been there before (for the local yokels, I visited the University Village store). If you haven’t had the pleasure, it’s sort of like an upscale Old Navy, except with 150% less crappy styles. The whole place was stuffed with cute, cheap outfits, and I felt like I had been dropped into some magical fairyland where fashion was actually affordable and didn’t come with those big-assed PLEASE REMOVE BEFORE WEARING tags.

The only problem was the sizes. The majority of the available inventory was in size XS, which seemed about the right fit for Dylan, if he maybe skipped a few YoBaby meals. There was a lot of inconsistency in the numbered sizing, too, which resulted in a frustrating dressing-room experience as I crammed myself into one skirt that fit like a sausage casing, then another in the same exact goddamned size which drooped halfway to my knees. Whiskey tango foxtrot, H&M?

Still, I had a totally pleasurable childfree afternoon browsing around, and even bought a few spiffy new things, including a much-needed dressy winter coat, before heading home to the laundry and projects and children. It may not have been what Workplace intended in terms of employee morale-building, but I guarantee I had just as much fun as my fellow employees who spent eight hours playing Rock Band.

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Crystal
14 years ago

We, meaning East Coasters, have had H&M for quite sometime. And I do love it. Especially for kids clothes.

And I will agree the sizes are wacky. Even for the kids clothes. But so freakin adorable, and you cant beat the prices.

kirida
14 years ago

I can’t believe your office mandates no-working days *and* has a chef!

Alex
Alex
14 years ago

JUST yesterday, I made plans to head down to West Hollywood in the very near future for my first H&M experience. My eyebrows shot up in a “Whoa, cool” kind of way when I realized that’s what you were writing about. Sometimes, Sundry, it’s like we’re related or something.

Ginny
Ginny
14 years ago

Hey Sundry – just a thought. My 9 month old was waking up during the night – and after much garment rending and teeth gnashing I realized she was COLD. Feel like an ass much? Not that I expect that is your problem too, but I thought I would put it out there. A few more layers and POOF. Sleeping through the night baby.

eileen
eileen
14 years ago

Whiskey tango foxtrot.

Haaaa!

I am totally using that for my own.

H
H
14 years ago

I would feel the same way if I was in the same situation at work. Sort of like my all-time pet peeve, “Let’s have a 3 day meeting, now what should we do for 3 days?” Um. How about we have an agenda and let that determine how long the meeting should last?

I digress. I would have gone home too.

Chris
14 years ago

H&M’s sizing is completely jacked up. I can’t count the number of times I’ve tried on something totally adorable there in about 4 different sizes before realizing that it’s all just cut weird and NO size will fit me. So frustrating!

Debi
14 years ago

A GOOD mother would never spend her free time sans children.

Debi
14 years ago

Sorry, the “tongue in cheek” portion of that last comment didn’t come through. Honestly, every parent on earth is a bad parent according to someone, we all turn out completely f*cked up because of it, and yet we mostly manage to be functional and somewhat happy people. Huh, think “someone” is over-reacting much?

My company doesn’t mandate fun time, but I make it my purpose in life to amuse those who deserve it and abuse those who deserve it (which in turn boosts morale). Wonder if they’d pay me to cook, too…hrm.

Anonymous New York
14 years ago

Yea for you! Glad you got some time to yourself, even if you had to battle the wacko sizes at H&M.

Samantha
14 years ago

I could only hope and pray that my workplace would have a game day where they demanded us NOT to work. Even though, if we did have a day like that I would totally do the same thing. Good for you.

sooboo
14 years ago

I gave up on H&M for that very reason. Who has time to spend two hours in the dressing room? Too frustrating.

Kate
14 years ago

I totally would have snuck out too. Although I probably would have played a little Rock Band first. (blush)

Operation Pink Herring
14 years ago

I used to love H&M, but I quickly became overwhelmed by their massive variety of offerings (same problem with Old Navy) and then frustrated when NONE of the ten thousand items I’d drag into the dressing room would fit (also, strangely, like Old Navy). But regardless, that sounds like a lovely afternoon. I am with you on the mandated fun-time at work… I think instead they should release everyone onto the world with strict instructions to have fun and relax, whether that be having a book orgy in Barnes and Noble or watching the entire Tivo cache in one sitting. Games in the office… nah. I’m a gift-horse-mouth-whiner, too. And my office is underground. Bah!

biscuit
biscuit
14 years ago

H+M is the same here too: everything is XS!
:(

I live right across the street from a very nice mall complete with H+M. . . my husband is lucky I have a baby keeping me so busy at home because things would be pretty dangerous if I wasn’t a mom!

