I recently bought a new pair of running shoes. (OK, I just walk, but you know what I mean.) I went to a specialist shop for this and it was a wonderful trip back to the way buying shoes used to be. I was greeted and asked to sit down. We discussed what I was used to wearing and what I wanted. I stood on the nifty device that showed where the weight was distributed on my feet. I walked around, so that my gait could be observed. Then my feet were measured with the Brannock device of my youth. I tried on several pairs and the fit was checked. We consulted and tried some more. I walked around; the fit was checked. And I left with a great pair of shoes.
That’s how it used to be whenever you bought shoes (leaving aside the nifty device).
Nowadays, unless I’m buying designer shoes, I’m expected to hunt for my size, try them on with no place to sit, and test the fit by mincing down the aisle in shoes held together with elastic. Did I forget the “inventory control” device that cleverly digs into the top of my foot? No help, no advice, no interest, no offer to help find another size or style, or see if the fit can be adjusted – and shoes haven’t gotten that much cheaper. Not even figuring in the ones that are languishing in my closet or go straight to St. Vincent de Paul after one wearing because of their blister-producing quality.
While this is about shoes, think about all the other choices and purchases we’re now expected to navigate on our own with no assistance from someone who might actually know something. Pump your own gas, check out and bag your own groceries, and the list goes on. I can hardly wait till I’m expected to do my own surgery.