Mistaken Identity: "Well? Can I get these in a size 7?"



From Reality Pixie in Australia:

I work in a CD/DVD retail outlet in a major shopping center out in Soul-Rotting Suburbia, Western Australia. I often hang around and do my shopping before and after my shifts, still wearing my uniform.

I was in a shoe store one day, doing what you do when you look for new shoes: picking them up, trying them on and walking around, all the usual "I'm a customer and I'm looking to purchase a snazzy new pair of footwears" sort of behaviours, certainly not "I work here and am looking to serve customers" behaviours.

Anyway, after a short amount of time another customer approached me and asked if I could please find x shoes in x size her her. Nametag

No dramas, it's common mistake.

I laughed it off in a friendly way and politely pointed out that I work for a different retail store. She did the usual customer thing, acting all embarrassed and spewing apologies, so I went back to trying on shoes....but she just stood there watching me.

After a while she approached me again, this time looking a little annoyed, and said, "Well? Can I get these in a size 7??"

The rest of our exchange went something like this.....

Me: "Umm...no ma'am, yet again I don't actually work here..."

Cust: "Well can you go and get somebody who does??"

Me: "....No. I'm buying shoes."

Cust: *insert here a random tirade of how customer service is going down hill, how sales assistants never want to go the extra mile for the customer, rarararara*

Fortunately, somebody who actually worked at the store overheard her harpy screeches and took her off my hands.

But the story doesn't end there, RHU, oh no. Nametag3

A couple days later I got a call from the area manager of the company I actually work for. The same dipshit actually took note of the name and store I worked at on my name tag, and filed a complaint against me!

Fortunately the area manager thought it was hilarious. Oh, but still, the story goes on.

Not only did Ms. Dipshit complain to my company, but to the manager of the shoe store. Apparently she was quite upset when she was informed that the manager there could not take disciplinary action against staff from other stores....

God I have so many of these stories. I have rather distinctive shoulder length dreadlocks and wear purple-framed glasses, so I'm pretty recognizable. Unfortunately the shopping center is also my local, so I'm constantly getting customers come up to me when I'm doing my shopping on my days off (so I'm obviously not in uniform) saying "Hey! You're that chick that works in -----, aren't you? Is it your day off? Oh, could you help me with this anyway?"

Short answer? I will break your fucking neck.

--Reality Pixie


read more Mistaken Identity Tales here









Shoe Store Hell: What Causes That?



From Joe the Cigar Guy, February, 2012

Hello all!

Yeah, I've been lurking more than I should, but work at Legume's is taking more of my time and that's a good thing! The powers-that-be have increased my hours, so that means mo' money, mo' money, MO' money!

I'm going to take Freddie's advice about keeping work rants on the down-low, because I really like this job.

Buuuuuuut, something happened recently that I just have to share with y'all...

Just yesterday, two 60-ish Asian women were browsing the shoe department. After some minor language-barrier problems, I brought out several pairs of our lightweight hiking boots.

That's when the older of the two ladies took off her shoes and socks and I saw that the tips of her toes were black! (and not with dirt!)

She said something to her companion and the companion asked me, "What cause's that?"

In my head, I scrolled down the list of possible responses:


("Wearing shoes that are too tight")

Cigarguy("Long periods of inactivity")




But I settled on: "Ma'am, I'm not a doctor, but I think your friend should get that checked out...soon!"

She relayed that info, they both nodded and took their purchases up to the registers. Meanwhile, I'm thinking "Why would you POSSIBLY let a condition like that just slide? And why ask a shoe salesman for a medical diagnosis?"

I'm still shaking my head over that one.

...and the dance goes on.


--Joe the Cigar Guy



read more Shoe Store Hell stories here




Discount Rat Revenge at Shoe Store


Shoemess From Fiona, January 2010:

Dearest Retail Hell,

Another story for you from the depths of the shoe store jungle. 

My husband and I own and work in a shoe store.

There is parking right outside the door and we have big glass windows all along the front of the shop.

One day my husband served a young Asian couple (I wasn’t there at the time). 

They took ages for her to try on sale shoes, and in the end she argued for a further discount on an already well discounted pair of shoes, as she had found a tiny mark on the leather (was probably part of the natural leather grain). 

