Since I joined the gym a few days ago, I needed some new gear. I decided to buy as little as possible because who knows how long this gym phase is going to last, and in the event of failure I'll be stuck with the exercise stuff and feel guilty for wasting money. I decided to do without new sweatpants and manage with existing though dwindling number of socks. (Where do they go at night? Why is it that I only have a total of three socks in my underwear drawer AND laundry basket even though I buy them regularly in multiple pairs?) The only thing I couldn't do without was a new pair of sneakers. So I went to the store and picked out the pair that seemed to satisfy my exercising and aesthetic needs. I was about to take them to the register when I realized that the soles were dark gray and someone else have obviously worn them.
I asked the sales associate if they had a different pair of these sneakers, but after a quick check she said they didn't. Then she tried to get helpful. She said, "If you want these sneakers, we have a cleaning service and for only 9.99 we can clean them for you. And you can also buy a special sneaker polish for about $5, so after the cleaning and polish, these sneakers will look like new."
Huh? I think my jaw dropped to the floor. What a chutzpah! Not only were they trying to sell me second hand shoes at the price of a new pair, but they also wanted me to pay additional $15 (before tax) to make them look presentable! I told the sales associate just that adding that I came to buy new shoes, not to get somebody else's Athlete's Foot. (Ok, fine, I only thought about saying the last part, I couldn't be that nasty to the girl.) Then she looked at me indignantly and said, "So what, you don't want them?" I thought I was perfectly clear. Without saying anything else to each other, the girl put the sneakers back to where I found them, and I left the store making a mental note to never ever buy shoes in stores with generous return policies.