So the other night I was in Wal-Mart to pick up some supplies. I’m not bragging, just setting the scene.
While heading towards the back of the store I find myself getting close to the women’s shoe department and what appeared to be an epic argument between a customer and an employee.
You know how sometimes you can tell a lot about a conversation from just the visual cues, without ever hearing a word that’s being spoken?
The customer was an enormous angry sweaty woman, wearing a tank top and the worlds most ironic pair of biker shorts ever. She was shaking a shoebox, and pointing furiously. With every gesture she set of waves of secondary tectonic shifting. It was like watching angry jello.
The employee was this tiny little woman, whose expression and body language just read defeat. She would periodically offer up a short phrase, which would only inspire the customer to greater peaks of wobbly rage.
I could tell that the problem was probably beyond the employee’s ability to fix and was probably not her fault in the first place. Anyone who has any sort of customer service job has seen this fight dozens of times.
As I got closer I was able to hear the details. The angry lady evidently wears a size 8 shoe. And the shoes she was holding were apparently labeled size 8. But they hadn’t fit. Clearly Wal-Mart had labeled the shoes wrong in a deliberate attempt to humiliate her and now everything was ruined forever. And naturally this was the employee’s fault.
Just as I started to pass them the poor employee suggested, “Maybe if you tried an eight wide it would fit better?”
“And eight wide? Do I look like I wear an eight wide?!”
You know how sometimes you have those moments where your mouth just turns itself on with no input from your brain? Well I had one of those moments.
“Lady, everything everything you wear looks wide!”
Every person for about three aisles stopped talking. The cranky one dropped her shoebox, and everybody looked at me.
“I just said that out loud, didn’t I?”
The employee slowly nodded.
And with that I left, before I could be knocked down, trampled, and ultimately devoured,