When I used to work for the charity RACQ CareFlight (now LifeFlight), I would regularly speak to community groups about our lifesaving rescue missions in order to raise funds.
I remember being introduced to one woman as “Carol, from the CareFlight helicopter rescue service.”
She responded: “Oh, isn’t that lovely, dear. Are you one of the hosties?”
Can you imagine … “Would you like red or white wine with that?” is not something you’d say on a rescue chopper with a doctor and paramedic frantically working to keep the “passenger” alive!
Then I worked for the Spinal Injuries Association (now Spinal Life Australia) where I again regularly spoke at functions in order to raise awareness and funds. I was often mistaken for a nurse (never a doctor…sigh!) and would feel frustrated whenever I was told how someone had a bad back.
I had to be very careful to hold my tongue and politely suggest that having a spinal cord injury simply cannot be compared to having a bad back.
Now that I’m a proud shoe shop owner, when I explain to people what I do, there’s no misinterpretation. Invariably I will hear from women … “Oh wow! That must be the most amazing job ever” and from men … “Don’t tell my wife that!”
I do love how nearly all women love shoes. Their excitement ranges from a wistful sigh to demanding to know how many shoes I own.
For me, I was crazy proud to work for two amazing charities; but I’m even more proud to have created The Shoe Garden. It took 23 years of working around the world to get here, but I’m so happy I’m here!
Until next time
Carol & CCx
Ps. The answer to how many shoes I own … I stopped counting after 100!