Employee Of The Week: Ryan Stepka at Hästens
October 30, 2006
What can we say about New York Magazine's shop clerk of the week, Ryan Stepka? He works at Hästens, the mattress store that replaced Helmut Lang's SoHo temple of minimalism. We have mixed feelings about this, but perhaps if Helmut Lang had stayed more relevant, he would still be there. Today's tenant, Hästens, is a mattress store the way Bang & Olufsen is a stereo shop. If you are the sort of person who would buy a $1,275 mobile phone, then you will probably go hog wild for their $49,500 gingham covered, all natural, handmade mattresses, available in all shapes apparently. This enormous round one pictured below would have taken up our entire bedroom for that Atlantic City Honeymoon Suite look. Hey, how much is a good night's sleep worth to you? We will refrain from suggesting what should be included in that price. You can use your imagination as everybody probably has their own personal requirements in that department.
But back to Ryan, who seems all too willing to throw himself in with the purchase.
NYMag: How should one go mattress shopping?
Ryan: Come down, take a nap, bring your kid, your dog, your sheets. Spoon. Do what you’ve got to do.
NYMag: What’s your most memorable experience at work?
Ryan: It’s a fun job. I’ve dated women I’ve sold beds to. Weeks ago, a really attractive woman tried a bed out. She asked me to get on, and she said to me, "You’d look really good in my bed.”
Are you fired yet?
There is a difference between telling a cute story and bragging, Big Guy. Is is too much to suggest that while it's good to understand your customers and their lifestyles, you may be taking things a bit too far? Try to remember. Today's young, slutty salesman is tomorrow's tired retail sleazebag.
And by the way, Ryan, 350 thread count sheets from Bed Bath & Beyond on your $12,000 bed?
UPDATE: Our hat is off to you, Ryan! You are officially the first shop clerk to actually respond in person with a public comment, which probably means you've been Googling yourself, but who hasn't done that on a slow Tuesday at work?
Still, we stand by our advice. It's one thing to hook up with a customer. It's yet another to announce it in a national magazine. You don't want to develop an unfortunate reputation among the general public, and we don't mean that bitchy.
We have seen it happen.
It's not as cute as you might think.
Hästens 80 Greene Street, SoHo
For shame...You should reread the article. Those 350 thread count sheets are on my current bed. Please, do tell me the difference between a cute story and bragging. You seem to be the one suggesting that something more than a good nights sleep should come at that price. Oh, and next time send me the memo that's says it's not okay to mingle with people you meet and connect with.
Posted by: Ryan Stepka | October 31, 2006 at 03:32 AM
Don't hate him because he's beautiful. You wouldn't buy a mattress that costs more than your car from some toothless drab person with no personality, right...Your dealing with Generation X here...we want the brutal truth, even if it makes you blush, no more yes ma'm customer service that made our Mom's happy... I can't tell you how many things I have bought from a young hot guy who looked at me like I was Angelina Jolie....hell, I know it's not real...but I can't help but smile at the memory of how I felt as hopped back in the car (mini-van, of course) to pick up the kids (and let them know...there will be no Christmas this year...but Momma got a great mattress!!
Posted by: Staci | October 31, 2006 at 08:19 AM
Who is the author of this totally bitter column. What is wrong with taking things light and having a little fun in the work place. G-d knows shopping for furniture is not the highlight of someone's day, but I'll bet Ryan sure makes it more memorable! Hey Author...you sure are judgemental! and quite honestly, I thought your writing was poor. Where are the facts in your column? How many beds has Ryan sold for Hastens? Because let's face it, if you would have inquired about that then I am sure your sleezy salesman theory would be trashed. Not to mention that no one in New York Mag is writing about you! Last I checked, they are a very reputable Magazine and I don't think they would pick Ryan to interview if he was as bad as you say. Please tell the truth. You sound as if YOU bought a bed from Ryan and he refused to get it in with you! Hastens beds speak for themselves, teh company does not need Ryan to exploit himself for sales. He is simply a great personality, selling a great product. The two go hand in hand. So Author... get a good nights sleep and dream about trying to keep YOUR job becasue it sounds to me as though you needed Ryan to sell the crap you are selling!
Posted by: Katie | October 31, 2006 at 09:40 AM
I would buy a mattress from Ryan any day. I would do lots of things with a mattress and Ryan.
Posted by: anonymous | October 31, 2006 at 09:43 AM
The person who wrote this article needs to get laid and lighten up a little. I sense a not so subtle jealously of the acts occuring in these insanely priced beds. As for Ryan, I'm sure he is not the only attractive salesperson in Soho who gets hit on by thier clients. The fact that he succumbs to these advances makes him human. Possibly it was in poor taste to speak of them, but what exactly are you supposed to say when talking about selling beds? If he had not said these things, the article would not be interesting. I think instead of an unfortunate reputation, Ryan will sell more beds for his service with a smile. Walk down the block to Chanel, they will sell you a coat for as much as a car and barely acknowledge you during the transaction. I'd prefer Ryan's method any day.
Posted by: Morgan | October 31, 2006 at 03:53 PM
LOL.Damn the person that wrote needs to buy a mattress and get a good nights sleep.
Posted by: pete | October 31, 2006 at 05:38 PM
My wife and I were served by this guy recently. Absolute jerk. NYMag I applaud you calling out this arrogant asshole.
Posted by: Sweet Dreams | June 23, 2009 at 05:40 PM