Saturday, July 30, 2011

cinseven13: Shoes On Or Off?

cinseven13: Shoes On Or Off?

This was a big controversy for a while with my sister's husband's family. His aunt is Japanese, and insisted everyone remove their shoes before entering the house. Family members were insulted by it, but I didn't see the big deal. It was her custom, and her house. She was never rude about it, very polite and soft spoken, but firm about no shoes in the house. And she had one clean house!

I always take mine off. It started years ago, when we lived on a farm for a while. One of the cows, who was a very old gal, was given free range. She liked to wander around near our living room windows and look in at us, so you had to watch to make sure you weren't stepping in anything on your way to the door. Our door was in the back of the house, so there was really no way to avoid walking on the grass. We got in the habit of removing our shoes simply to ensure we weren't tracking any manure into the house. We'd remind friends and family to watch their step and remove their shoes on the enclosed porch. I always had extra slippers waiting on the porch so ladies could put them on instead of having bare feet on the hardwood floors.

21 comments:

Moderate Mouse said...

Today, at the thrift store where I volunteer, this one girl who was fulfilling some of her community service hours with us today had her flip-flops off a couple of times while straigthening the shelves where we normally keep bedding. Then again, part of this task had her sitting on the floor, and I'm assuming it was for comfort. If the manager noticed at all, she didn't seem to mind. (If anything, there was one time a week or so ago when the manager and I were the only ones on duty and she had her sandals off during part of her shift and worked barefoot. Her son has done the same a couple of times if he had come with her and was running the register.) It didn't really bother me, and as far as I knew it didn't bother anyone else that was around either. (Besides, since my main concern is that I do whatever "I" need to do and do it properly, I can't really bring myself to put much weight on what everyone else on duty does.)

Matthew Celestis said...

Why not. I suppose it is more comfortable to sit on the floor with one's flip flops off.

Anar said...

It's true with any kind of shoes

Clare said...

Just thought I'd let you know that having read some of the comments on here I bought some nice slippers for work.

So much nicer and more comfy than shoes especially in this warm weather.

Matthew Celestis said...

Yes, I suppose so, Anar.

Thanks for visting.

Matthew Celestis said...

Clare, it's nice to hear from you.

Anar said...

I also change into slippers at work or even work in my socks. Where are you working, Clare, and what do you think of removing shoes at people's places?

Clare said...

Thanks Matthew,

Hi Anar,

I work for a travel agents in the UK (Thompson's). I have to wear a uniform including patent court shoes which I don't like wearing anytime, but in the warm weather it is worse. I asked my boss whether I could wear navy slippers in the shop insread and she was fine with it.

Yes I remove my shoes at home and when visting others.

Are you male or female and do you always change into slipeprs in the office?

Is it a comfort thing?

Anar said...

I'm a man from Baku, Azerbaijan. I work for a small translation company. It a common thing in my country to remove one's shoes when visiting homes as a sign of respect and for comfort. It's a courtesy as it helps to protect the floor and show the difference between home and outdoors.
Yet office workers normally don't remove their shoes at work, which is mostly considered "unprofessional" though women may change into comfier shoes.
Our company is quite a rare example of the opposite approach. We are six young people (two women and four
men). The floor is carpeted, and it's both comfortable and clean-protecting to take off your shoes. Our boss is happy as well because she can save some money for the cleaning
lady, who now only comes once a week!
We normally just take off our shoes, but put on slipper only when it's too cold for stockinged feet.
We never have business visitors as we get files to translate online, but our friends voluntarily always follow the rule when they drop in. And the auditor last year also was glad to kick off her high heels!

Matthew Celestis said...

Sandro, have you changed your name?

Sandro said...

I'm Sandro's friend currently staying at his place in Tbilisi for my vacation )

Matthew Celestis said...

Brilliant stuff.

Moderate Mouse said...

It is generally a bit more comfortable to sit on the floor with one's shoes off. Last summer, when I was my sister's house looking after my nephew, if I was wearing my blue at-home flip-flops at the time, I'd sometimes slip those off if I was on the floor playing a game with him, and I'm generally more likely to sit on the floor at my sister's house when I'm either playing a game with my nephew or playing fetch with my sister's corgi than when I'm in my own home. And especially since I'm more likely to kneel than sit cross-legged, even my ballet flat slippers are more comfortable for that than actual shoes. Just saying.

Clare said...

Hi Anar,

Thanks for answering - do you all take your shoes off in the office?

Was the auditor from somewhere else and was she asked to remove her shoes or did she just do it?

I am loving the slippers.

It was really rainy here this morning and my shoes got drenched, so it was lovely being able to change into my slippers in the office.

Anar said...

Hi Clare,
Yes, all of us do remove our shoes. We hadn't though before the company owner paid for carpeting to do us some favor. The very first of our colleagues who came to the office afterwards kicked off her shoes as an immediate reaction (it was a rainy day). Others just followed. As told you, it's quite seldom in Baku to see a shoes-off office, while shoes-off at home is a norm. However, when someone is brave enough to brake this shoes-on-at-work mode, others are happy to do the same.
Yes, the auditor was from "somewhere else". We didn't have to ask her for her shoes off: she got the hint from our shoes at the door! Yet she was seemingly happy to remove her boots!

Matthew Celestis said...

I'm pretty sure I have heard about other shoes-off offices in Azerbaijan.

Anar said...

I now only a few, CF

Clare said...

Hi Anar,

Thanks for your reply.

I have decided to carry on with the slipper thing all the time.

It is so nice to get to work and be able to change into my lovely slippers all day.

Clare.

Anar said...

Good of you, Clare

Anonymous said...

My house is a shoes-off house but I insist on wearing shoes at work. It is to protect my feet. Workplaces are hectic, things drop on the floor all the time. Even if it's just a stapler, it can injure your foot if it lands on it at just the right angle. So shoes on at work, AT ALL TIME.

Matthew Celestis said...

Thanks for dropping in.