Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Feeling 90

Yes, that's how old I feel after a full-day shift at the shoe store. And I walk like it, too. Sunday, I only worked for 4 hours, and I felt 70. So young!

I take multiple pairs of shoes to work, so I can switch. My slip-on (backless) boots have cushioned insoles, so they're comfortable for a while, and then the balls of my feet start feeling like they're building a hot spot, so I switch to another flatter pair. I have some decorated ballet flats, but they don't have any cushioning, so after a couple hours in them, my heels get that pounded-with-boards feeling.

I'd wear comfortable shoes, but this is a SHOE STORE, and most industrial-strength comfortable shoes are ugly. Not at all the thing to wear when you're trying to convey trust to customers in your sense of shoe fashion.

On my first long day at work, I bought a pair of comfortable-but-stylish shoes that we sell (employee discount), but those started rubbing my achilles tendon, and I had to resort to band-aids.

A couple days ago, I bought a pair of Dr. Scholl's gel inserts, since they worked so well for my mom on our trip, and I put them inside the decorated ballet flats. But that lifted my feet just high enough that the backs of those shoes now rub on my achilles tendon, and my band-aids weren't quite in the right spot, so now I have a hefty blister on my right heel. At the end of my shift, I put on my open-back slippers, which I had brought to work for driving home in, and wore them around the mall and out to my car. I didn't care how silly I looked.

Today was my day off. I put a couple band-aids over the blister and wore socks and sneakers. Nothing stylish or painful for me today, thank you. I even walked like a normal person my age!

For my feet and achey leg joints, this job is going to be one of sheer endurance. But for the rest of me, it's great. I get to talk to people and help them find the right shoes (or commiserate with them when the right ones aren't there in their size). I learned a little more Spanish, when I asked a co-worker how I can say, "May I help you?" It's, "¿Necesito ayudo?" Or is it, "¿Necesita ayuda?" I don't know. I'll have to ask again. I'll also have to ask how to say, "I don't know." Every time I try to think of it in Spanish, I get the Polish instead: "Nie wiem." It's a serious gap in my Spanish education.

But there was one family of women that came to check out (I'm now getting my first cash-handling experience since I sold milk on the sixth grade lunch court and had to balance my cash box), and when I told them their total was $19.69, I heard one of the younger ones tell the older one, "... dix-neuf...." It was strange to hear French from them, because they looked Asian but not quite Philippino, so I asked where they were from, and they said, "Tahiti." I've been there!

I got to use my rusty French on them for a few minutes and also count back the change ("trente-et-un cents"). The younger one told me I retained my French very well, which made me feel good. Finally! A chance to have my schoolgirl foreign language be useful in a normal setting.

I got so used to greeting customers with a variation of, "What can I help you find today?" that on Christmas Eve, when I was walking through the mall after my shift, I saw a father and his little son come in through one of the main mall entrances, and I almost walked up to them and asked them that question. But I stopped myself in time, before I said anything inappropriate.

So that's what I've been up to and why I haven't been blogging much. It's hard to do anything when I get home besides sit down and put my feet up and take my glucosamine. Besides, everybody knows 90-year-olds don't blog...


Jacob said...

I'll refrain from pointing out the irony of working in a shoe store while wearing uncomfortable shoes.

I remember when I started my first real job, I bought myself a new pair of business shoes which KILLED my feet for weeks and weeks. For someone who gets about barefoot most of the time anyway, it was my version of Hell.

Dinah Lord said...

Oh dear, Skye Puppy...

If your dogs are barking it sure makes for a long shift.

Whenever I get ready to get dressed I start at my feet.

I think your customers would understand your wearing something sensible and sturdy.

Or maybe something by Ferragamo if style is paramount.

My question: what kind of stockings/socks are you wearing? They can make all the difference.

Your friend in footwear-


janice said...

Oh Skye, This post made me laugh!

I say to heck with fashion and wear what's comfy.

Christina said...

First, can you please post a picture of boots that are backless? I cannot for the life of me picture them.

Second, although they aren't overly attractive, Crocs are a beautiful thing for tired sore feet. I have successfully worn them on family vacations to Disney World, and if my feet survive that, then the shoes are valuable in my opinion.

I also like Easy Spirit shoes. They are more attractive (at least the casual ones) and for someone like me, who gets blisters from wearing shoes 5 minutes, they usually don't cause them, plus they have good padding.

I can totally sympathize with your feet. When I worked (during college summers) at a swimming pool store, it was mostly on concrete, and after 10-12 hours, even in tennis shoes, it was pure torture.

I say go with comfort over style. Your feet will thank you and you will be better able to focus on the needs of your customers.