Chapter 5 - Quality Exercise 78
The author had a high opinion of Mr Gessler as a boot maker. Even his shop had a certain quiet distinction to it. He knew that Mr Gessler made only what was ordered, and the boots that he made never failed to fit. The author felt that to make such boots as Mr Gessler did seemed mysterious and wonderful.
The author visited the shop so infrequently because the boots made by Mr Gessler lasted for a long time. They had something beyond the temporary, some essence of boot stitched into them.
When the author remarked that a certain pair of boots he had got earlier creaked, Mr Gessler looked at him for a time without replying, as if expecting him to withdraw or qualify the statement. Then, he said that the shoes should not have creaked. The author had probably got them wet before they found themselves. He then asked the author to send the boots back, and if he could do nothing of them, he would take them off his bill.
Mr Gessler's complaint against big firms was that they had no self respect. They got customers only because of advertising, and not because of any quality work. They took customers away from people like him who loved their boots. As a result Mr Gessler, who loved his job and who used to make good quality boots, had very little work and the work kept getting less every year because people preferred the big firms.
The author knew that Mr. Gessler made good quality boots. Every single pair of boots was good enough to last a long time. He came to know from Mr. Gessler himself that in spite of his love for his job he could not get much work. This was because people preferred buying boots from big firms. The author then realized the hardship and bitter struggle he was going through. His face and voice made such a deep impression on the author that he decided to order many pairs of boots even though he really did not need them.