Author – Brogue Boy
I had a great job, Sales Rep for a paint manufacturer, driving around various retailers selling and giving after sales care and meeting new people all the time. I always wore a smart suit and smart shoes. One particular day a store manager asked if I could deal with a complaint about our paint. I agreed and contacted their customer and arranged a home visit.
The address was in central London in a residential tower block. I struggled through traffic I was late and couldn’t find a parking space. I eventually parked the car on yellow lines several streets away. The customer lived on the 12th floor, the lift said ‘out of order’. Before climbing the stairs I decided to phone and apologise for being late only to realise in my rush I’d left my mobile phone in the car. Eventually I reached the address and rung the doorbell. The door was opened by a middle aged woman who looked me up and down and said “You’re late”. I apologised as I entered the flat. In the hallway she looked down at my feet “shoes” she said. I looked down at my tan leather Oxford Brogues. “Take them off, I’ve had new carpets laid throughout” she said unpolitely. She was going to be hard work I thought. It was her home so I did what I was told and took off my shoes leaving them in the hallway. I followed her to the lounge in my black socked feet where she showed me the freshly painted walls. “The colour is not what is on the tin” she said. I explained the various reasons that could cause this to happen from lighting to wall textures but she wasn’t having any of it demanding a refund and decorating costs. She wasn’t happy with what she was hearing as most complainers do. Needing to return to the car before getting a parking ticket I said I would speak to my boss upon my return to the office. “I want it resolving now” she demanded. I explained that I had left my phone in the car and she rudely replied “How convenient” She said I could use her landline in the kitchen. The kitchen floor was cold against my socked feet as she left me to make my call. She returned and I told her my boss was out of the office but I assured her I would deal with her complaint. “You’re not leaving until I get a refund” she said. I said I needed to go and reassured her I would sort it. I walked to the hallway to discover my shoes where missing. “Where are my shoes?” I asked.
“Sort out my refund now and you’ll get your shoes back” she said.
After hiding my shoes I was beginning to think she was mentally unstable, I just wanted to leave, “Please give me my shoes” I said politely. “No” she shouted. I opened the front door and left in my socks. “Come back with my refund and you’ll get your shoes back” she shouted. The staircase was busy due to the broken lift, as I walked down in my grey suit and black socks, residents stared at my unshod feet as they are the first thing they could see as they climbed the stairs. After leaving the building I struggled to remember where i had parked the car, I eventually arrived back in the street where I had left it. My sense of relief at being able to hide my shoeless feet inside the car was short lived as it was no longer parked on the yellow lines. It was now on the back of a tow truck and being driven away. In an unfamiliar part of London, no shoes, no car, I then realised my wallet was also in the car. It felt like everyone was staring as I walked the pavement in my socked feet, when asking for directions to the tube station I could tell they wanted to ask about my shoes or lack of them but where too polite to ask.
Eventually arriving at the tube station I had just enough loose change to buy a ticket and carefully used the escalator and not snag my socks on it. The tube was busy and it was hard work having to avoid other passengers standing on my feet. My embarrassing shoeless journey on public transport finally ended as I arrived home. I phoned my boss who was unamused and unsympathetic as he demanded I had to pay for the cars recovery. Feeling pretty pissed off I told him he needed to visit the complainant but advised him to go by tube after my experience with parking. Needless to say I did not mention the shoe etiquette.
Author – unluckylad
The convenience store was owned by Dillon and his twin brother Bart, aged 38 and former marines, at 6ft tall they certainly knew how to look after themselves. Sales where good especially being close to the local school. Always busy before and after school with the school kids. One major issue was theft, the school didn’t take their concerns seriously so each time the police where called the kids where just cautioned and any adults arrested where released within a few hours and back stealing again. There was no punishment to deter the thieves, if caught they just handed the stolen items back and would try again later.
