YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF. PART DEUX: Luxury Shaming in the Workplace.

Bonjour mes amies! This blog is apart of a series, because price/luxury shaming is real. Click here to read Part Un.

Shall we proceed? Very well.

I was an intern. She was a career employee.

She entered my cubicle to ask about a project I was tasked with.
After providing her with my additions to the overall project, I noticed her eyeing the bag on my desk.

Since I was an intern, I didn’t have a locked drawer, I kept my belongings where I could always see them.

“Is that your purse?” She asked whilst waving her index finger up and down.

“Why yes, it is” I replied. “I haven’t received my permanent desk yet (I was speaking my hiring into existence.)

“How much did that purse cost?” She beckoned.

I slid my all-black geometric shaped purse with standing top handles to the other side of my desk and gently tilted my head at her.

“Oh, I didn’t want to touch it, I can tell from here its expensive. How many days a week do you work here?” She asked.

At the time, I was taking 24 credits (oui mes amies, the Dean and the Director of my school had to sign off on such insanity), working three days a week as an intern, working weekends as a licensed embalmer, and raising my special needs child as a single parent.

But of course, the aforementioned details were not particularly necessary for her to know.

“I’m here three days a week.”

True to form, I couldn’t get that conversation off of my mind the entire day. When I logged off of work for the day, I called a (former) friend who was once an intern now converted career employee for advice.

“Welcome to the new world. Trust me, they have been watching everything you’ve worn to work, she was just the only person bold enough to ask. Get used to it.” She insisted.

When I returned to the office on my next scheduled day, I decided to wear another purse.

I made it the entire day without seeing her. As the day was ending, she came by my desk just as my supervisor had arrived.

She waited patiently for my supervisor to finish her work-related comments, she then interjected:
“OMG, I looked online for your purse. I didn’t know that thing cost over $500.”

“What bag?” My supervisor questioned.

“Oh, the other day Jessie had this expensive-looking black bag on her desk. I just didn’t know how expensive it was until I looked it up online.” She answered.

“Do you plan on buying the bag Jessie had?” my supervisor inquired.

“No, I’m not buying it.” She uttered.

“So you just wanted to know the price?” My supervisor inquired confusingly.

It was at that moment that I realized my intern supervisor was a keeper!

To this day, I still seek council from her. Madame W is an amazing woman.

As the years went on others’ expressing their “issues” with my choice to wear designer items in the workplace continued to worsen.

I’ve had supervisors discuss with other colleagues how “shallow” “superficial” and “ridiculous” I was because I:

Wore designer items
Cared about my appearance
Drank cappuccinos
Said “Ciao for now”

“I bet you she doesn’t own a home or have a penny in her bank account. All of her money is going to impress others.” Squealed one supervisor.

As I did when I was fifteen years old, I felt the need to justify my purchases by telling my (former) supervisor that: I was a homeowner in the Nations Capital, I had X amount of money saved, I had investments and that I maxed out my TSP annually.

But I stopped myself.

I had and I have nothing to prove, to anyone.

If I am not borrowing money from family et mes amies, what does it matter how much I spend, on anything?

I am not ashamed and I simply refuse to let anyone make me feel as such.

As my late Grandmere would ask “are your affairs in order?”

To which I can unequivocally respond:


Never feel obligated to have such financial conversations with anyone who your choices do not directly affect.

As the influx of influencers and use of social media tell-alls surge, bystanders are becoming more and more emboldened to request/know/demand everything.

Share what you will and keep what you don’t.

No explanation is needed.

Jessie, the Intern Days

Ciao for now!


  1. Tosh

    OMG…I never would imagine doing anything so horrible. However you made me realize I may have been part of that type of bashing without really knowing it. I learned alot from you about fashion and now regret anything I previously thought or said! How can one apologize??

  2. Stacey

    Just a classless woman! I can’t stand that, just compliment the bag and keep it moving. Well I can certainly say you’ve educated me so me on buying luxury. Keep doing you my dear Jess!

  3. Annette

    OK, OK, I know I am late posting my comment even though I like the Instagram post the actual day it was posted. I am late posting, because I had to read your blog post, “You should be ashamed of yourself. Price shaming. Part deux.” several times over a few days period. It touch my heart, because I went through the same thing. I came to work dressed to the 9’s everyday professionally. I was taught dress for the job you want. I have always been an assistant to high level professionals. So with that said, you know you could not look a hot mess coming to work. But it was this one manager who was a Director or Finance that could not take my professionalism. She would always be very nicety to me, LOL. She tried hard not to show her jealously. We had to ride to an outside meeting and she said that I could ride with her since I caught the subway to work. I guess she assumed that I did not have a car, LOL. Long story short, she drove a Lexus truck. A newer on. I told her that it was very nice. She then said to me, yes I have this and my husband has a BMW. It took everything in me not to burst out laughing, because of her pettiness. I couldn’t help myself, but I just said, “Yes, I love Lexus vehicle. I drive a Lexus, my daughter drives a Lexus and my husband drives a BMW and a Nissan convertible 370z.” If you could have seen her face, you could have brought her for a half of a penny! I did feel a little bad later, because I am not a petty person, but I got tired of her foolishness. The moral of the story is, like yours, never assume what a person has because they do not have a particular title! Also, you do not have to validate yourself to anyone…not even family! – Thank you. Gray_Hair_Don’t Define_me / 4’11 1/2

    • Ma chérie 4’11…1/2 merci beaucoup ! You are the ABSOLUTE best! I cannot understand the issues about pride and appearance in the workplace. I was taught the same thing, don’t dress for where you are, dress for where you want to be. That makes total sense to me. I would have paid to see your directors face. Et le petit petty part of moi is living for “my daughter drives a Lexus.”

  4. Yvonne

    Funny how as I read this, I slid my designer bag underneath my desk. Someone already commented on it this morning, it was a good comment though. Ciao for now 🙂

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