Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Still miss you. Always will.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The freak has been shod

So. It appears some stores actually exist to provide customers with product. The service still left something to be desired. Although the clerks were very pleasant and polite and it didn't seem like waiting on me was the most dire situation they'd ever been in or they were just waiting to escape to the store room to attempt seppuku by shoe horn, they tried to wait on everyone at once, which doesn't really work. But they were patient and knowledgeable.
And even though I have freak feet with THE SMALL and THE WIDE, they had several styles for me to choose from and quite happily offered to order something in if I saw a style they didn't have in my size or the colour I wanted.
And they didn't once try to offer me sandals, even though they had lots of them in stock.
They had pretty darned fashionable shoes, too. I bought very plain serviceable ones to start (because you know I'm stuck with expensive shoes now for the rest of my natural life) and they look much better in real life than the photo above. And boy are they comfortable. They are wide where I have TEH WIDE and narrow where I need TEH NARROW (Did you read that, Jenny? And they have stores all over the US! Rejoice!) and small where I need TEH SMALL. They are leather. They are black. They are both suitable for the office and compatible with jeans. Sadly, they are slip-on but you can't have everything.
My shoes. They are full of win.
Also. Today I held in my hot little hand a size 20 (as in TWENTY) man's shoe. I thought it was a display thingy, but it was a real shoe. Biggest shoe I've ever seen in my LIFE. Not sure why, but I thought of Rik... *waves Wales-ward*

Monday, May 05, 2008

How not to buy shoes

- or -

Customer Service is Ded to Deth

Having recently purchased a fine pair of implements of torture orthotic insoles, (which appear to be doing the trick, thank God THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS!!! wibble) I went today in quest of suitably over-priced supportive shoes in which to wear them. They're fitting in my Sauconys and Earth Shoes, but I can't wear the Sauconys to work and the Earth Shoes are slip-ons that, while fairly comfortable, aren't quite stable enough to provide the kind of support I’ve been advised I need.

So. To the self-styled purveyor of "innovative products for personal health care" who is "committed to customer satisfaction and follow-up," I go on my lunch hour.

They have one (1) person qualified to fit shoes (at 1:30 p.m. in the afternoon). I fill in the form given me by the clearly wishing she was dead rather than working in this store clerk at the counter, giving more information than any shoe salesman has ever asked of me and sit down to wait. And I wait. And I wait. I check my email. I check my calendar. I check my urge to set fire to something.

You remember Goldilocks? She of the "too big," "too small," "too hot," "too cold"... Yeah, her. Well she was shopping for shoes today. And you guessed it. Nothing was suitable. I'm not sure how long she was there, but she took up 20 minutes of my life that I'll never get back trying on every shoe they had. Then said, "I don't need them until next week anyway." And then I killed her to save her the trouble of picking out shoes because they bury you shoeless...

No. I took my turn. Explained the orthotic situation and that I was looking for shoes suitable to wear to work. Leather. Laced or buckled or velcro. Preferably black, but brown or oxblood would work. The clerk then asked, "Do you have the orthotics with you?"

"No. I thought I'd shop for shoes to fit my orthotics WITHOUT the orthotics, just for the entertainment value."

I didn't actually say that, but it was a close call there for a minute. Then she said, "I'm going to have to measure your feet."

"Brilliant idea! You will no doubt be the next Nobel prize winner for brilliance!"

Again, not my out loud voice...

I was then told, "Oh. You have small feet."

I'm 5' 2". She was expecting clown feet?

"And your feet are wide."

"Look lady, I didn't pick these feet out. They came as a package deal with the small, wide body."

No. Not out loud. I wish.

She tells me she has almost nothing to show me. "Because it's spring and we mostly carry sandals this time of year." You don’t say. If we are lucky, there are perhaps two dozen days during which we can comfortably wear sandals around here. Shoes are a year-round requirement.

She brought out a pair of shoes that were almost identical (except for the extra $100 on the price tag) as the ones I was wearing. Which, frankly, if they were okay, would I be in her overpriced shop? I would not.

I explained that I was looking for a shoe that was a bit more supportive (and let’s face it, a bit of support from the clerk wouldn’t have gone astray at this point, either).

"Well, I don't really know what you're looking for." Let's see, I’ve said ‘suitable for office wear, leather, laces or buckles or velcro straps, black or brown.’ I think that's pretty descriptive.

“We have mostly sandals. Because it’s spring…” I’m beginning to detect a theme, here.

She then brings out the most hideous-coloured shoes I have EVER seen IN MY LIFE. And I lived through the 70s and 80s. I know from ugly. I don’t even know what that colour would be called. Perhaps, “I would be brown but they ran out of pigment and I’m a strange gold-y kind of… yellow.” UggLEE.

Yes. Yellow shoes. For when I enter CLOWN SCHOOL. She WAS expecting clown feet! Oddly, they were comfortable enough. Until I walked in them and they slipped up and down on my heel. Apparently ALL of my foot isn’t wide. She seemed to think they should be suitable on account of the WIDENESS of my foot and all. And with the WIDENESS they should fit and do I always buy WIDE shoes?

No. No, I do not. I buy shoes that fit my feet. Which I do, miraculously from time to time, given my freakish feet that are so very SMALL and so very WIDE, manage to find. Often in a colour that will not make small children cower behind their mother’s skirts because of the UGGLEEEEEE.

“I will not buy yellow shoes, as I am not a clown, Madame. And even if I could abide that colour, which I cannot, I could not possibly buy those shoes because if I did every night I would lie in my bed, eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling saying, ‘Can’t sleep. Clown shoes will eat me.’ Followed by, ‘Either those shoes go or I do.’ after which I would have to kill myself, saving the clown shoes the trouble.” Again, only in my head.

“Well, I don’t know that I can even order anything in. Because you don’t want slip-ons … and it's spring and we mostly carry sandals this time of year." Yeah. So I’ve heard.

“Well, unfortunately for me, I’ve only recently been diagnosed, and I’ll need a good pair of shoes before I can even think about buying sandals. I’ll just have to keep looking.” Which is Canadian for, “You stupid, lazy, incompetent female canine. Stuff your slip-ons where the sun don’t shine!”

And then I left the store before I beat her to death with my orthotics.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Bergs are Back

More at my Flickr page. The link is over there on the right... somewhere...