My husband refused to lower the price further. 

We are well used to customers trying to create imaginary faults in a shoe to get a discount (sorry, deescount).

Sometimes we’ll take another small token amount off and the customer leaves happy. Depends how much of a dog the shoe is and what kind of a mood we’re in and how nice the customer is.

On this day he’d had enough of this couple and said ‘the price is the price’ basically. 

So after mucking him around and not getting the shoes for 150% off the original price, they left. 

Not long after the man came back into our store.

Turns out someone had backed into his car just as he was leaving and he wanted to know if my husband had seen that it was the other person’s fault and could be an insurance witness for him.

‘Sorry mate, I didn’t see the accident, as I was putting away the shoes your wife didn’t buy’.  (his exact words - 'the shoes your wife didn't buy' - classic).

A sweet moment for a retail slave to savor.






Piggy Shopper Hell: Crumb Storm



From Susan, October, 2009:

Dear Retail Hell Underground

I have to vent.  Enjoy the story.  

I have just had a customer – mother with toddler – come in and sit down on the seat to have his feet measured. 

As she waits for me to get my measuring guide, she proceeds to dust herself off of thousands of crumbs, onto our floor. 

Both her and the child are absolutely covered. 

She apologized and said ‘We’ve just had a scone’ (it was more an explanation than an apology though). 

Would you not shake yourself clean in the carpark? (we are not in a mall, the cars are parked right outside). 

There was an actual inch square chunk of scone along with small and medium sized crumbs all over our floor. 

I had to go and get the brush and shovel before her child could try anything on as it would have been mashed in and tracked everywhere. 

At least she bought the damn shoes I tried on him, and she didn’t hang around. 

That is a small mercy. 

I was swearing so much at her out the back I was afraid she might have heard me (my colleague said you couldn’t hear me out the front, phew.  I was really letting her have it). 


I just can't think how this could ever be considered an acceptable way to behave, but then I'm just a civilized human being, what would I know.  

I always get someone like this just after my day off when I’m all zen just to bring me back to the reality of being a shopgirl.  




Shoe Mismates Hell



From Mimi in San Diego, October, 2008:

Day 66.6 1/2:

Still working on shoe mismates....

Somewhere there is a pirate and a manatee that's right footed in 3 different sizes. I shall find them and kill them in the name of Retail Hell.

That's the only reason I have to why I'm still working on shoe singles.  At least this week I have them color coordinated.... It didn't make it any easier.

Stay classy San Diego, and put your damn shoes in the right place.





Shoe Store Hell: The Time I Didn't Let a Customer Keep Bleeding on the Carpet



From u/MyAlterEgoIsTaller  Tales From Retail:

I worked in a shoe store and we had a policy of not letting customers use our bathroom. (That was partly because we kept stock in the bathroom - so next time you buy shoes just consider that they might have been living in the employees' bathroom for a few months!)

A customer was sitting on a bench trying on shoes and all of a sudden he yelled some profanities, so of course I rushed over to see what was going on. He had cut his finger on a staple that was sticking out of the shoebox. It was a pretty good long deep scratch, and was profusely dripping blood on the carpet, the bench, the shoebox, etc. as he waved his hand around yelling. I said I'd grab our first aid kit, and he asked if he could wash the cut out in the bathroom, and I thought that would be the right thing to do from a first-aid standpoint, but also so that the bleeding would be happening in the bathroom where it would be easier to clean up and out of view of the rest of the customers. So I let him use the bathroom, and I handed him some bandaids, and I went to get the manager.

The manager was super apologetic to the customer about the staple, and gave him a discount, and asked him if he needed paramedics, which of course was a little overkill but we wouldn't want to get sued for not doing that. The customer was fine by this point, and seemed to understand we're not the ones who assemble shoeboxes and can't be expected to know about every dangerous staple, and he was happy because he got a discount (and I don't think this was the case, but who knows, he could have cut himself on purpose just for that purpose!).

I thought all was well with the world again. But as soon as the customer got out of the store my manager called me into the office and threw a fit because I let the bleeding guy into the bathroom, and I ended up getting fired. Oh well, at least I didn't have to clean up the blood.