I have to confess:  A couple of weeks ago I swore at a shoe saleslady because I thought we were just joking around.  Apparently I was wrong.  Awkwardness ensued.


I went to the running shoe store and explained to the saleslady that I buy runners based only on comfort.  Style is irrelevant, as long as my feet are happy.

“Oh,” she said snarkily.  “It’s my lucky day.  You’re going to make me drag out every pair of shoes in the store, aren’t you?”

I was slightly taken aback, but I decided she must be joking.  After all, dragging out shoes is her job.  So I laughed and said, “Yep, probably.  Sorry about that.”

She brought out a couple of pairs and I tried them on.  She immediately pointed to one pair.  “Those are the ones.  I like the way they look on your feet.”

“They’re nice,” I agreed.  “But they don’t fit.  Do you have any others?”

She made another remark about how I was inconveniencing her, and I dutifully laughed.  She returned with a couple more pairs, and again pointed out the ones she liked; and again I explained that their appearance was irrelevant.

“Wait, I have the perfect shoes for you!”  She scurried off and returned with another box.  “Here!  These are beautiful!”

She triumphantly displayed the ugliest shoes I’ve ever seen.  I mean, we’re talking about some unholy union between a giant marshmallow and neon bedroom slippers; and if you’re having difficulty visualizing that, you’re lucky.  The reality was retina-scarring.

I burst out laughing and exclaimed, “Those are hideous!”

“They’re beautiful,” she insisted.  “Just put them on.  You’ll love them.”

So I put them on, because if they had fit well I would’ve bought them no matter how ugly they were.  To my everlasting relief, they weren’t comfortable.

“Nope, sorry,” I said.

“But they look so lovely on your feet!  Just walk around in them a bit more.  They’re so beautiful!  These are absolutely the right shoes for you!”

And that’s where I screwed up.  I was sure she was joking.  Why else would she hard-sell the shoes when I’d already clearly said I hated them and they weren’t comfortable?

“Oh, stop with the bullshit!” I said with a grin.  “I’m up to my neck in it!”

A chilly silence ensued.

I did buy a pair of runners (not the hideous ones), but it was awkward.

I feel vaguely guilty.  One might argue that if she wasn’t joking, then she deserved a verbal slapdown; but that’s not how I roll.  If I had known she was serious, I would have politely deflected her like any other annoying salesperson.

This ‘social interaction’ stuff is ’way too complicated.  Maybe I’ll just order everything online from now on.  And if that limits my contact with other human beings to once or twice a year, well, what could possibly go wrong?

At least if I really offend somebody and have to run away, I’ve got a snazzy new pair of runners…

Book 15 update:  A productive writing week!  Chapter 7 ended with a bang, and Aydan and the gang are off and running (literally).


48 thoughts on “Awkward…

  1. I think if she can’t stand the heat get out’a the damn kitchen. That old poke in the eye would have worked also. Is there another shoe store close by? Go there.


    • LOL! That’s the direct approach! Unfortunately it’s a specialty store that fits my freakish feet, so my options are limited. Maybe next time I’ll peek in the window and survey the staff before I go in. ‘Cause THAT wouldn’t creepy AT ALL. 😉


  2. I don’t think I would have lasted as long as you did, so heaven knows what would have come out of my mouth much sooner. I applaud for looking at the bright side assuming she was joking, but now that you know she wasn’t, what kind of person behaves that way and in a job like that? Clearly a very unhappy one! On a bright note, glad to hear the progress on the next book!!


  3. I swear all these scenes you have with shoes – finding them, trying them, having things stuck to them – would make some really good sketches in a comedy!

    So many people don’t like their jobs, or don’t know how to do them, it’s incredible! You were nice enough to stick it out there and actually buy a pair of shoes! As far as not feeling “socially adapt” and preferring not to deal with people, especially in situations like these, I totally understand. And agree. And attempt the same thing in my life!


    • Yes, I find I like people much better when I don’t have to deal with them. And you’re right, I do seem to have been having a rash of shoe-related ‘incidents’ lately. I’m not sure I like where this is heading… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am adding “retina-scarring” to my vocabulary.
    Shoes are among the items that cannot be easily bought on-line and need to be tried on. It appears that you got the female version of Al Bundy from Married… with Children. She had only one job to do – sell shoes – and instead decided to insult customers.


