Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Being Proactive

A major part of my job is making people aware of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption. I have to be proactive in my day job. So I thought maybe I should be more proactive in promoting my pet cause.

To that end I asked a colleague whether she wore shoes in her house. She replied that she did, though she also wore those slippers socks some times. I asked her whether she was concerned about the wear and tear to her carpet. She replied that she had never even thought about that (probably the reaction of the average 18-year old when I warn them that drinking seven pints of lager is a bad idea). When I explained my policy, she said she thought people had ever right to insist on no-shoes in their homes.

18 comments:

Gloria said...

You certainly have a right to your opinion and I appreciate the fact that you took the time to comment on my blog entry regarding removing shoes when entering someone's home.

In my wildest dreams I couldn't be so rude as to insist that my guests remove their shoes and sit in my home barefoot, stocking footed, or worse wearing those ridiculous slipper socks that I love wearing but ONLY in my own home and ONLY when wearing sweats or loungewear in private/

I have never had a guest dirty my carpeting, never had a guest scratch my gorgeous hickory wood floors and better yet, never had a guest who didn't appreciate not having to remove an article of their clothing when visiting me. I guess I'm smart enough to know that carpeting is meant to walk on so I don't buy white carpeting. I will NOT ask a guest who comes to my home well dressed for a cocktail or dinner party to remove shoes that were meant to "make" the outfit.
Sorry. I just don't get it. My guests comfort comes first. Maybe that's why no one ever refuses an invitation to visit me.

richyrich said...

Today I went to the gym to which I go regularly to exercise and the receptionist at the desk was in her stockinged feet. I have seen her that way a few times before too. It also reminded me of a young lady I worked with years ago at an office and one of the first things she always did when she arrived at work was take off her shoes and spend the rest of the time in her stockinged feet. She said that she disliked wearing shoes. I've also come across a few other people (women more then men though) without shoes in offices. They have probably taken their shoes off for comfort rather than to keep their workplaces' floors clean but it does show that the practice of shoe removal is at least acceptable in some workplaces. Surely the arguments for taking shoes off in homes are relevant to workplaces as well, especially offices, although Health and Safety considerations would make it impractical in other work situations.

Celestial Fundie said...

Gloria, thanks for dropping in and voicing your opinion.

I do think there is something ironic about the fact that you find it comfortable to remove your shoes, yet you do not ask your guests to remove their shoes out of concern for their comfort.

Celestial Fundie said...

Rich, I like to remove my shoes when I am in the office.

Obviously there are some workplaces like warehouses where removing shoes is not practical, but there is no reason why an employer could not require office staff to remove their shoes. Certainly this is the norm in some Asian countries.

richyrich said...

I remember once talking to a woman who said that she always took off her shoes at home but more for comfort than maintaining her floors, she said that she didn't like wearing shoes. I asked her if she also took them off at work (she worked in an office) and she said that she didn't as she thought that would be "unprofessional". If that perception was overcome then maybe some employers would be more willing to demand shoe removal in their workplaces in order to maintain the flooring, especially if shoe removal will become more common in homes in future (as I think it will). They could always provide their staff with special slippers or "indoor shoes"

Celestial Fundie said...

Yes, some do consider it unprofessional. But it is not unusual.

I know a lady in management who always wears a suit, but who often removes her shoes in the office.

richyrich said...

Would this lady remove her shoes even if there were others around (e.g. colleagues, customers etc)?

Celestial Fundie said...

She was barefoot in the office of her line manager.

Anonymous said...

Hi Richyrich,

Can you expalin a bit more about the lady at your gym?

Is it a stand alone gym or in a hotel?

Was she wearing a skirt or trousers?

I ask because I work on a hotel reception and would love to be able to go in my stockinged feet all day. I never wear shoes at home and would love to be able to go shoeless in work, as I really dislike wearing them.

Also, could you explain a little more about the lady you used to work with as it may help my situation.

Love this blog by the way, and I hope you might be able to help me.

Many thanks,

Jen.

richyrich said...

Can you expalin a bit more about the lady at your gym?
She is a receptionist who is by the desk when we book ourselves in at the start of a session.

Is it a stand alone gym or in a hotel?
Stand alone

Was she wearing a skirt or trousers?
Skirt

Also, could you explain a little more about the lady you used to work with as it may help my situation.
I was working at a firm of Chartered Surveyors and the lady was a secretary. As soon as she entered the office she would almost immediately (often before she even took her coat off) take off her shoes and she would then spend the rest of the time in her stockined feet, even when she walked around the office. After a while all of us who worked there just got used to it but some new staff asked a few times why wasn't she wearing shoes and she just said that she'd taken them off as they were hurting her feet. A few times some of the other women at the office also took off their shoes but not as often as her.

Have you actually asked if you could take off your shoes at work? As you come into contact with members of the public, the management might think it would make you look unprofessional. Not that I think many members of the public would at all mind being served by a shoeless receptionist, I certainly wouldn't.

