Woman’s feet stink so much, shoe store must close for an hour to air out

Mary Duncan

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a friend who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

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Photo by Amanda Vick on Unsplash

I have had a lot of bad jobs in my life. Well, scratch that, I’ve had a lot of mediocre jobs with terrible bosses. I haven’t actually had a job that bad that I’ve walked out on it in frustration, but there was one I just stopped going to without notice because my start time was too early in the morning.

All I’m trying to say is, it could have been much worse for me, the years I spent in the workforce before becoming a writer. I could have had jobs that filled me with disgust, that made me feel belittled, that physically exhausted me. I was lucky.

My friend Becky unfortunately was not so lucky. There was a time in her life when she was between jobs in her career field and looking for anything that would help her get the bills paid in the meantime. Despite her better judgement, Becky took a job at an upscale shoe store in a wealthy nearby town.

There aren’t many shoe stores like this around here anymore, where you walk in and are greeted by a professional sales person, where you are sat down and fitted properly for a shoe. This was that kind of place though, so that meant Becky was working closely every day with other people’s feet. Down on her knees, bowing to them, belittling herself, working with feet.

One day a woman came in who appeared to Becky to be totally normal. She wasn’t dirty or unkempt, she didn’t have an odor as she walked by Becky in the store, and she was wearing expensive looking clothing and heels.

Then, she sat down for Becky to measure her feet and took her shoes off. The stench almost made Becky hit the floor. Becky told me that she measured the woman’s feet as quickly as possible, visibly trying not to gag and trying to hold her breath, but it didn’t matter.

The minute, maybe two minutes that the woman had her shoes off in the store ruined the place for everyone else. The strong and terrible odor of the woman’s feet permeated every inch of the store and was making Becky and her other coworker feel sick.

The woman left quickly without buying anything, but it didn’t matter, the store reeked of her nasty feet, and Becky made the executive decision to close the store for an hour, open both doors to air the place out, and sit outside to watch the merchandise while hanging a sign on the door that said they’d be back shortly.

That’s just one reason I would never want to work in retail, and especially in a shoe department.

Would you be able to handle working with people’s feet all day?

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I write about relationships and parenting, life, society, people, and sometimes also beer.

Connecticut State
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