From Fiona, February 2010:
Dear Retail Hell,
I have just been the victim of a half an hour blood sucking vampire shopper.
I sit here deflated, unable to even gather the energy to start my morning shop cleaning. And I arrived at work today full of vim and vigor, ready to start a new week.
A middle aged, dowdy lady came in first thing and, under the pretext of wanting to purchase some footwear for herself, proceeded to tell me everything that was wrong with the shoes we had on offer (I know what she didn’t like about our shoes – they had style.
It’s always the worst dressed ones that pronounce themselves ‘fussy with shoes’ and 'hard to find things they like'). She had a foot problem, these ones were too ugly, she likes mens shoes better, heel too high, can’t wear that one it’s not supportive enough, don’t like sports shoes, no that Velcro strap isn’t what I want, how about these mens Velcro ones, do they come in womens sizes? See, I’m in between sizes, I always am.
Like a fool I kept offering more and more styles to this blood-sucking bitch. Like a gambling addict, I always think 'just one more, she'll love it and buy it and we'll both be happy'. And surely she'd be grateful I'm a salesperson making an effort, right?
And even after I had given up and just stood there smiling weakly wishing she would leave (I didn’t even care about a sale, I just wanted my sanity back) she would get stoked up again.
‘Well perhaps I should look in a different area. How about these, can I try them? No, too big, too small, I feel like I’m falling backwards in these ones, the laces aren’t long enough. Oh you have lovely shoes, just look at them, but I can’t wear these ones. Perhaps if the heel were lower...’
As she rattled through the shortcomings of our stock, item by item, I periodically wanted to scream at her 'What DO you want then?'
If it was me in a shop and I didn't like something, I just wouldn't say anything. It was like she had uncontrollable stream of consciousness verbal diarrhea and had to verbalize Every. Little. Thing. she thought.
And not a single word of it was positive of course (apart from the fake ‘oh you have lovely shoes’ as she walked out the door, dragging her leechy energy after her.)
And finally, blessedly she left.
I am but a shell left crumpled on the faux wood flooring.
She is going to think about the last pair she tried on and if she can’t find anything she likes better she may come back and settle for them.
Oh glory day, hopefully I am dead when that time arrives.
Yours in Retail Hell,
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