2007/04/11

Failing At Business, Lesson 2 - Ignore Potential Customers

An absurdly personal story that starts with a confession: I love shoes!

Yeah, yeah, yeah... I bet you're saying to yourself, "What are you Kvatch? Some kind of metro-sexual frog?" Well perhaps, but I just can't help it. Too many years of being exposed to fine leather, I suppose, and here in Babylon by the Bay we have many excellent men's shoe stores.

So last Sunday, I set aside an afternoon to find that perfect pair of black shoes (replacements for a pair that recently wore out). At the first store I tried, I found an awesome pair of clumpy black boots, but when I asked the clerk if they had size 8, her response was: "Uh...like, we really don't have anything for you."

A little taken aback, I replied, "You mean you don't have this pair in size 8?"

"No. We don't stock anything in sizes that small. Our lines are for taller men."

Now...first off, at 5' 9" I'm not exactly short--as if that had anything to do with shoe size. Second, what she was really saying was that the younger, stylish customer that they want to attract has...I suppose...larger feet, and herein is the problem. I've reached an age where if I want to spend way too much money in order to look like an aging hipster, I don't have to agonize over it. I'm not going to try on a bunch of shoes and then wonder if my paycheck will hit my account before the VISA bill is due, I'll just freakin' buy the things, and that's just what I did..at the store across the street.

Lesson 2: Don't piss off the people with the money.

22 Comments:

You must be shopping in Bizarro World. In the world I inhabit, everything is for short people: I can't find shoes (size 13) or pants (36 inseam).
OK... I can see not carrying size 13 shoes. I mean...really...what kind of mutant feet do ya got there, Tom? ;-) But a 36 inseam seems pretty normal to me.
shoes, glorious shoes...you metro-sexual frogger...just don't get hit by the car crossing the street to your next store!

I've got a size 8.5 or 42 euro, and I haven't run into that issue before. Hmmmm....

And, I believe for every purpose there is the right footware for it - running, trails or road? climbing, El Cap or Mt. Tam? Dress, Doc Martins or some other such...

I don't think you are that unusual kvatch.....in terms the shoe fetish.

Ask me some day about my theory on women and shoes and I'll fill you in.
Wow, I wonder if they trained her to say all that....
It appears that if you don't fit into a specific narrow-focus anymore, you have to really watch where you shop.

I remember when the "top" size in most ladies botiques was 16 - now it's 10.

Nothing like making perfectly healthy taller girls feel like overweight bovines.

To hell with the fashion industry!!
WS... The advantage with men's shoes is that when I buy a pair, they usually last for many years. I'd hate to be the Frogette where shoes are concerned. She buys a pair and they wear out in 6 months.

Wow, I wonder if they trained her to say all that....

Nvisiblewmn... Don't think so,but it was quite clear that I was not their target demographic. In addition I'd just watched two guys half my age, pick up and examine most of the pairs that the store head. They then left without trying any on.

Sewmouse... The Frogette has the same complaint, but what I find interesting is that women's sizes are entirely fluid. One year a 10 fits a particular women. The year after it's an 8, and then a 12. Makes me glad I'm a guy.
Being a smaller size guy-My shirts are bought still in xlarge boys sizes-much cheaper though. Shoes aren't a problem at size 8-so far. Pants 30/34 are sometimes a problem tho.
The clerk reflects the fact that the CEO of the shoe company gets big bucks and she gets whatever. She doesn't care if you have the money. That's pretty much the way it is. Wonder if the CEO's will catch onto this. Doubt it.
Size 8? I've met cane toads with a bigger footprint than that.
Call me prejudiced, well most do... At least I know where to go for my next pair of decent shoes.
Was the sales person's last name Bundy? Just curious. . .;)
Robert... Well this store has a small, but very cool, selection--boutique is the word that probably applies. I wouldn't expect them to carry many lines, but sizes? I mean you want at least one of each. Why throw away the chance for a sale, especially for a guy that doesn't have to think twice.

Peacechick... You're probably right. They might have had something, but she was so disinterested that checking would have been a bother. Plus it was Easter Sunday. Maybe she was bitter that she had to work.
Size 8? I've met cane toads with a bigger footprint than that.

Sometime, my friend, it's 7 1/2, and about those cane toads...I think I've seen some of them on your site. ;-)

Was the sales person's last name Bundy?

John... Don't know. She acted more like a Simpson, in my opinion.
Frogman do you really want to shop for shoes at a shop that caters to Lurch? A metrosexual frog deserves better. I suggest New York City, home of gorgeous footwear. Windspike, I must hear that theory of yours!
kvatch, risible aside; I note Kurt Vonnegut has reportedly died at home in Manhattan.
Yeah...who can think of shoes when Kurt Vonnegut is getting cold somewhere on a slab. He deserves so much more than that. Wonder what size shoe he wore? Shoes that cannot be filled I bet.
A story after my heart! Nothing wrong with owning fab shoes. My UNIFORM is jeans, T-shirts and VERY expensive shoes. Love it!!!
Oh, and NEVER piss off the people with the $$$$.
Clearly, that salesperson has never been to any of the seminars I have attended on selling to the affluent. These seminars dissect all levels of affluence, which is not about money, it's about a mindset. And that mindset, clearly, is GIVE ME THE GODDAMN SHOES.

Which I understand perfectly as I search for the perfect little black dress for an early spring wedding in Montreal.
Small feet, large heart, or at least that's what my husband tells me! (He wears a size 8 1/2.)
Despite the fact that I'm too much of a redneck to be quite as Metro-sexual as I'd really like, I'd still buy just about anything Kelly Bundy was selling.

Just about, don't forget.

Just about . .

{-;
I've been noticing that more and more as well. I think I'm a tad older than you (57.8), but I neither, am exactly ready for the morgue.

My wife and I took a small group of "kids" (15-20) on a field trip, and stopped at a trendy food mall to chow down. The kids got whatever they wanted; I had to practically yell. Finally, I asked for the Manager, and he asked me what was wrong. "Tell your employees that I'm the old F***** that's going to be paying the bill, and their salary - unless they piss me off one more time, in which case I'm simply walking out!!"

HE didn't give a royal blank!!
All, I've been traveling most of the day and am way behind on answering your comments. So here I am making up for lost time...

Fashiongirl, NYC is awesome for shoes, but I don't get there as often as I'd like (read my Vonnegut post).

Cartledge, Sumo... Thanks for the head's up. I post my tribute just moments after I read your comments.

Hill... And oddly they so often do piss off the people with the money.
Diva... Not so affluent, though I'd sure like to be, but definitely at that point where the cost of shoes are not one of the money issues I worry about. ;-)

Kathy... Small feet, large...uh...well...it's what the Frogette says anyway.

Michael, "Bundy"? That's Married With Children, right? Think I watched it maybe once. :-)

TFWY... Yeah customer service sucks all over, but it really sucks to be paying the bills and to get dissed in that fashion.

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