  5. I’ve walked out of places for less. I actually sat in a car dealership years ago, and when I walked in I told them I was ONLY test driving and wasn’t buying that day, I was only starting my search. Following the drive the salesman worked up numbers and put a piece of paper in front of to sign. When I asked what it was, he squirmed and said “well it just says if we can come to an agreement on the price of the car that you’ll buy it”. I said “well we won’t agree because I’m not planning to buy anything so I’m not signing it” and he excused himself and came back with the GM, who asked if there was a problem. So I repeated the story to him, then said “so I’m not sure if you think I’m a pushover because I’m a girl, but you’ve just lost me as a potential customer because this isn’t how you ever treat anyone” and got up and walked out. Never went back either.


  6. Sigh. I hear you on the on-line thing, but clothes and particularly shoes really require the personal touch.
    I too would have thought she was joking. If she wasn’t, I would have been miffed at her ignoring your ‘appearance in a minor issue statement.
    Mind you, shoe sales people are a particular hate for me since one woman told me to go and shop in the men’s department. ‘We don’t make sandals for feet your size.’ I went to another store and had no difficulties.


    • Some of them are unbearably snotty, aren’t they? I’ve been given the same sniffy treatment occasionally, as though having size 10 feet is a particularly gauche faux pas.

      But it’s nice to be able to wear men’s runners. They’re comfortable, they accommodate orthotics well, and they’re not PINK! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Perfect review of the employee–I was wincing the entire way through, and by the end, I wanted to tie her up and do evil things to her own precious pair of running shoes, or whatever she wore, while she watched. Or maybe she was a flip-flop princess type? Regardless, I agree that many shoes out there are hideous looking, and with the price tag on such hideousness often going far north of $100, it makes me wonder who buys them.

    I’ve been very particular about shoes, but I mainly by walkers. Errrrmm, walking shoes. (I’m too young to own a walker.) I found a Reebok walker that I like, and all the latest revisions have been pretty much the same shoe, with a variation in color and maybe a slight upgrade in materials. We used to have an outlet store near us, but they closed that up a couple of years ago. I’m glad I went when I did, as I normally take a size 11 (I have for decades), but in these particular shoes, a 10½ wide fits perfectly. There are some other lightweight walking shoes from Reebok I discovered when I bought my kiddo a pair for one of our road trips–I sought out the equivalent in the men’s variety, and found that they are great summer walking shoes with plenty of cushion, and fit in a size 11.

    That last pair? I ordered them online, direct from Reebok’s eBay store, at a substantial discount. They luckily fit well, and I liked them enough that I ordered a second pair in a different color. As for my other preferred shoes, I know the 10½W fits, so every few years I order another couple of pairs and I’m good.

    Your story might be why I like buying at the outlet stores or online–nobody to run interference while I look at shoes. Online is risky but, once I find a style I like, I can just repeat the same order and it’s all good. I can’t think of the last time I’ve been in an actual shoe store where someone fitted me with shoes. It had to be back in the 1980s.

    I raise my margarita glass in your direction for your patience in dealing with Madame Sales. I’ve run into similar types like her (a “my way or the highway” salesperson), and usually just “nope” my way on out of the store, feigning disinterest. I wonder what happened to the old phrase, “The customer is always right”?


    • The customer has never been right; merely tolerated with varying degrees of grace (or not). I suppose I should respect Madame Sales for the honesty of her reaction. I’m not sure how many shoes honesty like that will sell; but I guess that’s her problem.

      As to who buys those ugly, hyper-expensive running shoes… well, that would be me. *sigh* I have the world’s weirdest feet, and only orthotics combined with high-tech footwear makes it possible for me to do all the sports I love without pain. It annoys the hell out of me to pay that much when I know the materials and construction are nearly identical to normal footwear, but I’ve tried in vain to find cheaper shoes. I guess “nearly identical” isn’t quite “exactly the same”. 😉

      I envy you the ability to wear Reeboks. I used to live in them, but about 20 years ago my feet decided not to like them anymore. Damn princess-feet!


      • Shoes are so much a function of fit and comfort–I have tried many other walking shoes over the years, all the major brands, and I kept finding the Reeboks were the ones that worked the best for me. I did break tradition last year and bought a pair of Columbia hiking shoes when I was in Springdale, Utah (yay, clearance sales!), and despite having less cushion, they have a lot more grip than what I was used to, and are comfortable enough to wear for the day. But as crazy as sizes run, I had to go up to an 11½.

        For your plight, it makes us wonder why companies just can’t provide simple, well-made shoes that fit and function as you need them to, without all the fashion statements and the expense that goes along with it. Some of the ugliest shoes I have seen are basketball shoes, and it’s like a lot of products being sold–most who buy them have never touched a basketball in their lives. Although I should talk–long ago, I bought a pair of Reebok running shoes because they were cheap, and had a cool mesh top that worked well for the summer. (And I don’t run or jog…so there you have it!)


