Last Wednesday I went to my very first podiatrist appointment. I went mainly because I'm diabetic and my doctor thought it was time for me to have my feet looked at. I also went because I'd finally decided to own up to the fact that my feet have tingled a little bit over the past years, and even though I have feeling I thought it was time to look into it to make sure that overall my feet were okay. After all, sometimes we have to take care of our health.

Immediately after I met the doctor he took a look at my shoes and said they were the wrong shoes for me. Of course it figured that I'd just bought those sneakers three weeks earlier, but he wanted me to have different shoes. So last Thursday I went across town to a particular store to look for the shoes he wanted me to have. In my mind I assumed that I would be able to pick out the shoes, or sneakers, that I wanted from a number of options.

The young man who helped me took the piece of paper I brought with me, went into the back, and came back with two boxes. I realized that the piece of paper I gave him was in essence a medical script for sneakers.

The first pair he pulled out were horrendous; take a look:

Aren't those pretty awful? They reminded me of the kind of shoes Herman Munster used to wear, if you remember the Munster's TV show. These were the speakers the doctor recommended because they would offer my feet the most support, especially in the arch region. I was asked if I would try them on, and I said I would try them on but that I was not buying them. I didn't care how much they helped my feet, there was no way in the world I was going to buy these sneakers. I did try them on, I walked around the bench once, and I felt okay, but I didn't care.

He looked at me with a smile on his face because obviously he must have had to deal with this type of thing in the past. So he went to the second box and said "I was hesitant to bring these out because they're not exactly what the doctor asked for, but I think they will work better for you". When he opened the new box this is what was in there:

These were much better by a mile. They weren't red, which is what I usually go for, but they were head and shoulders above the first pair. He said that the only difference between these and the other shoes was the mesh, which didn't totally protect the entire foot, but still offered the protection my foot needed in the arch and heel area.

As I was paying for the shoes, I started to think that in a way I'd been had. After all, I'd come to the store looking for a specific thing, and ended up walking out with something that I probably would not have bought if I'd had my own choice, yet still needed to buy because I needed a speaker with more support. By comparing it with the ugly pair, it made my choice easy, and I wondered if that was a ploy.

No matter. It was what I needed, the doctors shouldn't object, and the young man at the store did his job. Because sometimes good customer service doesn't mean giving the customer exactly what they want, it means giving them what they need. And sometimes it's by any means necessary.