Saturday, April 23, 2011

Being Straight With Guests


I would argue that having a 'don't ask but encourage' policy with shoes is not really any more polite than having a shoes-off rule.

Sometimes it is good for people to know where they stand.

It did occur to me that having a 'don't ask' policy might cause resentment and division amongst guests at party.

The people who take their shoes off may feel superior to those who have kept their shoes on. Even worse they may feel resentful of those people who have kept their shoes on.

A bigger problem is the embarrassment caused to guests who have kept their shoes on when they realise that shoes-off is preferred. Discovering that shoes-off is preferred when they have been walking about the house shod for an hour might make them feel rather awkward.


Anonymous said...

Not sure whether this is of interest, but I have just started working in a new office smae company just different loacation).

Anyway, the secretary, who is in her 20's always takes her shoes off and goes all day in her stockinged feet.

Moderate Mouse said...

I just got back from running some errands, one of which included buying new slippers, a 2-pair package set consisting of one black pair and one white pair. (I would've bought them a couple of months earlier when they were slightly cheaper than they are now, but circumstances beyond my control prevented this, but I digress.)

As I generally opt for slippers (or in the warmer months, a pair of flip-flops worn only at home) as a substitute for shoes when I'm in the house, I have found that it helps to have access to more than one pair at a time, so as to have a back-up on laundry day (as my slippers are generally washable and I'll generally wash one pair one week and the other the next) and/or in the event one pair wears out and I'm unable to replace them right away for whatever reason, financial or otherwise.

Celestial Fundy said...

Anonymous, quite a few people seem to do that.

Have you visited this blog before?

Celestial Fundy said...

Nice of you to drop in, MM.

richyrich said...

Anonymous has the secretary said why she does that? Have you or anyone else asked her?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I have only been working in this office since just before Xmas.

When I first asked her about it she just laughed and made some remark about "better shoeless that clueless"!!

However, since then she has said that she does'nt like wearing shoes all day as she finds it uncomfortable, and also that she likes the free feeling of not wearing shoes in the office.

She is always smartly dressed in business clothes and wears different pairs of shoes, so I can only assume that she does'nt like wearing shoes generally, or at least formaal shoes.

I have come across this type of thing before, but not someone who leaves their shoes off all day everyday.

Also, the company is a firm of auctioneers and valuers so clients often visit the office, but she still leaves her shoes off.

Sorry, no I have'nt visited before yesterday.


richyrich said...

Thanks for your reply Robin. I know that I've said this on here more than once before so my apologies to those of you who've already seen it but as Robin is new to this blog I'll say it again.
Many years ago I worked in an office with this secretary (who was in her early 20's at the time)and she would always take her shoes off at work and spend the whole time in her stockinged feet. She would dress smartly and being shoeless didn't make her look any less smart, she actually looked quite elegant just in her stockings. She had nice shoes but as soon as she got in and was at her desk she'd take them off (sometimes before she even took her coat off) and they then wouldn't come back on until it was time to go home. When asked why she never wore shoes in the office she simply said that she didn't like wearing shoes. However unlike Robin's office, clients and members of the public would never visit ours so only her colleagues saw her shoeless feet.

Have any visiting clients ever commented on your secretary's shoelessess as far as you're aware? And have you ever asked the secretary if she takes off her shoes at home as well? Do you yourself believe in shoes off policies in homes as it's promoted by this blog?

Anonymous said...

Why would people who took of their shoes feel good? The people wearing shoes get taller than people not wearing, so if I would wear shoes I would feel superior to those who didn't... :)

I prefer looking good rather than being comfortable at least as a guest ;)

Celestial Fundy said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Sandro said...

Dear Anonymous,
I think the idea of elegance is appropriateness. An elegant raincoat can't look elegant indoors. Neither can shoes at homes since shoes are to protect our feet from outside dirt, but not to bring it with all the bacteria onto clean floor, caets and rugs. At the same time, stockinged feet can look extremely elegant. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a common practice to remove shoes on fancy boat parities.