Emblita
14 years ago

Oooh H&M is my favorite! I usually go in Denmark or Sweden, you get used to the sizing.
Love H&M

Amy M.
Amy M.
14 years ago

Love H&M! Especially for the kids’ clothes. I lament their lack of petites, though. I bought a great pair of pants there, but had to chop 6 inches off the bottom!

Never had a non-scheduled play-day at work. We just have an annual golf outing. I’d much rather get the day off!

Kevin E
14 years ago

H&M totally pulls that sizing stuff – it takes about 20 minutes for me to figure out their code system. I think it’s because it mostly caters to 19 yo skinny-leg-jean hipster boys.

samantha jo campen
14 years ago

You’re office is like something out of a fairy tale. I’d commute to Seattle from Chicago to work there. No shit I’m not kidding.

samantha jo campen
14 years ago

. . .aaaaaaand that should have been ‘your’. Revoke my English degree starting NOW.

Korinna
14 years ago

H&M is marvelous! And equally jenked up when it comes to sizing. I somehow thought it was me and my un-fabulous pear shaped body.

I’ve merged the two (love for clothes! loathing for sizing!) feelings by only buying those things that I don’t have to try on: Sweaters, blouses, bags, baby clothes.

The best trip there resulted in my rather burly husband trying on a euro-cut shirt. It was all gaping buttons and straining threads. Heh.

NancyJak
14 years ago

I picked up the BEST POCKETBOOK IN THE WHOLE WORLD at H&M two summers ago. It’s bright pink, wide, long zipper opening into a cavernous mouth and just bottomless. I call it my “Mary Poppins Bag” because you would not believe the amount of stuff that can go into it. They had it in a white and a black and I’m still kicking myself for not buying the black.
Clothes – I’m meh about them because of the sizing too. Although I bought a purple tank top that I’ve never worn.
I guess I’ll stick to accessories!

Dianna
14 years ago

Haven’t been to the Seattle stores yet, but had to go to an H&M in NYC (poured down rain, were on the top deck of the tour bus, had to go to a Yankees game later, bought dry clothes) and you’re so right, the sizes were crazy. I had about 10 minutes to shop as we were in a hurry to get to the game so grabbed a shirt, jeans, and jacket thing and prayed they’d fit. Luckily I bought the jacket too since the shirt was about 2 sizes too small. Oh well, we were at least dry!

DaisyCake
14 years ago

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! LOVE IT!

(and honestly, it took me a minute to get it, which makes me love it even more!)

Sonia
Sonia
14 years ago

I had NO idea that H&M had come to Washington!!!!! I’ve been wanting to check one out since I heard SJP has a line there. Time to plan a trip to U Village! Just today while getting dressed, I contemplated hitting the mall this afternoon because of the dismal selection of clothes in my closet. The Stress and Braces Diet of 2008 has me wearing jeans with diaper butt. T’aint pretty around here……….

Kari C.
Kari C.
14 years ago

I hate shopping, but was curious about H&M when my gayboy, sidekick Kailyn was all excited about it. So I went in to the new one here in Seattle when it opened and it made me hate shopping even MORE! XS sizes, wacky fits and nothing extrordinary at all. I have no idea WHAT the hoopla was all about. I pass.

heather
heather
14 years ago

H&M’s sizes are vulgar and wrong. they keep me coming back, though, as every third or so visit results in a bagful of new clothes for less than $100. damn them straight to hell.

Amy
Amy
14 years ago

I think that going to H&M is the *perfect* morale building activity!

Oddly, I’ve gone to H&M several times but have never gotten anything. Just haven’t found anything that really grabbed me, and that’s disappointing.

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

Just have to tell you..that pic of your little guy has got to be a portrait of the happiest baby I ever!!

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

Whoops
Meant to say “I have ever SEEN”

Philos
14 years ago

I went to the downtown (Seattle) H&M recently and didn’t see anything I liked, including just basic t-shirts or long-sleeved shirts which is mainly what I needed, and I was annoyed by that. However, I’m a guy and I have the impression that men’s clothing is an afterthought at H&M.

kali
14 years ago

Yes, the sizes are wacky, it is true, and sometimes the clothes are oddly-fitting. But it is a great store for a lot of simple things. (though really, sometimes Old Navy has better made simple things, I find, as far as basic tshirts and whatnot go.) HOWEVER! if H&M gets the chance to become popular in your town, you will find it becomes impossible to buy any of their super cute, unique looking pieces, because everyone else will have them too. Once I bought a plaid dress there and wore it to the park only to see three other girls walking around in Same Said Dress.
Wince.

monkey
14 years ago

I don’t know if they have one in Seattle but also check out ZARA. I like it better than H&M, and it actually does the same thing but better.

Katie (the Yap)
14 years ago

“Whiskey, tango foxtrot, H&M?”

