Oh hi darling! Locked myself out again! So annoying – I mean, I knew you’d be coming home late today.
Actually, I’m having a bad day all round. I lost my temper earlier on, and I’m still on edge. You see, I went to buy some new boots, and –
Anyway, I saw this lovely pair of boots – like these ones! – at lunchtime, so I bought them and I thought I’d wear them straight away, but when I got back to the office, what do you think I found?
No, of course you have no idea, darling. It’s a rhetorical question.
Anyway, I don’t know why I hadn’t seen it before, but I suddenly noticed they were all scuffed, at the side around the top of the keel. I mean really scuffed – not just marks, but the leather had come up ragged in a few places. And they’d obviously been like that when I bought them, because all I’d done was walk along the road to the office – it’s only ten minutes, you know, from that little row of shops near St Pauls.
So I went back after work, and I found the shop assistant who’d sold them to me – rather a creepy little guy, actually! And he was smiling and nodding in that obsequious way they have, you know, and calling me ‘madam’ but then he said he couldn’t change them! And I said why not, and he said because he couldn’t be sure that the damage hadn’t happened after I’d bought them!
I mean – really! He was practically accusing me of lying!
Anyway, I just saw red. You know how I get. And I was just shouting at him, at the top of my voice… and I grabbed his head and I forced him down, shouting ‘Look! look there at these boots you sold me!’ and I might have called him all sorts of awful names. Poor guy – he was really upset. Started stuttering and breathing hard – honestly, I think he might have been about to cry!
So I took off the boots and I was holding them right in his face, shouting at him. When he took them his hands were just trembling.
And the store manager came over. Quite a young lady – younger than him anyway. Very smart and proper, you know? And I was telling her all about it and – I feel awful now – but I was saying what a useless sales assistant she had, and she ought to give him the sack and all that sort of thing. And he was just getting redder and redder in the face, and breathing harder and harder.
And then he ran off! I mean, I must have just pushed too many of his buttons! He just started gasping, and he bent half over and just scurried off through some door at the back of the shop. With the boots! I don’t think the manageress knew what to say! She went to go and make some sort of phone call, from the till.
And then a couple of minutes later, he came back. He seemed to have calmed down a bit, although he was still very red in the face. And he was panting away, as if he’d just run a mile or something. Goodness knows what he’d been doing back there! Maybe he’d been crying. But anyway, he had a new pair of boots with him! Just like the others, but not damaged. And when I said ‘But I thought you said you couldn’t change them’ he muttered something about how he could always pay for them himself, out of his own wages.
Well, I didn’t really think. I just sat down and I held my hand out for him to give me the boots, but he just kneeled down in front of me and put them on me himself! And he said ‘Thank you, Madam’ and he held the door open for me, when I left the shop. I think I must have sacred the living daylights out of him!
Poor guy. I mean, it’s not really his fault, is it? I felt awful afterwards, I really did. I shouldn’t think he’s paid very much, do you? And it can’t be much fun, selling boots and shoes to stroppy ladies all day, even if they don’t all get angry, and shove their boots in his face and call him names!
Oh dear. Do you think I should go back and apologise?