Death Of A Shoe Salesman

It was my third week on the job. My back ached, my feet were sore, and we were in the middle of a busy pre-Christmas day of sales in the men's shoe department at the Nordstrom Inc. store in Hillsdale, Calif. I was fitting a pair of burgundy tassel loafers on a white-haired, well-dressed man in his mid-70s. The department rule is to fit shoes on both feet, but the customer had offered only his right foot for measurement, and once he was satisfied with the fit, said he'd take them. "Let's check the left foot, too," I suggested. "Left one's wooden," he said, rapping it. "If the shoe slips, I'll just nail it on."

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.