Happy Feet


I came out of the back room pushing the book cart, on my way to re-fill the bookshelves and there it was: the bizarre moment of the day.

A man, approximately 65 years old, standing in front of the bookshelves wiggling his toes while looking at books on the shelf. I could see the toes wiggling, because he was not wearing shoes. Socks, yes, beige. But no shoes. And he was wiggling, and wiggling…

I exclaimed: “Wow, you are not wearing shoes!” and I said that in matter-of-fact kind of way. That is my way to test the water and see what kind of reaction I get; which helps me decide how to address a problem.
Most likely it’s just another odd individual who frequents thrift stores [I have resigned to the idea that odd and weird ends up at thrift stores more than anywhere else], but he could also be a really disturbed psycho, and that’s why I do not immediately confront an unusual situation.

While making my way to the shelf I had to re-fill, I noticed that his black Adidas shoes were neatly displayed on the “Literature-Poetry” shelf. I chose to refrain from more talk until he responded to me.
My comment was eventually processed with about 30 seconds delay and he meekly said “oh…I don’t seem to find my shoes”.
I promptly informed him they were on the shelf. “oh…” he said, happily collecting the shoes and proceeding to the luggage stand. Shoes in his hands.

On my way to the back room, the man stopped me to ask me for the price of a suitcase, as he could not clearly see it. I went closer, and read the price to him. Before turning around to be on my way, there they were, the black Adidas, on the luggage stand.
The man walked to the cash register area to pay for his purchase. Still with wiggly feet inside beige socks.

Few minutes later he came looking for me and asked me “Ma’am, I don’t seem to find my shoes, do you know where they are?”. I suddenly became the shoe finder! I diligently pointed them out to him, after walking in front of him toward the luggage stand.

He thanked me, grabbed his shoes and left the store. And, yes, walking on his beige socks.

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