>I was not going to post until the end of the weekend but I had to let off a little steam after Maija and I had a recent trip to a local running store called Sneaker Factory. We walked into the store and noticed the woman helping another gentleman. I’m an observant person and right away I started listening to her tone and energy with the man she was helping. Her responses were quick, jumpy, and at most she gave off a sense that it was a privilege for people to be shopping here.

After a while Maija had to chase the woman down to try on a pair of shoes. “I’d like to try on a pair of these” Maija said to the woman. “Oh well your going to have to order those” the woman responded. Then the woman went on to tell Maija what she “needed” not what she “might” want to try. Maija preceded to try on the pair of shoes and ran around the store for a bit to get a feel for them. The woman was gone before we knew it and when she returned it didn’t seem sensible to ask Maija how they felt or if she wanted to try anything else on.

Next it was my turn. Although I do not consider myself a runner anymore I always like to try on different racing flats to see the new innovations companies have come out with. I wanted to try on the Luna Racers. They reminded me of the Nike Mayfly’s. Remember those shoes you could wear for 100k and then they fell apart?
I was not interested in buying them but their luminous neon green grabbed my attention and started pulling me in saying “Put me on your feet spaceman”. The woman said to me “They are like running barefoot”. “Oh? So they are similar to the Nike Free’s?” I retorted. “NO, they are not”. Boom done end of conversation. At this point her voice had gotten loud and obnoxious. I didn’t even care to try on the shoes at this point but I kept staring at the green shoe on the display case and it’s gravitational force was too much to bear. Was I actually in a running store or was I in line at a food store on Long Island?

Endurance sports (to me) are about community not about making sales. I can’t think about a time where I’ve been in a cycling or running shop and had a bad customer service experience. This woman had no intention of growing a rapport with any of her customers. While this might seem acceptable in the majority of retail shops, small running and cycling store should want to embrace every customer they come in contact with.

When Maija was checking out at the register she told the woman she used to run for their team. The woman responded by saying “So?”. WOW! She is lucky I was flipping through a magazine across the store. This woman should not be working at a running store, with little kids, dogs, or any contact with anything living because she obviously has no perception of how to deal or handle a humble conversation.

After the shop Maija and I headed over to the local dog park where we let the dogs run loose for a while. Unfortunately we didn’t have the best experience because there was an unsafe dog with an unstable owner. I’m not going to get into details today about this because I don’t want the whole post to be negative.

Lastly we headed over to Liberty Cycle because I could not for the life of me get my old cycling pedals off. They have been on numerous bikes and needed to be changed. I rode one morning with the Liberty Cycle group ride and saw some of the most beautiful scenery. Greg the owner is a nice guy. It would be nice to join their cycling club but I do not have an extra $60 to join right now. If I get some extra money I think I’ll join even if I’m racing for a different team. They are a great group of guys and I like to support local area shops.

Wish me luck in my Police Physical Test tomorrow!