People in general have a very complex relationship with shoes and as a shoe salesman I get painfully reminded of this every day. It’s like people leave the logical part of their brain at the door when they walk into a shoe store, rendering them to a infant version (or in a worst case scenario teenage) version of themselves, and things that ‘s normally not socially recommended (like showing bunions, scars, open wounds with puss etc) is not an issue. I can be standing with a customer, let’s say a woman in her mid fifties, trying to help her with finding a comfortable pair of shoes.
The conversation could sound a bit like following:
SP(Salesperson) (big smile) – Hi! Can I help you with anything?
C(customer) (awkward and analytical smile)- No, I’m just looking!
SP – Ok, just tell me If I can help you, I have more sizes in the back.
Small pause, customer’s staring at a wall of shoes whilst salesperson almost gets back to the counter
C – You see, I have a problem with my feet” …small pause …” they’re very flat and I don’t have any fat underneath them” she says while approaching the counter and slowly removing her left shoe. And there it is, not even 5 minutes after entering the store “You see that?” pointing at something I’m still trying to erase from my memory “that’s a mucus sack, my stupid doctor said that he wants to drain it but I told him that it was the only thing that protects my foot, do you have this type of special soles? ”
SP – Ehh, I don’t…”
Gets interrupted by the fact that the customer now has taken her very used sole out of her shoe and is now lifting it towards the SP’s face to let her have a closer look, I could explain the smell but I think that it would be a bit redundant.
C – I specially order these, from America, you see, feel it! So do you? Do you have them? Feel it!
SP – Ehh, no but I have similar!” Takes out every type of sole offered, hopping that this will help avoiding touching that awful thing, and puts them on the counter “why don’t you look them over while I help this other costumer?!
When the other costumer is paying the woman starts praising her soles again, and pointing out every detail of every new sole, explaining how they would have a negative effect on her mucus sack whilst showing, it to not only me, but the other customer as well.
She spent 30 more minutes in the store, and as I initially expected she didn’t buy anything, even though I showed her a great deal of shoes and she In return showed me a very, very nasty wound on her calf.
I’ve recently moved back from Barcelona to my hometown to try my fortune starting my own design business (check out my webbsite) and in order to get some money I work part time in a very quiet shoe store. This blogg will from now on help me cope with what goes on there and what goes on with my dream, the dream to be able to live of my design.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the reading