How long does it take to pay for a pair of shoes?

A simple question but a complicated answer.  One would think that the bulk of the time spent acquiring a pair of shoes was the time taken to carefully select the shoe for style, colour, size and fit.  For most people this is a chore and (luckily) I am a male and do not spend too much time going through this rigmarole.  Anyway, on Sunday it was apparent that I needed a new pair of shoes, I make my way down to DSW (more on them later) and walk up and down the aisles till I find a familiar looking shoe that fits perfectly, I had only gone and found the same pair of shoes that I already owned (albeit in much better condition).  I did the obligatory walk “try them on” bit and walked up and down and confirmed that they fit and were comfortable, all I needed now was to pay, I had the box in my hand, my debit card in my pocket and there were 3 checkouts open with 2 people in front of me, how could this screw up?

Register 1 had a customer trying to return a pair of shoes and get the appropriate credit for them, this seemed to involve fine scrutiny of  the receipt, checking the shoes many times and lots of typing on the register; that was effectively out of action.  The second register had someone who dared to pay by cash for $250 worth of shoes, this put the girl in a tizz because she didn’t have enough money in the till to give the guy his change, slow but not out of action.  The third register seemed to be working without much obstruction but still took ages to serve a single customer.  The line moves on (register 1 and 2 are still out of action), register 3 serves 2 more people and then it’s my turn.

I get register 2, the young lady checks the shoes to make sure I have 2 of the same size (that’s reasonable), then she rings them up, I swipe my debit card and do what I have to on the keypad (we are one minute in by now).  She then asks me for my telephone number, this is where I respectfully decline, she is taken aback because most people just reel off the number without a thought.  Remember that as soon as you give your telephone number (voluntarily) you have effectively given the store free reign on what they do with it, and since you have done business with them they can cold call you or even sell your number to those wonderful telemarketers that interrupt your dinner.  She then asks for my email address, I also decline this. 15 : Love to Ergin.

I think I am out of the woods when she replies with something like, do you have a rewards card, I say no (30 : Love to Ergin), she then replies do you want to join (30 : 15), I say no again and this time I add I want nothing more than to pay for the shoes (40 : 15).  Then she says “but do you know anyone else that has a rewards card (40 : 30), I say no again and retort that I just want to pay.

I’m nearly there, she then completes the transaction giving me a total with tax (for my British friends tax is not included in the price because different states have different sales tax rates).  I complete my bit on the keypad and then she tries to sneak in another attempt at getting more details than I want to hand out; she asks me whether I want the receipt printed and/or emailed, again this is a feeble attempt at getting something from me so they can contact me at a later date, I ask for it to be printed, she prints it out, hands me the receipt and the shoes and I am out (Game, Set and Match Ergin).

What should have taken 1 minute took 5 minutes, some stores drag this customer experience out even longer.  Can’t you see that I am a dude (a bloke) of the male species over the age of 50 (although she could have been confused and thought I was much younger).  I buy shoes as a necessity; when they fall apart, I don’t want or need to be part of a rewards program that will get me a free pair of shoes for every 50 I buy, I’ll be dead an buried for ages and still have to buy shoes to get that free pair.  Serve your customers needs not your own.

PIN, VIN and DSW (there must be others)

What is it with these simple acronyms, they all stand for 3 words so when you say them you don’t need to use the words that are in them otherwise what is the point of the acronym.

PIN stands for Personal Identification Number it is not a PIN Number otherwise it would be a Personal Identification Number Number; that cannot be right,

VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number, like PIN is is not the VIN Number.

I can see that both of these mistakes are (sort of) understandable because they were created by some industry body and they were probably explained in some random help topic or pamphlet that nobody ever read and it sort of makes some sense.

So what about DSW, this is an acronym that the company made up itself.  Go to the web site and you’ll see that under the letters DSW is the phrase Designer Shoe Warehouse, makes sense DSW == Designer Shoe Warehouse.  So, can anyone tell me why the store is named DSW Shoe Warehouse, that would be Designer Shoe Warehouse Shoe Warehouse.  Take a look at this picture of the store in Novi Michigan, I had to look at it twice myself before I realised that it was just plain stupid, it was probably suggested by the same people that instructs their checkout staff.


5 thoughts on “How long does it take to pay for a pair of shoes?

  1. If you don’t like buying shoes, try buying a movie ticket.

    It sounds like a simple enough process: State the name of the movie you wish to see, hand over payment and receive the tickets. I fail to understand how the whole process could possibly occupy more than fifteen seconds.

    In reality, it takes forever (relatively). I must habitually end up in line behind sheltered individuals who are seeing their first “moving picture” on that occasion or who lack sufficient mental bandwidth to retain any vestige of the movie seeing experience in memory. “I stand in line? Then what? I have to pay? Nobody told me that. I wonder where my money is….in my “pocket”? You get the idea.

    As I get older I seem to become more tolerant but less patient. If that seems contradictory to you all I can offer in response is “Welcome to the jumble of paradoxes that afflict the organism bearing my name.”

    1. Agreed, that happens all the time, people wait in line for 10 minutes and when they are asked to pay they search for their wallet or purse and rummage around for cash then realise that they don’t have enough cash and then they try to find a credit card.
      Phew, if it is that difficult to buy something just give up and take yourself out of the gene pool and make the rest of the human race stronger.

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