What I Learnt Working in a Shoe Shop

brown-leather-shoes-shoelaces-close-up-2-picjumbo-com.jpgSix months ago I started my job in a shoe shop and since then I have picked up on things that customers do when buying shoes. Most of the time I enjoy my job and I love the different people that I work with. Other times it can be quite a bit of standing around or full of impatient customers. Here’s some of the things I have learnt along the way!

  1. Adults think they’re being original
    Part of my job is to measure feet – of course! I work on the adults floor, and the main ‘joke’ adults seem to tell when I measure their feet is how it takes them back to being a child. ‘I haven’t had this done since I was young!’ they’d say. And then they’d continue to laugh about it. The customer is always right, so it has been said. But they have no idea how many times I have heard that story before. They think they’re being original but really they’re saying what nearly every other adult having their feet measured says.
  2. You’re an expert, aren’t you?
    Absolutely not. Although I know a fair amount about different shoes, there are some difficult customers who like to be picky and ask questions that I don’t know the answer to. I admit that some of the time it does aid my own knowledge and next time I know exactly how to answer it. This is great – however customers do expect you to know absolutely everything about each shoe which, unless you’ve been there for years, is impossible.
  3. Customers don’t know the brand
    If you’re like me and have stuck to one specific shop for years, you’re bound to know what they do and don’t sell. However, even if you haven’t, there are some shoe shops that you know about just from their brand. There are many customers who come in asking for different makes of shoes and are always shocked when I tell them that we only stock our own brand. The second annoyance is when customers ask me if a shoe is made out of real leather. Lady – it’s not that expensive for no reason. The other day I had a woman that almost didn’t believe me when I told her that a pair of boots was made out of leather. I tell no lies.
  4. Mums are the worst
    There comes a time when children grow into the adults shoes and for that they also need their feet measured. Many young boys wear large size trainers, and their mums are always surprised when I tell them that their shoe size is smaller. It’s always the same cycle:
    Step 1: Measure the teenagers feet
    Step 2: Offer to get that size in a shoe of their choice
    Step 3: The mother does not agree and asks for a bigger size
    Step 4: The teenager tries on that bigger size and finds it’s too big
    Step 5: I get the correct size and it fits
    The part that I hate so much is that they have come in asking for their child’s feet to be measured, but then act as if I have lied to them.
  5. There will always be time-wasters
    There are some customers who come in and ask to try on about ten different shoes, and end up buying nothing. This is such a frustration when working in a shoe shop because you make the effort of unwrapping all of the shoes, taking away the extra packaging, carrying them all out to the customer and then checking up on them. It’s a waste of time when they say that they don’t want them or they will buy them online afterwards. They don’t realise that we do have targets to meet and there are other customers that we could serve.
  6. Feet aren’t gross anymore
    I’ve never really been grossed out by feet. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t particularly fond of them but now I don’t really mind them at all. It doesn’t bother me to have to touch someone’s foot or to have to help an elderly man or woman to get a shoe on. It doesn’t even bother me to touch socks that people have worn. A lot of customers tell me that their feet aren’t pleasant but most of the time, it’s the people that say nothing that have gross feet.

That’s just to name a few quirks of working in a shoe shop and I’m sure I will encounter many more in the future.


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