This time it was a first hand experience. Looking for some nice hooks for our apartment we hiked up to Restoration Hardware last Saturday. We've always enjoyed our trips to RH, as their display is always attractive and there is always something eccentric and interesting to window shop. However, this time we were surprised by two things: the store seemed overstuffed with brightly colored and pointless holiday items (ie. The World's Greatest Flashlight & German Goggles), and the service was so bad that it became comical (but no fun). We wanted four metal hooks (that's all), and it took 25 minutes, repeated confusion and three people with radio sets getting flustered and upset with us before we were done. We were even waiting the entire time with our baby in a sling, and we received no apologies or much of an explanation when we left. All of this was really wierd, frankly. It was as if something had changed since we'd been into RH before and now we were walking into a similar looking but ultimately completely different universe. The first thing we thought when we walked out was that we HAD to blog this exceptional experience as we felt it must MEAN something. On our next errand we ended up sharing our experience with the woman who was helping us and she surprised us by telling us that she'd worked at that RH store for only 7 months before leaving (she said it was very unpleasant working under the higher management and that they had odd, strict codes about what you could and couldn't do - none of which seemed aimed at improving service). She went even further to say that the whole administration of RH was very "cult-like". Indeed, while we found all this surprising, it certainly jibed with what we'd just experienced. The break down in communication in our RH experience must have been due to some type of disgruntledness amongst the employees who worked with us. What is going on with RH? For the time being, we have to say we're going to avoid the store and order anything we need online. But we'd be really curious to know if anyone else has seen in a shift at RH recently?