Saturday, May 31, 2008

Skip Anderson: Selling in the Home: 9 Sales Tips

Skip Anderson: Selling in the Home: 9 Sales Tips

Some advice for sales men and women. Recommends that sales people should remove their shoes when entering homes.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I have made a few changes

I hope you all like the changes I have made to the template of the blog.

Global: Are you smarter than a Finnish 5th Grader?

Global: Are you smarter than a Finnish 5th Grader?

This article attributes the intelligence of Finnish school children to the fact that they are generally shoeless in the classroom.

I only spent three days in Finland, but I absolutely loved that country.

Pagans

Although I am a Fundamentalist Christian, paganism does have a certain appeal to me. Maybe it is all the pagan music I enjoy listening. I suppose if I was not a Chritian, I might have become a pagan. Though I do not know if that would fit in with my pro-business, pro-technology views.

I remember reading on a discussion forum that a pagan priestess (Wicca I think) required visitors to her home to remove their shoes.

I don't know how common having a shoes-off rule is amongst pagans, but I can imagine it would fit in well with their emphasis on the sacredness of space and location.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Housewarming Party

re-post

If you are moving into a new house or apartment and you want to make a clean start and have a no-shoes rule, you have an ideal opportunity to kick it off with an housewarming party.

The best thing to do is to indicate clearly on invitations that you will be requiring shoes-off. That way people will have no surpises. They can bring slippers, wear clean socks with no holes or a floaty skirt that looks great with barefeet (Trinny and Susanah actually recommend that hostesses of dinner parties should wear a long skirt with barefeet or slippers).

Having an housewarming party is such an excellent way to send the message that your new house will be a shoe-free zone. Even those of your friends who do not come will see on the invitation that you want shoes-off.

Requiring shoes-off at a housewarming party sends the message that you are really serious about the rule and that it is not just an exception for a wet winter evening. After all, some people with shoeless homes actually make an exception and allow shoes-on in parties. However, having shoes-off at an housewarming makes it clear that you want the house to stay as it was when you bought it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It is nice to be noticed

This blog got linked in a Greek-speaking discussion forum.

If anybody knows Greek you might find that interesting. If they are saying anything obscene, please let me know and I will delete the link.

Wicked Local Wenham: Check your shoes at the door

Wicked Local Wenham: Check your shoes at the door

I do want to say that I do not advocate Organic food, something this article encourages.

Getting fussy about definitions

What is a no-shoes home?

A no-shoes home is a home in which there is a strong and manifested expectation that persons entering remove their shoes.


You do not have a no-shoes home if you only ask family and very close friends to take their shoes-off.

You do not have a no-shoes home if you would like people to take their shoes off, but you never ask them to do so.


However:

You still have a no-shoes home if you make exceptions for the elderly, infirm, workmen, occasional refuseniks and others.

You still have a no-shoes home if you live in a country where removing shoes is the norm and would never need to ask.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Children

re-post

I am always a little surprised when I see children wearing shoes at home, whether on television or in person. It surprises me because when I was a child, my parents expected me to remove my shoes at the door. When I visited my friends' homes, their parents often expected me to take my shoes off. So it always seems a little strange when I see children keeping their shoes on at home.

The practise of removing shoes was expected until I reached the age of about 12. My parents became less stringent about it as I got older. Occasionally this house rule would be revived in later years. It was restored when I was 21 when my parents and I moved to a house with cream carpets, though they were not consistent in keeping to it.

There are some homes, in the UK, where the hosts will expect the children of guests to remove their shoes, but would not expect it of adult guests. Some guests will insist that their children remove their shoes without removing their own. I can understand why some people may be more concerned about children's shoes; children do tend to be less careful about what they step in and are more likely to run around in long and wet grass. However, adults should never forget that their own shoes pick up an awful lot of less noticeable dirt. There is also the fact that children learn to follow rules better when adults act consistently. There is a certain amount of 'do as I say, not do as I do' in the requirement of shoes-off for children only.

