Few weeks ago, during the cold spell of snow and ice we had, I finally decided to try Smartwool socks.
As I was in town, returning some books to the Central Library (at its new address), I thought to pop next door, to that well known bicycle shop…
… two good-looking chaps were standing behind the counter, being more interested in looking good than being of help.
As I was in a bit of a hurry I went to the women’s clothes section first, as I couldn’t spot any socks whatsoever I went over to one of them. Here’s how the conversation went…
me: “Hello! Do you have Smartwool socks?”
me:”Smartwool?!… Merino socks?!…. you know?! Warm socks!”
him: “Ah, ok.”
[he wonders off, I follow…]
him: “Here.” [and points]
[I look at the socks, I look at him]
me: “Emmm… these are for men?”
[he looks at me puzzled]
me:”Emmm… I am a… woman?!” [at this point I wanted to smack him]
him: “Ah… here.”
[he points few racks down]
me: [I am quite petite] “You only have M and L. How about S?”
him: “Why, isn’t M ok anyway?”
I was ready to shout “off with their heads!” – a la` The Queen of Hearts – but I refrained, instead I just smiled, shook my head at him in defeat and left (to be honest I found the situation so surreal I was close to getting the giggles).
Apart from the fact he didn’t know what Smartwool socks were (or maybe he was looking too much at his own reflection to care) it obviously didn’t cross his mind for one second I was looking for the socks, in a bike shop, for myself! Gasp!
I don’t know if this also happens to men-bicyclists, but (as I wear non-cycling clothes and keep my bicycle-techy-speak to myself) I have experienced this kind of patronising behaviour quite often, from big names cycle-shops. I will stick to independent cycle-shops and the interwebz.