Friday, June 3, 2011

It's Just Good Business...

Last week I bought a pair of shoes. Okay, nothing exciting about that. I tried them on and walked around the store; the shoes were comfortable. I bought them and took them home. I wore them around my house for an hour or so. So far so good. On Monday I wore them to work, and by the end of the day my feet were in such pain, I had to take a taxi home. What happened? I wish I knew. I like the shoes, but I can't wear them. On Tuesday I called the store ~~ Freedman's on Granville ~~ and explained my situation, and to my surprise they said they would be happy to exchange the shoes. My goodness, how did I get so lucky? Shoe stores never exchange shoes once they have been worn outside the store. But, it's just good business to treat a valued customer ... well ... like a valued customer, isn't it? So, I'll be trotting off to the store ~~ in my old shoes ~~ to exchange my cruel shoes for some new shoes. And what the heck, I might even buy that tote bag I was looking at on the weekend. You see?  It's just good business to treat customers well.

"Cruel Shoes"
Steve Martin
From the Steve Martin book Cruel Shoes
1979


Anna knew she had to have some new shoes today, and Carlo had helped her try on every pair in the store. Carlo spoke wearily, "Well, that's every pair of shoes in the place."

"Oh, you must have one more pair..."

"No, not one more pair... Well, we have the cruel shoes, but no one would want..."

Anna interrupted, "Oh yes, let me see the cruel shoes!"

Carlo looked incredulous. "No, Anna, you don't understand, you see, the cruel shoes are..."

"Get them!"

Carlo disappeared into the back room for a moment, then returned with an ordinary shoe box. He opened the lid and removed a hideous pair of black and white pumps. But these were not an ordinary pair of black and white pumps; both were left feet, one had a right angled turn with separate compartments that pointed the toes in impossible directions. The other shoe was six inches long and was curved inward like a rocking chair with a vise and razor blades to hold the foot in place.

Carlo spoke hesitantly, "... Now you see why... they're not fit for humans..."

"Put them on me."

"But..."

"Put them on me!"

Carlo knew all arguments were useless. He knelt down before her and forced the feet into the shoes.

The screams were incredible.

Anna crawled over to the mirror and held her bloody feet up where she could see.

"I like them."

She paid Carlo and crawled out of the store into the street.

Later that day, Carlo was overheard saying to a new customer, "Well, that's every shoe in the place. Unless, of course, you'd like to try the cruel shoes."

7 comments:

Kathy's Klothesline said...

It is good business .... customer appreciation.

Now, about the cruel shoes. Perhaps I should try this technique when renting out sites. You know, appeal to the men and their driving skills. Have a site that is "impossible" to back into?

Blue Ridge Mountains said...

I enjoyed that. Chuckle, chuckle.

Charlene said...

In a conversation about selling shoes:

Lenny worked in a shoe store in our small town when he was in high school. He said that when women tried on shoes they'd bring the single shoe and he'd go back and get the box and match. No matter how many more pairs she tried on, she almost always took the first shoes.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I remember reading that book and laughing at the strange wisdom in it.

So glad you'll be able to return your own cruel shoes and get something kinder.

KathyB. said...

Cruel shoes, no thanks! Good thing you are a "valued customer" and treated as such. I do have a pair of shoes in my closet I just love to pull out and look at. I have worn them on a few occasions , but end up barefoot shortly into the evening. But they are sooooooooo beautiful!Now I will call them my cruel shoes.

essle said...

Yeah! It is useful business, i enjoyed your post.. It`s nice write up & good idea to build up our business...
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Alicia said...

I too like KathyB have a pair of shoes that are gorgeous! I love them, I lust after them, I'm obsessed by them, but they are cruel shoes! I just can't walk in them. But it's nice to look at them and imagine how beautiful I would look wearing them :-)