That just cracked me up.

And, excuse me, but who the FOXTROT would ever stick around at work if they are allowed to leave? I just cannot imagine sitting there watching movies….when I could LEAVE. HELLO!!!!

NLB
NLB
14 years ago

Only thing worse than mandatory Office Game Day is mandatory Office Beach Day. I’ve actually worked at two separate establishments that thought this was a good idea. It’s impossible to decide what to wear (since I, for one, would not be caught dead in a swimsuit in front of work people), and once you do get there you’re pressured into participating in physical activities like volleyball and obstacle course. Oh, the horror…

Sadie
Sadie
14 years ago

I am totally with you – if I don’t have to WORK then let me get the foxtrot out of here, frankly. Glad you made better use of your afternoon.

H&M: cute trendy stuff that is cheap enough so you don’t care that you will only wear it for one season and pulling a loose thread might = sleeve falling off. That said, every time I go in there I feel old and frumpy and irritated.

wm
wm
14 years ago

Sounds like a fun afternoon! Glad you had a good time.

Half Assed Kitchen
14 years ago

I JUST went to my first H&M in Vancouver. Yum! I didn’t know the U. Village one had opened. Am so screwed.

Lori
14 years ago

“Whiskey tango foxtrot H&M”… I just splurted orange juice. I might *borrow* that one!!

I need to try out the H&M in Calgary…

Also, could YOUR company talk to MY company about how to value its employees??

Jill
14 years ago

When I studied in France the H&M in my town was awesome, and all the sizing made complete (weird European) sense. I was excited when a few branches opened in DC but it’s just not the same. The sizing is still weirdly European, but inconsistently so. The quality is hit or miss: I have a couple of sweaters that I love and a couple of pants that have fallen apart after two washings. Same with Zara.
I’m totally with you on leaving workplace. I’m all for goofing off at work, but not if it’s mandated. Then I’d much rather be produtive (cough or not) at home.

warcrygirl
14 years ago

I experience the same damn thing, only I’m short and fat so none of the Plus Size clothes fit me right at all. So I’m oddly shaped and overweight, apparently. I’m also stealing the whiskey tango foxtrot. Wow, instead of shop-lifting I feel like I’m blog-lifting…

Emma
Emma
14 years ago

“PLEASE REMOVE BEFORE WEARING tags”

Were you joking or do these tags exist? Excuse the ignorant English girl here :D

melanie
14 years ago

I understand about not wanting to hangout at work if you aren’t working. I worked for a company that would do the same thing and everytime I was like, “I could be at home hanging out with my husband right now!” This was before I had a child so now I have two reasons to not want to hangout and watch people get drunk in the boardroom.

I didn’t know H&M had a kids section either! We have one here but I have never been but the thought of getting cute things for my daughted makes me really want to go.

Gaby
14 years ago

My office doesn’t have a game day, but my group has implemented both a Friday group lunch and a Wednesday happy hour thingy. These happen about once a month, but here’s the rub (rubs, plural, since I’m about to get complainy)–first, I work flex time, so I get in at 7:45 and leave at 4. Just about everyone else works regular 9-5. We have happy hour at, wait for it, 4-5! So for me, it’s NOT an hour off of work to jack around, it’s an EXTRA hour of work! To socialize with folks that I don’t have anything in common with besides our place of employment. And our lunches? Painful. I work with a group of highly introverted nerds that want to talk about techy stuff or they don’t talk at all. I’ve sat through many an awkward silent lunch with these people. Ugh. In conclusion, I feel you on “forced fun times with co-workers.” Yuck.

Swistle
14 years ago

I want an H&M SO BAD.

Kelli
Kelli
14 years ago

Oh how I love thee, H&M. Although I totally agree with you on their sizing issues. It’s one store where I’ve learned it is important to head to the dressing room right then and there rather then buy things on a whim, sure they’ll fit once you’re home.

Glad you got some free shopping time in!

SART
14 years ago

I hear we’re getting H&M next year. The South is always the last place to get anything fashionable. I think people believe we’re all still wearing hoop skirts and pearls.

On a completely not related topic – I saw this and thought of you in a zombie lover and not at all stalkerish kind of way:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mindonfire/2973263204/in/pool-lifehackerdiyhalloween/

tash
14 years ago

Sounds like the perfect day

Alley
Alley
14 years ago

Oh man, I HATE those PLEASE REMOVE BEFORE WEARING tags. Because I never, ever do and then I wonder why I’m beeping when I walk into other stores.

I haven’t been to the local H&M in about a year. The last time I was there, I wound up feeling overwhelmed and fat, so I just left. Though, I was thinking of heading up that way today, so maybe I’ll pop in. I need some new, cheap jewelery.