        • Those cool-mesh shoes are great in the summer; but after I bought my first pair I discovered that they’re positively miserable in winter. It’s like going out in a blizzard in your sock feet!

          And I totally agree about the fit-and-function issue. I understand that shoe companies think their styles need to be “fresh”, but after a certain age (shhh, don’t tell), “fresh” just doesn’t matter. They could make a killing if they just kept selling shoes that actually work for people.

          Or, hell, maybe that’s just me. I do have an abnormal attitude toward fashion; so maybe they’d only sell one pair per year, to me. But I’d be eternally grateful… 😉


          • I wouldn’t think (from past posts) that your fashion attitude is “abnormal” but instead, is practical. At our age, fit and function is what we are after more than looks. At long as it doesn’t look out of place, we’re happy. I prefer keeping a low profile, so the less attention I draw with my attire, the better. (My better half can’t help attracting attention, being a ginger and all that. So she’s the magnet half of our relationship!)

            I have my regular Reebok walkers for winter, so I’m covered (literally) there. And boots, for the few times we get snow anymore here. The lighter weight shoes will be retired until warmer weather returns. I wore my hiking shoes (with the mesh) out to the pumpkin patch this past weekend, and felt a bit chilly despite it being a warmer day. I can’t imagine trying to live with those in the winter, even with layers of heavy socks.


  8. Personally, I think you did the right thing. Sales persons need to realize that it’s their job to help the customer, (even if it means dragging out every shoe available) IF she didn’t want to help then she needs to find another job away from the public.

    In my opinion, you were way too lenient and let her rudeness and BS go on way too long.

    Just because you’re Canadian doesn’t mean you have to absorb her snide remarks. Canadians are allowed to get mad too !!! LOL


    • Ha! Is that in the Canadian handbook somewhere? I’ll have to go and study up.

      I generally save my ‘mad’ for when it really counts — it makes an extra-special surprise for those few people who push me just a little too far. (And it’s fun to watch their eyes widen, but maybe that’s caused by my maniacal grin…)


  9. I am astounded at the rudeness of that saleswoman. What does she think she gets PAID for??? I would have reported her, either onsite or in writing to her higher-up. Years ago I was browing in a women’s clothing store and the woman who appeared to be the manager was berating her employee at the central checkout in full hearing of customers. I asked to see her privately and told her that was a lousy way to treat her employee. I don’t know if it did any good but it was one of the rare instances when I actually said what I thought. Usually I slink away just thinking what I’d like to say. I couldn’t believe someone could be so miserable, but apparently she wasn’t the only horrible salesperson in the world . . . I’m not sure I would’ve stayed in the store, let alone buy runners from the one you encountered. You have more patience and forgiveness than I do, Gunga Din!


    • LOL! Not really; I was just desperate for new runners. 😉 I’ve actually bought from that store several times (see my reply to @gailradfordross below), so I don’t mind supporting them as long as I can deal with Stefan.

      And hooray for you, for speaking to that miserable manager! And you dealt with it in exactly the right way, too, by speaking to her privately. Who knows whether it did any good; but at least you tried. I just can’t fathom the kind of personality who thinks it’s okay to berate their employees publicly (and/or they enjoy doing it). Blech.


  10. I assume she was the boss because most employees with her attitude would be gone before long. Unless, of course, she really WAS joking like you thought initially. Maybe her previous customer had a bad case of stinkfoot and put her in a foul mood.


  11. You’re a lot more patient than I am. I would have told her to FO and left and probably contacted her boss, would only have done that if I hadn’t sworn at her. She was rude and arrogant and ignorant and NOT DOING HER JOB! Hopefully you’ll find a better shoe store here on VI. I’m 76 and no longer take that kind of shit from people. Be kind to me and I’ll follow you anywhere, treat me like crap and bear the consequences.

    So glad to hear the book is progressing. Waiting with baited breath…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m grinning — I love your motto: “Be kind to me and I’ll follow you anywhere, treat me like crap and bear the consequences.” I think I’ll adopt it. 🙂

      The sad part is, it’s a specialty store in Nanaimo that carries the size and width I need. I’ve bought there several times, and been helped by an amazing guy, Stefan. Stefan was busy with somebody else, so I got stuck with Madame Sales. I’m not sure who actually owns the store, but I’ve been thinking about calling Stefan and letting him know what happened. With the kind of stellar service he provides, I’m sure he’d be horrified by this woman’s cluelessness. But then again, she’d probably just tell him I was the customer from hell (which was true from her standpoint). So… blech. Next time I’ll just wait for Stefan.


