Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Boring post No. 342

I have a terrible problem with shoes.

I can never find any I like, but when I do, I wear them to death until they wear out and then I have to start the cycle all over again. Like paying taxi drivers, having my haircut and sunbathing, it's one of life's little agonies.

The discovery that you could buy shoes from Amazon - which meant never having to enter a shoe shop ever again was a revelation. I hate shoe shops. In the main, the staff are mentally sub-normal, unhelpful and rude. And they rarely have what you want.

Only recently I went into some anonymous store at London shopping Mecca Westfield and asked to try on a shoe I decided I liked after having spent what seemed like hours weighing up its pros and cons, only for the girl to say they didn't have it stock. I went back again a few weeks later for the same shoe to be told the same thing. So why, I inquired, did they still have it out on the shelf? It's old stock, she told me, and they weren't ordering anymore in.

So why were they still there then, I exploded. She shrugged and didn't speak, the usual reaction these days if you dare to question shop policy. They're either to thick to think of an answer, don't know the answer or don't care. Probably all three.

The Amazon thing, like buying anything wearable online, has its flaws. Sometimes the shoe is not what it seems. I bought three pairs, and am currently wearing one of those pairs into the ground.

So I braved Office in Camden High Street last week, knowing I might look like someone's dad, but what the hey - it's that or go barefoot. And I did find a boot I liked so without having to ask the tattooed 16-year-ld skinny jean/Ramone-t-shirted assistant, who was busy frugging wildly with a willowy black woman in a midriff top, I just hoped it might be my size and put it on. And it was. So all I had to do was ask for the other one, cough up, and off I'd go. Now that's better.

I have a big self-confidence issue in clothes shops. The days when it was you and three assistants who smirked at you from behind the counter, or exchanged glances while one folded jumpers and the others fiddled about behind the till have thankfully gone, but they still haunt me. I like clothes but I hate shopping for them unless I'm feeling particularly bold or more likely, I've seen something, so I just dash in and buy it. I only try on trousers, nothing else. A swift exit is necessary. That said, my money's as good as anyone else's. In fact it's better than anyone else's.

Anyway, I've now got three pairs of shoes/boots and that'll do me until the New Year. I can breathe again.

That was fascinating wasn't it?


Bright Ambassador said...

To be fair to the staff you encountered, they've probably not been trained in customer service and are unmotivated on shite wages with little chance of prgression. One of the very few good things about the old YTS was that you got proper training. I know, I did it.
The other very good thing was that it gave a load of 17 year-old a chance to pop their cherries with members of the opposite sex on the college day release course. A bit like being a student but for thickos.

Clair said...

I now have the confidence to go into even the most poncey of clothes shops (ie the first floor of Liberty), talk to the assistants and even try things on, in the full knowledge that I don't have the intention nor the cash to buy them. I also don't mind frequenting teenage shops, because if I get any lip, I'll complain to the manager like I'm Hyacinth Bucket and sail out in high dudgeon.

Cocktails said...

It is curious that you feel this way (and so do I sometimes) when a large proportion of the population claim that they 'enjoy' shopping and find it 'relaxing'.

Where are these people going?

Simon said...

I hate shoe shopping because I've only got size 6 feet and it seems 90% of mens ranges start at 7. It is bad enough having to part with the stupid amount of money some shops want for shoes without having to wait while they search the store cupboard for weeks on end looking for a small enough pair.

Ishouldbeworking said...

I hate shopping. For years I slunk into trendy shops thinking I was too young for the staff to take me seriously; now I think I'm too old. Quite when the brief, wonderful 24-hour period where I attained exactly the right age and degree of pulchritude, I have no idea. I was probably laid up with food poisoning and missed it.

I don't fancy George Clooney either. Perhaps I'm not a normal female at all.

Five-Centres said...

You're all woman, ISBW, I'm quite sure of that.