Visiting LVMH, the world's largest branded goods company, sounds like fun. We're talking some famous heavyweight names here: Louis Vuitton, Hennessy cognac, Christian Dior. Swiss watch brands include Zenith, TAG Heur and Ebel. As expected, headquarters commands a fashionable address (avenue Hoche) near the Arc de Triumph in Paris. The entrance area is all torn up as a whole new lobby is being put in. Stepping around construction I make my way to the two women receptionists, both in their mid-20's, and both wearing matching red uniforms sitting behind a large glass enclosure. One doesn't get past the lobby area unless the receptionists buzz you past glass doors.

I don't know if it's an image thing or what, but the one receptionist I deal with turns out to be downright snobby twit. This unfriendly, unsmiling receptionist barely acknowledges me and refuses to help because I don't have an appointment. She declines to call up CEO Bernard Arnault's secretary to find out to whom my advance material was sent or for that matter, call anyone else. I don't know if it's because I'm not wearing an Armani suit, but she's downright abrasive and rude. I ask, "Is there a lobby phone or pay phone I can use?" "No" she answers. "Do you know where the nearest one is?" I ask again. "No", she replies. Even the other receptionist looks over at her and asks why she can't give someone a call. This smug receptionist seems to enjoy sitting behind the glass and I wonder how many other visitors have wanted to give her a smack. Is management aware of the image she's projecting? Click on the photo to enlarge the image.