  12. Shoes, of any kind can Not be bought on line with any success.
    The saleswoman should re-jobbed if she can’t properly help a customer find comfortable shoes. Unfortunately sales people don’t seem to be well trained and customer oriented as they once were.
    From self serve gas to self checkouts at supermarkets we’re basically on our own. In which case bring out all the shoes, dump them in the aisle and we’ll shuffle thru them ourselves. Why keep the appearance of service going in posher stores? It’s not usually real!

    And as Canadians we’ve been raised from infanthood to be nice, cheerful and polite regardless of the horrible service we receive! We feel guilty for any protest, even in jest!

    I bought a new refrigerator a few weeks ago. Making conversation with the sales guy I mentioned that the frig that died that morning had lasted 26 years. His aghast reply – “You don’t think this one will last HALF that long, DO you!?”

    May your new runners wear in well and last forever!
    (Looking forward to finding out where Ayden’s running.)
    – Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Maggie! ‘Forever’ runners would be a dream come true!

      I feel your pain about the refrigerator — when we bought our new house two years ago, we got all new appliances. So far the oven has been feeble to the point where I’ve had to bake my buns halfway, then turn them out of the pan and finish baking them upside-down; the dishwasher leaked; the fridge’s ice maker died; the washer only washes when it feels like it; and the repair guy is here this morning to do the FOURTH repair on the dryer. I miss the days when we expected appliances to last 26 years!

      But I’m still being polite. (I’m such a Canadian.) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Some people are just obtuse. Others are obthreese, which is worse. Your saleslady clearly was obfourse. Yeah, that’s right. TWICE as bad as merely obtuse. Happens to me all the time, just so you know. I’m widely known as a weirdness magnet. If there’s some wacko or nincompoop or other obnoxious reprobate in the area, he or she is absolutely compelled to ruin my day. Gad, I hope that’s not contagious!

    And that’s good news indeed about Book 15! But I’m not gonna bug you about it. I mean, really. To do so would be obthreese, at least.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! Okay, “obthreese” and “obfourse” just got added to my vocabulary — love it! And I’m glad I’m not the only weirdness magnet. Usually I don’t mind a bit of weirdness; but when combined with ob to the power of x, it doesn’t take long to get old.

      Of course you can bug me about Book 15. It won’t help; but you can bug me all you want… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • There are only certain brands of shoes my feet will tolerate. The crazy thing is sometimes my right foot does just fine but the left one will decide it just can’t stand a shoe that I’ve worn several times. I had to give up my favorite Birkenstock’s this summer because of problems with my left foot. As for the sales person, she needs to get a clue and actually listen to the customer and not foist off her opinions like they are gospel.


        • My left foot is my cranky one, too — so annoying when it decides to be a prima donna! I’ve been trying to figure out why, and I think it might be related to the calf/hamstring/glute on that side. Whenever anything farther up the line is unhappy, the foot starts complaining, too.

          And I’ve never understood why shoe salespeople try to tell you a shoe fits. They can’t possibly know how my feet feel, so why do they think they can make a decision for me? Grrr!


  14. She’s lucky you bought anything at all. Honestly, she should have stopped trying to sell the shoes the moment you said, “These are hideous.” Should have been a clear signal that you weren’t interested and sad that she kept pushing.


    • Yeah, I thought that hard-sell style had mercifully died with the 80s. Anyway, no running shoe is “beautiful”. “Colourful” is about the most flattering adjective that can be applied to any of them. (And, ideally, “comfortable”.)


  15. To be honest she sounds like she was either joking or having a go at you, personally I would probably have slapped her and said the same as you.

    Hope your good, I’ve not picked up a book in ages I have withdrawal but the one I was reading I wasn’t enjoying so I guess it the reason I stopped.
    Can I read another and maybe try to come back to it later??? Coz it doesn’t feel right


      • I’m so glad books won’t know I’m cheating, it’s really a depressing book, I thought ‘the dead ex’ sounded good. It is written from two characters point of view a child and an adult but I’ve no idea who the child is. I give up I’m moving on for now yey.
        I’m happy now thank you


        • You’re welcome! And you’re right, ‘the dead ex’ does sound like a good start. I read a book a long time ago about an ex that got eaten by a bear, and it was hilarious! I seem to recall that the title was something like “Grin and Bear It”… 🙂


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