Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Monday, May 23, 2005

Closet Shit Disturber

I met my dear friend Pablo when we were both working at a very trendy shoe store. This store was so trendy we actually got to meet a whole shwack of very famous people. Ironically because we worked at this shoe store we were considered local celebrities ourselves. We never had to wait in club line-ups. We often got free drinks and if we went out as a group after work we could hear people whispering round us, “There are the people who work at THAT store. Look at their shoes.” And we always had fucking fabulous shoes. We used to think it was so funny as we made shit money and had to handle people’s feet all day. The GLAMOUR!

I am a terrible sales person. If you are really not sure about the shoes you are trying on I am not going to force you. In fact I will encourage you to go out and have a coffee to think about it. My bosses heard me do that a couple times and I really caught it. I didn’t care. If you are not enraptured with the shoes you probably shouldn’t buy them. That is just my opinion. Shoes are often bought on a completely emotional level. It shouldn’t be forced.

I loathed my job a lot of the time. I especially hated it when some poor 12-year-old girl would shell out three years worth of babysitting money on a pair of shoes I knew would fall apart in a couple months.

One of the highlights of my day would be when the local strippers would come in to get boots. We carried a line of shoes called ‘SLUT’, which were very popular with strippers. They were good customers and very low maintenance. Sometimes they would do bits of their routines for us. The strippers used to pay for their SLUT boots in dollar bills. I could look in the cash drawer and know whether we had a stripper in that day.

Another highlight of my day was when we would get the cross dressers in trying on stuff. We are not talking drag queens or transvestites, as they would come in as ladies. We are talking about those kind of weird old men who come in wearing polyester pants and acrylic cardigans who kick off their scuffed oxfords and want to prance around in SLUT boots for as long as they can. They NEVER bought them. They would cram their size 11 feet in a woman’s size 9 and mince around the store. We were under strict orders to flat out tell them we didn’t have their size in ANYTHING and get them out of the store ASAP as Madonna or some 12-year-old with babysitting money might drop in and get frightened. I, on the other hand, would not only accommodate their requests but I would encourage them by bringing out other shoes for them to try on. Man, if that is all it takes for them to get their jollies for the day I am all for helping a poor guy out. I used to get into major trouble for that too. I didn’t care. I liked to think of myself as their Fairy Godmother.

8 comments:

Dang Cold.. said...

Ha ha!! What an experience. I would've failed miserably as a rep at a shoe store. Like yourself, I'd probably just want to be honest with them and tell them to think about it and not do anything rash.

dc

Susie said...

The setting reminds me of that SNL sketch about the snooty clothes store. But you weren't at all snooty. I've never said this to anyone before -- it would be fun to work in a shoe store with you!

Courtney said...

I would never dream of being a stripper, but I love stripper boots, and have gathered quite a collection of them. My faveourite pair are my 'Wonder Woman' boots!

Von Krankipantzen said...

Dang Cold..-yeah, I was a total liability. My boss hated me. I don't know why I wasn't fired. Just didn't have the killer sales instinct.

Susie-now that I don't have to do it anymore I look back on it as a really fun time. I met Pablo, one of my best friends, at that job so it was worth going through all the crap. You would have made a great addition to the sales team. And we could get a little snooty at times. Especially Pablo!

requiscat-I am so envious. I am a HUGE fan of Wonder Woman. You must post a photo of those boots. What size do you take? COVET!

Pablo said...

Ah, the good old days of John, his hag wife and poor old Kathy. Hey, you haven't spoken about Jay or Dylan....I think this is your moment of payback for both of them! Hope you are doing ok. Saw Kingdom of Heaven with Orlando (I still look 14 Bloom). Good. ciao xxx P

fueltank said...

Hey Krank -- was that when it was still a two-name place? The shop on the mall? Why don't I remember you? Wait, maybe I do... you never told me you didn't like acrylic! I feel so... cheap.

I had a pair with DM soles, the Western ones with the cow skull buckles that lasted me for years and years... got 'em when I was at Langara, back in the old days. Come to think of it you were probably not quite in high school when I got those shoes, so maybe it wasn't me in the acrylic. And if there had been a line of shoes called Slut I would remember...

My good friend Peter Carr was a regular at the store on the mall, spent all his money on those shoes and Aqua-Net. With Zero-F opened just up the street it was the locus of all that was high trendy in Vancouver in 1982... at least as far as shoes and hairstyles went. Suki's just wasn't cutting egde....

And of course nights spent at the Dump, and Faces... did you ever go to faces, corner of Thurlow and Seymour? The building was the old Mayor's Residence, long since torn down. I can't even remember the name of the building anymore.... how sad. It was the Orillia...

The original Club Soda was an after-hours hole down Richards street that Peter Carr and a few of his friends ran, until we got tired of the cops coming by. Before that it was Tokyo Rose's...

Did I ever tell you about the time we brought Black Flag to the New York Theatre on Commercial Drive? First (and only) time I met Henry Rollins... in those days he was intense AND angry... not mellow like he is today! I think we had four or five bands, including the Dayglow Abortions from Victoria. Crazy night, crazy.

Take care of little old you, until we can come do it for you.

Peter ended up living in the downtown Eastside, a casualty of the drug trade in Vancouver. Others escaped.

At The Drive-in Farenheit

Von Krankipantzen said...

Pablo- His wife. I had forgotten all about the wife.

Fuel-it was after the two names split up. I remember Faces but was too young to go. But the address is wrong. Seymour and Thurlow run parallel to each other. I don't remember where it was. I can't believe you met HR and NEVER TOLD ME! I am so envious. I have an unhealthy crush, you know. I have seen the Dayglos at the Sub a bitchmillion years ago. Never saw Black Flag. I was too late. Shame about your friend. I know 'the scene' pulled a lot of people down. We shall have to talk about this further when you visit.

Courtney said...

I wear a 6 1/2, but these puppies are teeny! About a 5 1/2 - 6.

And just for you, I posted a photo (I even crammed my feet into them)!