My sister and I were shopping at a mall in Wausau, WI when we started looking at shoes (imagine that) in one of the mall’s anchor stores.  We both found a few pairs that we wanted to try on, but there was only one girl working the shoe department, meaning getting shoes and working the register to check people out. I can appreciate that the store is trying to save money by not over staffing or that someone may have called in sick since it was a beautiful sunny day outside, but while waiting 30 minutes for our shoes to be retrieved, I had a lot of time to think.

I know they’ve been doing this for years, but if you think about the way shoes are sold, it’s kinda barbaric. Payless Shoe Store is one of my favorites, not only because the shoes are less expensive but because you can search for your size, try them on and find a different size if needed. In fact I giggle when a Payless Shoe Store employee asks if I need help, what can they possibly do for me?  But, nice of them to ask!

Back in the day you would ask for your size, the clerk (that might not be PC now, but that’s what they use to be called) would go get your size then sit in front of you and help you put your shoe on, remember that? They would feel where your big toe was sitting in the toe box of the shoe and if needed, they even had you stand on the shoe sizing chart with the sliding metal piece to determine what size you were. They were with you throughout your whole shoe buying experience.  I agree, it was awkward to have someone helping put my shoes on and I hoped I didn’t have holes in my socks or that my feet smelled, but that was the norm.

Now days, the shoes are still inconveniently kept in the back room, out of sight and out of reach. We waited for 30 minutes until the gal could retrieve our sizes, then she went back to helping other customers. I needed a different size and therefore had another wait of 10 minutes until she could get back to us and get the other size. After spending 40+ minutes there, my sister and I walked out with one pair of shoes apiece. Worth our time? Probably not, but they’ll look great with my new dress :)

I just thought it was funny how something like shoes are considered untouchable until an employee of that store grants you permission to try it on by getting it out of the back room.   How many times have you waited, holding your breath and praying they have it in your size!  I’ve even tried to buck the system and tried to cram my foot into the size 6 that’s on display to see what it looks like on my foot.  Wrong.  That’s what it looks like, lol. But, it’s one of the things that hasn’t changed with the times, I guess I should appreciate that and if nothing else, it continues to offer a job to someone local, although being understaffed sucks at a shoe store since there’s nothing left to do but wait.

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