One morning during the school rush they caught a 15 year old boy stealing a bottle of cola. Dillon stopped him leaving the shop and marched him to the till. Bart was determined to make him pay but the boy had no money, so demanded something of value as deposit until he could pay. “I have nothing of value” said the boy. Dillon looked the boy up and down and noticed the new school shoes on his feet. “Shoes” said Dillon. The boy looked horrified at the prospect of losing his shoes.
“I need them for school” he said
“I need people to pay for stuff” said Bart. “Now take them off”
“You can have them back when you pay for your drink, which will be double the original price. So give me your shoes or I’ll call the police and then you’ll also be late for school”. The boy took off his shoes and gave them to Dillon, he gave the boy his bottle of cola and told him he could have shoes back when he pays for his drink. The boy left the shop with all the other kids laughing at his socked feet. Bart said to his brother “I think it’s the first time anyone caught stealing has been remorseful, I do believe we might of found a deterrent to stealing”.
Half an hour later a teacher entered the shop, “We’ve had a complaint from a pupil that you’ve taken his shoes”. Bart retrieved the boys shoes and placed them on the counter and said “You mean these!” . The teacher picked up the shoes and told them you cannot steal shoes off my pupils feet. “Then your pupil should not steal from us, besides the shoes ain’t stolen, they are our property until he pays for his drink. The teacher, full of his own self importance, walked to the exit carrying the shoes and said “I’ll be giving him his shoes back”. Dillon, enraged by the teachers arrogance followed him outside, stopped him and ordered him back inside the shop. The teacher, 30, smaller than Dillon had no choice but to obey the shopkeeper and return to the shop. He was told that until the boy paid for his drink, his shoes where their property to which he’d just attempted to steal, accusing the teacher of theft. The teacher offered to pay for the stolen drink. “Too late” said Dillon, “You didn’t steal the drink but the shoes, we have to call the police, our policy”. The teacher told them there really wasn’t any need for the police and could they resolve the issue amicably. Like the boy earlier the teacher was told to pay for the stolen goods, Bart said the stolen shoes where quite new and worth about £30, “I’m not paying £30” said the teacher. Dillon replied “You’re right you’re not, you’ll be paying £60, we charge double the price for stolen goods. The teacher was outraged, “I don’t have £60”. “We’ll give you the same option as the boy earlier, give us something of value as a deposit. When you pay us you’ll get back your deposit” said Bart. The teacher had £20 in his wallet “I’ve nothing else”. Dillon told the teacher to take off his shoes. “No way!” He said. “Shoes or the police” said Bart. The teacher reluctantly took off his shoes and handed them over. Dillon could smell the leather of the warm brown brogues. “Not worth £60, give me the £20 aswell. Return with another £40 and you’ll get your shoes back. He handed over the money and asked for the boys shoes telling them he’s paid for them with his own shoes. It will cost £4 to get them as that is how much the boy owes for his drink. “But I’ve just given you all my money” said the teacher. “When the boy pays £4 and you pay us £40 you both can have your shoes back” said Dillon. Bart got out his mobile and told the teacher to hold his shoes to his chest and he took a photo explaining anyone could come in and claim the shoes and this way without doubt we’d know they’re yours. The teacher stormed out of the shop in his red socks which added more attention and embarrassment to his shoeless state.
“Why the photo?” asked Dillon to his brother. “We know they’re his shoes”. Bart explained it will be an extra deterrent to anyone else who may think about stealing from us. “From now on all stolen goods must be paid for with the price doubled, we will also take their shoes everytime. Hopefully the embarrassment of leaving in socked feet might shame them, they can collect them next day with full payment of their stolen goods. It’s a win win, double profit on stolen goods and today we got £60 for nothing from the teacher just for him to get back his own shoes”.
“That’s if he collects his shoes!” said Dillon.
“Don’t worry he’ll definitely return and pay to get them back” said Bart with a big smile.
“Perhaps we should refuse to give them back unless they return in their socked feet” joked Dillon.
To be continued.