I was hanging out with a woman I was seeing at the time. Let’s call her Carol. Carol and I were getting ready for our third date and decided to meet at the nearby mall downtown after work. Carol was dressed well, a beautiful white dress with black heels. I was a slob compared to her. My company didn’t have much of a dress code and I took full advantage of it.
As we were walking through the mall, Carol began to complain about her shoes not feeling right. She had just purchased a pair of brand new Guess pumps during the week and something was wrong with them. At first she assumed it was just because they were new, but the more she walked, the more it bothered her.
Finally, as she took another step, the sole of her brand new pump was beginning to separate from the shoe!
Carol was so disappointed. I suggested that we find a nearby shoe repair to see if they could be saved. Carol, wanted to go back to the store and get a refund or at least an exchange since they were less than a few days old.
Carol removed her right pump and walked lopsided and barefoot through the mall to Guess. I think if she had removed both shoes, people wouldn’t have noticed. But since she insisted on keeping the left shoe on, people noticed her noticeable limp. Not only that, but you could hear the unmistakable sound of a heel clicking on the ground, then nothing for awhile before another intermittent sound from the left heel clicking on the ground once more. The awkward silence from her right foot also drew attention for those who were not looking directly at her.
While in the store, the associate helped Carol locate her transaction, so at least Carol didn’t need to find her receipt. Here’s where things got hectic for Carol as she was insistent on getting another pair of black pumps as an exchange. They were a sale item so the associate couldn’t approve of the exchange.
Carol, still standing in one shoe, asked to speak to the manager.
The manager did offer the exchange because of the defective build quality, however, they had run out of Carol’s size. That’s the trouble with buying sale items.
Carol, now had a decision to make. Should she look around and buy another pair of shoes (and would have to pay more out of pocket) or should she try for the full refund? Carol opted for the latter and went with the refund. Perhaps it was shortsighted on her part, because the manager then had to ask for both of Carol’s shoes, right off her feet.
I could tell Carol didn’t think it through as her face began to turn red from embarrassment. The thought of having to walk barefoot was becoming a reality. It didn’t bother her when she was in one shoe because she was walking with a purpose. Now, Carol was about to embark on an inadvertent walk of shame!
Carol reluctantly handed her shoes over and walked out of the store barefoot. Her right sole was already dirty from the initial walk, but her left one was about to join as well. Carol walked gingerly through the mall and mentioned how she may have stepped on something. She didn’t dare look at her foot to check.
As we exited the mall, Carol’s next task was to walk barefoot through the parking lot to the car. It was a cool evening, so at least the pavement wouldn’t have burned her feet.
After the walk to the car, Carol had lost her appetite and politely asked to be dropped off at home. It’s sad to say, but for me, third time was not the charm. Not only that, Carol had to do a shoeless walk of shame and our date didn’t even start yet!
Apparently this is common practice for retailers for customers returning defective shoes that are on their feet, as found in some articles online – such as this one: