Tuesday, 27 September 2011

I Think Maybe They Do Sell Fridges - Part The First

The first proper job I ever had (don't worry, this isn't going to go all Derek and Clive) was at a reasonably famous department store located towards the Marble Arch end of Oxford Street in That There London. This was way back in my gap year between school and university (before The Days Of The Temp) in which the intention was to build up a bit of cash for university. A friend who lived down the road was working in said shop and, being in need of help, drafted me and her sister (also a friend who'd been in my class a couple of times at school) to help out. So good was I in this role that I made the transition from part time to full time.

And this wondrous role in a reasonably famous department store, I hear you ask, what was it? It was the vital and important role of... children's shoe fitter. Yep, you read that right. I used to fit shoes for children as a living.

I had to be trained for it, you know. Oh yes, they don't just any Tom, Dick or Baldy wander in off the street and start crippling the young. No, they send you on one-day course to show you how to use the big machine with the moving bars that you put your foot into, how to use the manual gauges that you have to slide up and down yourself in case of technological failure and also how to tell you're not permanently injuring someone whose bones are still growing. They give you a cheap looking "Your Name Here" style certificate at the end of the day and everything. I'm a Start-Rite certified shoe fitter. That's not something you'll find on every CV, you know.

The one thing that most people say when I mention The Shoe Fitting Days is, "Oh, the children, I bet they were a nightmare." And, yes, I suppose the odd one or two were complete and utter shitbags (as is the way with children and the bigger people they later turn out to be) but, for the most part, they were OK. Generally, they were bored out of their tiny little minds and filled with a hatred for the shopping of the shoes; an attitude with which I can sympathise to this day. No, the kids were mostly alright. At the risk of alienating some of my audience, it was the mothers which caused the grief...

To Be Continued


Pearl said...

"... bored out of their tiny little minds..."

That will stay with me today, and I can't exactly say why...

Write on, Fella.


jenny_o said...

Looking forward to finding out how the mothers could POSSIBLY cause grief. NO WAY.

That Baldy Fella said...

Pearl - It's a phrase that can be many people on many occasions.

jenny_o - I know, it seems hard to believe.