Some childcare experts are of the opinion that children should wear shoes to the minimum necessary and therefore recommend shoes-off indoors for health reasons.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Putting shoes in a basket?

Some writers who advocate adopting a shoes-off policy suggest that you should leave a nice basket by the door, in which guests can put their shoes. They hold that this is a really nice gesture.

I am grateful to these writers for advocating the no-shoes rule, but I fail to see what the big deal is with putting shoes in a basket. Is this a lady thing?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Smelly Feet

re-post

The issue of 'smelly feet' is often raised as an argument against the Shoes-Off rule.

In Western society there seems to be a lot of paranoia about the phenomena of 'smelly feet'. I think this is simply a result of people not removing their shoes very often. Your feet will actually smell a lot less if you remove your shoes regularly. It is unfortunate that we in Britain have not yet reached the civilised heights of Finland, where it is acceptable to remove shoes in business meetings and on trains (not that people do not do so in Britain, but it is frowned upon somewhat).

Nevertheless, I think most people worry too much about this issue. People imagine their feet smell far more than they actually do. I have met very few people who let off much of an aroma after removing their shoes, and most of them were people who did not wash and change their socks regularly.

If people know in advance that they need to remove their shoes, they can make sure they wear clean socks, or even better, bring slippers with them. If they are especially worried about it, they can use some of those fancy foot deoderents.

Feet wil smell a lot less if people wear sandals. Sneakers are best avoided in favour of leather shoes.

Some people will say 'I would rather put up with a dirty floor than people's smelly feet.' Well, I guess people decide on their own priorities. However, stinking feet will leave with the guests. A dirty floor will not. Nor will the dust they brought in on their shoes, and that is very bad for your health.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Note to commentors

I value your comments, but please watch your language.

Effect of a heat wave

I take back what I said about flip flops not being so popular.

It only took a heat wave to get nearly half the folks at my church wearing flip flops.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Athlete's Foot

re-post

An unpleasent fungal infection.

A lot of people mention Athlete's Foot as an argument against people having a shoes-off policy. However, this is a quite unnecessary concern.

Athlete's Foot is generally associated with swimming pools and changing rooms. It is possible to catch Athlete's Foot on one's barefeet at a swimming pool or in a locker room. However, recent research indicates that this is not so likely as was previously thought.

Most importantly, the reason people catch Athlete's Foot in those places is not because people there are barefoot, but because the fungus needs a warm and wet environment. People get exposed to the fungus in the damp conditions. If they fail to dry their feet, the fungus is very comfortable and even more so if the victim puts on sweaty socks.

The fungus will not survive long on the clean, dry floor or carpet of a person's home and so you are very unlikely to catch Athlete's Foot in somebody's house, even if the owner has the condition.

What is more, people who are not wearing socks are likely to put on sandals when they leave, as opposed to closed shoes. Thus, they will not create the right environment for the condition to thrive.

Of course, if you are worried about it, you can always bring some slippers or socks when you visit a shoes-off home.

People who have a shoes-off policy ought to let their visitors know in advance and be willing to lend a pair of clean socks, if not slippers.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Entertaining Today

I had six people, all twenty-somethings from my home fellowship group over for Sunday lunch. They all removed their shoes at the door.

I had prompted two couples who were coming beforehand about removing their shoes, but I suspect they would have removed them anyway. My guests always remove their shoes at the house where the home fellowship meet. Twenty-somethings are smart.

I do think a social gathering where everybody is in socks (Apart from me, I was bare foot) is somehow cosier than ones where people are in shoes. It is very hard to explain in words exactly why shoeless gatherings seem more comfortable.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Swedish Welfare System

I would really like to learn more about the Swedish welfare system.

I am a Conservative who believes in free-market economics, but I do believe that capitalist society can generate situations of poverty that cause social problems. I believe generous welfare provision is a means by which the state can deal with these problems.

I believe the Swedes are right about removing shoes at the door; maybe we can learn some things about welfare from the Swedes as well.