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This is a question MTFU

When have you had to be brave when all you've wanted to do was weep like a blubber-titted bitch?
Tell us so we can judge you.

via Smash Monkey

(, Thu 1 Aug 2013, 17:36)
Pages: Popular, 4, 3, 2, 1

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It's a shoe-in
Well over a decade of summers ago I used to have a part-time job in a kids’ shoe shop. This place was a sweaty little dungeon at the best of times but during the summer in question the temperature was soaring. Shirts were sticking to backs, armpits were leaking like Ed Snowden with a bladder infection and the smell…let’s just say it could singe your nasal hairs at ten paces!

I used to have the unenviable job of measuring up the plates of meat on these little toe rags day in-day out. You could be talking about 40+ pairs of sweaty feet in a day which really wasn’t the way I imagined my summer progressing just after I’d finished my GCSE’s. While the rest of my mates were out and about variously smoking themselves into an early grave or terrorising local golfers, I was alone in my shoe shop purgatory. But hey, I was learning how to be self-sufficient and at least it earned me a bit of extra beer money.

Occasionally there were the good days though. It could be a rewarding job to those who are lucky enough to be serving a mother with their 4 year old itching to get their very first pair of school shoes. The proud look on their face soon turning to horror as little Billy proudly proclaims that he really likes the shiny (patent leather) ones. There’s nothing you can do but let the little fella get on with it or failing that, start a screaming match which would likely set off the umpteen other little’uns impatiently waiting to stick their feet into the foot measuring machine of doom.

On this particular occasion (the one that relates to QOTW) I was serving a young family with their two children aged around 4 and 6. I’d fitted the 4 year olds’ shoes without fuss and now it was onto the 6 year old cheeky chappy who’d patiently waited his turn. It was at this point his mother quietly beckoned me to one side to inform me that her eldest was autistic and could sometimes be a little “difficult”. “That’s no problem at all, madam” I said confidently, easing her nerves which in turn appeared to calm the lad as well.

The whole foot measuring, shoe fitting exercise went like a dream. The 6 year old was now the proud owner of some brand new Bootleg school shoes (it was a brand, honestly). Anyone that remembers them would know that these things were generally quite bulky shoes, built for the sturdier sole/soul. Anyone paying attention earlier will also remember me mentioning the autism factor which hitherto had not been a problem.

It was now in his moment of glory, new shoes boxed up and with a smile on his face as wide as your mam that he decided to strike. I’d just bent over to pick up the unwanted boxes of shoes to return them to the stock room. With the boxes neatly stacked and ready to pick up, the next thing I realised is that the boxes were strewn across the shop floor. As was I!

Now apparently I’d not been knocked completely cold although I definitely hadn’t seen the blow coming. Nor could I really remember it happening. What I did know is that I’d just been walloped across the bonce by a 6 year old with the superhuman strength that only autism can seem to give. As a profusely apologising mother assisted me to my feet, another drop of sweat (probably a tear) rolled down my face and dropped pathetically to the floor.

As far as I can remember afterwards, I finished the sale then went to the stock room for a cup of tea and a lie down. Such a damn shame that the pretty shop girls that I worked with didn’t seem to think it raised me up in the manliness rankings!
(, Fri 2 Aug 2013, 16:03, Reply)

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