As a gym is a more informal place where people go to relax, it may be considered more acceptable for members of staff to remove their shoes there. That's just my thinking.

Hope you find this helpful.

Celestial Fundie said...

Jen, thanks for visiting. Have you visited much before?

I hope Rich's comment helped.

Whether you can remove your shoes depends on whether your manager minds. Of course, if she doesent, you might be able to take them off when she is not looking.

When I was a receptionist at a drug misuse service in Worcestershire, I used to remove my flip flops and go barefoot in the office, though I would usually put them on again if I needed to go to other parts of the building.

By the way, I once went to a tourist information centre in Bournemouth. The advisor there was barefoot. She was wearing cut-off jeans. Maybe it had something to do with their being a beach just a few yards away.

God Bless

Matthew

Tiger Mouse said...

First, off, I do sympathize with Gloria's reservations with having guests go without their shoes in her home, especially for cocktail or any other formal parties where one is expected to have taken his/her time to dress up. Now, I don't know if it would be so much "rude" to have guests remove their shoes as it could be awkward, especially if for them it's part of their getting dressed/making oneself "presentable" routine in the morning. (And by the way, I'll dress to the shoes if I anticipate going somewhere anytime soon, but I'll put on slippers if I have no outside plans whatsoever for the day or at least not until much later in the day.) This awkwardness can also hold true not only for "social" guests but any kind of professional. I once read a forum that discussed this kind of issue. Someone mentioned that they had a job that involved going to other peoples' homes. I think it was a social worker. Anyway, the social worker said that one of the foster homes they had to visit had a shoes-off policy. Supposedly, the social worker complied with it but felt unprofessional sitting there barefoot. To all of you who do not wish for ANYONE to where shoes (or at least not outdoor shoes) in your house, whether you're expecting a guest for a social visit or it's "strictly business" (and I use that term loosely), whenever possible (and I realize it may not always be), do them a favor and warn them in advance so that if they feel the need to bring over slippers, shoe covers, or an alternate pair of shoes specifically for inside (or for that matter, compensate with a big hat, like Carrie said she would have done in that Sex and the City episode "A Woman's Right to Shoes" had she known that she was going to be shoeless), they can do that.

As far as shoelessness and professionalism is concerned, I'm sorry but I don't think I could bring myself to not wear shoes on the job unless the nature of said job (such as life guard or yoga teacher, neither of which I see myself doing anytime soon) and/or company regualtions called for it. (And even if the latter were the case, I would hope that I could at least bring slippers, especially if the rest of the dress code consisted of a business suit.) But if other people wish to go barefoot while on duty that's their business, and if they can maintain their professionalism while shoeless, good for them.

Now, back to the concept of a "shoes-off" policy in one's home. If having such a policy in your home works for you, fine. If it works for your colleague (or anyone else you mention it to, fine.) But could you respect the rights of others to decide whether or not such a policy will work for them? Please?

Celestial Fundie said...

You feel that I am not showing sufficent respect for people who disagree with me?

Celestial Fundie said...

You feel that I am not showing sufficent respect for people who disagree with me?

sue said...

Hi,

I love this blog and the efforts you are making.

I am 25 and work for a bank (Barclays). I hope this does'nt sound weird, but in the branch I always remove my shoes and just go in my stockinged feet.

It is'nt that my shoes hurt or are uncomfortable, more that I just don't like wearing shoes indoors.
The shoes I wear to work are navy medium-heeled with a t-bar and I can't imagine having to wear them all day!!

Sometimes I wear trousers, but also often wear a uniform skirt. When I wear a skirt it is obvius that I am not wearing shoes but luckily no one has complained and my colleagues are used to it. Occasionally, customers comment on my lack of footwear, but I just expalin that I find it more comfy.

I think if employees want to remove thier shoes it should be allowed. Although going completely barefoot is probably not a good idea, but I think stockinged feet or discreet slippers would propbaly be OK in most work situations.

Sue.

Celestial Fundie said...

Sue, thankyou so much.

Does your manager mind you doing that in front of customers?

By the way, what are your views on shoes in homes?

Anonymous said...

Hi,

No I am afraid never wear shoes at home, and am against it in principle. I also always slip off my shoes when visiting friends etc, even if not asked. I guess it's just me.

In terms off work, it is slightly different in that I go shoeless to be comfortable. My manager is female and does'nt mind me going sholess as long as I am not totally barefoot, i.e I wear socks or stockinged feet.

In fact you may be intetrested to know that I live in a rural area and my boss is married to a farmer. She is effetively the Branch Manager although her actual title is Business Relationships Manager!! In the winter and when the weather is bad, she somtimes wears her wellies to work amd does'nt bother bringing anything to change into and just goes shoeless like me.

Hope this answers your questions, but if you have any more please let me know.

Sue.

Celestial Fundie said...

Sue, thanks.

Please visit and comment again.