Thursday, August 21, 2008

No Shoe For You!!

(Mom had her laser procedure yesterday, and she seems to be doing okay. We'll know in a couple weeks if it worked. Thanks to those who sent well-wishes. I will keep you updated.)

Today, I took Mom to lunch at Sweet Tomato seeing how yesterday she wouldn't have been able to manage a salad bar owing to the fact that she couldn't see (she'd miss her plate, she'd miss her mouth, etc...) As an afterthought, I grabbed my black Swedish clogs and tossed them into the car. These are the same clogs that Lucy decided to munch on so many moons ago. I saved the shoes, hoping that they could possibly be salvaged.

I drive through Brookside to get to ST, and one day while having breakfast with Indy, I noticed there was a shoe repair store. Great!

Mom stayed in the car while I grabbed the clogs and went inside. No one was at the front of the store, so I rang the little bell on the desk and waited. Still, no one came. A white-haired guy walked by, and I called out. He was either deaf or just ignoring me, because he just kept going. I rang the bell again. Then, that same guy appeared, looking annoyed.

I showed him the clogs, and he snatched the damaged one out of my hands (the other one was intact). Eyeballing the sole, he muttered something intelligible, and called out to the back room. The accent sounded Russian, but I didn't recognize anything the guy said. I have no idea what country he came from, other than the Land of Rudeness.

Another white-haired guy appears, and I have two stereotyped shoe cobblers before me with a combined age of 208, both discussing my clog in their native tongue. They decided they could repair it, and the first guy grabbed a note pad and asked me my name. I told him (just my first name) and he scowled, demanding I spell it for him.

If he thought my first name was complicated, he's going to shit when I tell him my last name, I thought.

So, I spelled out my first name H-E-A-T-H-E-R. Thankfully, he wasn't interested in my last name, but he did want my number. I told him and he jotted it down, ripping a ticket in half and handing my one half, stuffing the other half in the damaged clog.

Me: When will they be ready?
Surly Old Fart: Tomorrow. You come get tomorrow!
Me: There's no hurry to get them completed.
SOF: NO!! You come get tomorrow!!!

Then, he noticed something else wrong with the clog. He called to his partner again, who returned, and they began chattering about the other part of the damaged clog that they didn't notice before: the padded trim piece that covers the upper edge of the shoe.

"Where this part?" the first one demanded.
"The dog ate it." I replied. He wrinkled his nose.
"You no have it??"
"No! The dog ate it. It's gone. Eaten!" Jeebus, how more plainly can I explain this?

With a quickness that defied his age, he snatched the ticket half I was clutching in my hand and tossed my clogs across the counter at me, as if I just announced that they had recently been covered in elephant diarrhea.

"We no fix." he announced. "No shoe!" Then, he waved his hands as if shooing me away.


I don't expect the clogs to look the same pristine shape as to when I bought them. I just want them fixed so I can wear them again. They are work shoes. Ordinarily, I wouldn't care, but they are still relatively new. I paid a lot of money for my clogs, and I'd like to wear them again if I could. These are probably the best shoes on the planet for a nurse on her feet for 12 hours. I'd like to save them if I could. They don't have to look good, they only have to function.

I went back to the car and relayed the events to her. She told me that she knew of a shoe repair place up north that she had used in the past. Maybe I should take them there and see if they would even attempt to fix them. Mom used to work a job that made shoes, and after inspecting my damaged clog, surmised that it could be fixed.

As for the Surly Old Fart and his partner...I understand that in some cultures, rude and abrupt is how they communicate. However, I'd think that one would try to be nice so they can, oh I don't know, generate more business by positive word of mouth.

So, Shoe Repair Nazis in Brookside: You guys suck! Maybe if you pried whatever shoe that was wedged in your ass, you might garner a little more business.

I'm taking my clogs, and my dollars, elsewhere.


MoxieMamaKC said...

I've gone in that store. My friend and I went in to look for a new purse for her and he kept giving us the stinkeye like we were going to steal a purse or something. Needless to say, my friend didn't buy a purse from him due to his rudeness when she asked a question. I wonder how much business he's lost.

emawkc said...

There's a really good little shop in Fairway across the parking lot from the Hen House grocery store. My Supermodel Wife and I have taken shoes there before and have had good luck in both the quality and service departments. The prices are good, but they only take cash or check (no credit cards as far as I know).

Marti said...

It breaks my heart when something happens to a good pair of shoes.

Sorry for this happening to you, but your telling of the tale sure made me giggle - thanks for the laughs!

Hope you can find a good cobbler, and best wishes to your mom.

Faith said...

There's also a good repair place in the Village in P.V. It's downstairs under the hallmark store there.

You should have told them they were rude assholes, Heather. That's ridiculous.

Glad your mom is doing ok! I'll keep sending healthy vibes to her eye...

meesha.v said...

I know the guy, he is Russian, he used to smoke More cigarettes and talk on the phone (in Russian) while taking customer orders. Surprisingly he does pretty good business. I don't know of any cultures where "rude and abrupt is how they communicate", it depends on a person. You can find them in any culture, I can point to a few All-American assholes who could give this shoe repair guy some lessons on how to be rude.

Suzy said...

When you cant make small talk im a foreign languauge, there aint much else to say.

We have Russian cobblers here in LA and they're the best and the cheapest. If your guys are like our guys, they won't repair a shoe if it isnt going to come out perfectly. They actually have pride in their craft.

Spyder said...

I knew it was the shop in Brookside before you even said it.

big russ said...

what the hell is a clog? i keep thinking of those wooden shoes dutch people(i think) wear.

meesha.v said...

that's it, they put them on nurses to slow them down.