Thursday, September 12, 2013

Not in This House

Today I visited the home of an alcohol-using client with his social worker. This time I certainly did not take my shoes off, and neither did the social worker. The house was absolutely filthy, with dried vomit on much of the floor. Remarkably, the social worker said it was not as bad as she had expected. She must have seen homes in terrible conditions.

The carpet looked like it must have been very nice, if only it had been looked after.

However, most homes are not like that, so you should take your shoes off and expect others to do the same.

121 comments:

Anonymous said...

I visited the Southampton Boat Show yesterday. #

Shoes coevers were provided for wearing on some of the boats, but a lot of the sales girls were in stockinged feet.

Matthew Celestis said...

Thanks for sharing that with us.

Anonymous said...

I had a visit from a double glazing sales lady (by arrangement) and she changed out of her shoes in the porch and wore slippers in the house.

Matthew Celestis said...

Very good. Would you have asked her to do so if she had not?

Anonymous said...

Not sure TBH - I prefer shoes off at home but don't like asking.

Mark said...

My OH was went to a church group meeting last night. When she got home, she told me that the house she went to was "magnificent" It was the sort of place that everyone instantly knew to take off their shoes. It had very plush carpets that had never seen a pair of shoes.Group members had been "encouraged" in advance to bring their slippers to wear. Has anyone else found that if your house is present as a "showhouse"then guests will always take off their shoes. But if your house gives the appearance of being "lived in" that visitors can be less inclined to instantly take off their shoes?
I also wondered what other people did on hard floors. In the Uk most homes still seem to be carpeted. On polished floors going around in socks can be very dangerous. Going bare foot or wearing slippers would seem to be the safest option, but not everyone has slippers to wear and it could be seen as being very rude to simply take off your socks when arriving. So what do the rest of you do in this situation? Especially if you are not comfortable walking in socks in slippery floors.

Sandro said...

Dear Mark,
I can hardly imagine a floor polished so much that it can be dangerous to be walked on with stockinged feet.

Matthew Celestis said...

My parents have a wood floor on the ground floor and it's not that slippery in socks.

People often exagerrate safety risks like that. For the elderly it might be a risk.

Mark said...

I am very tall and I find wooden floors to be very uncomfortable and extremely cold during an English Winter. I particularly find the fake wooden floors(laminate) to be quite hazardous. For me, carpet is the most comfortable flooring, although I do concede that I is a pain to keep clean in a wet climate here in Britain.

Matthew Celestis said...

Carpet comes in for a lot of criticism, but it does have a lot of advantages. It is safer for older people or children who at risk of accidents, it absorbs noise and it filters the air.

Sandro said...

It also feels so comfy under shoeless feet.

Matthew Celestis said...

What sort of floors are most common in Georgia? Linoleum?

Sandro said...

Parquet.

Mark said...

I have started visiting an elderly client in his own home. I don't often do home visits. I wear loafers that slide off easily when visiting clients in their own homes.
This particular client lives in a very nice house and he clearly prefers shoes to be removed. Even so, he is clearly reluctant to ask me to take off my shoes. When I arrive we shake hands and I slide my shoes off. The house is has plush wall to wall carpets.
I know that many professionals who do home visits that refuse to remove their shoes citing health and safety grounds. It is so easy to carry a pair of house shoes in your briefcase. I suspect these people take their shoes off in their own homes, so what is the problem when doing a home visit?

Anonymous said...

In my local libary a sign has been put up at the entrance saying "Please leave muddy boots here. Thank You".

Sandro said...

Where is it please, Anonymous?

Matthew Celestis said...

Very good

Mark said...

Two of our local pubs ask people to remove their shoes/boots if they are muddy. The post office in Wirksworth also asks people to remove muddy boots.
There are numerous example here in the Derbyshire Dales/Peak district where there are signs asking peopleto take their dirty footwear off.

Sandro said...

Paradoxically, you can never be asked this in public places around the Caucasus though shoes off is more or less a norm at homes.

Mark said...

Check out the Channel four program Four in a bed. Monday 13th October program was most interesting.

Anonymous said...

The library is in Wales in the UK.

I use it quite a lot for internet access.

On one occasion the was a storytelling meeting for children. All the children were sat on the floor and the libarian was sitting on a table to read to the them. She was sitting at the table and resting her feet on a chair and was just in stockinged feet with her shoes on the flor.

Matthew Celestis said...

Mark, what was interesting about the program?

Sandro said...

Anonymous, thanks for clarification.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - why were her shoes off?

Anonymous said...

Mark - what do people wear then if they remove their muddy boots?

Mark said...

The C4 program is about a hotel where guests are asked to remove their shoes. It is interesting.
When people visit they tend to wear slippers,as we do.It's getting very cold and wet here again so its uncomfortable to go without slippers in the house.

Matthew Celestis said...

Was it a bed and breakfast or a proper hotel?

Mark said...

B+B. You catch watch the program on the C4 player

Anonymous said...

I assume the lady in the libary took her shoes off the soles were'nt on the chair - if that makes sense?

Sandro said...

C4 online isn't supported in my country :(

Mat said...

I love hill walking, even in poor weather. I'll often visit churches along the way. It goes without saying that my walking boots are left in the porch even if there's no carpet in the church.

Matthew Celestis said...

Good for you

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - so she took off her shoes so that they don't mess up the chair? Wasn't it nice of her to do that (and a good example to the children she was reading to)? What was she wearing and did she look presentable in her stockinged feet?

md928 said...

Fortunately it is casual Friday and am barefoot in the office. I wholeheartedly agree with contents of this blog. Over time I have migrated toward being barefoot or wearing open-toed shoes when possible (unfortunately precluded at work unless it's Friday and my door is closed). Although it is harder as a guy since we are limited when and wear we can expose our toes. First I find it far more comfortable especially now that I wear orthodics and find myself putting on Sanuk flip flops for the drive home. second, it helps reduce stress and cools me down. Third it provides sensory pleasure and helps with gait/developing muscles. Finally in the house I do it all time for the reasons above and it keeps it cleaner. When we buy a house I want people to go shoeless and will have a sign "no shoes, no problem". I have many friends from foreign countries (I live in the US and it is less common) and always feel comfortable barefoot in their house. Keep spreading the word.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - do you think that the librarian could make this situation a learning experience for the children (explaining to them why she took her shoes off)?

Anonymous said...

Possible - I think someone asked if she looked presentable and yes she did. She was in a top and skirt and stockinged feet. Have'nt seen her do it since though.

Anonymous said...

What colours was she wearing and what was her age? What I was referring to was that she could have made this an educational experience by reminding the children why she took her shoes off before putting her feet on the chair. Do you agree?

Mark said...

I think that if kids are taught from an early age to always take off their shoes at the door, both at home and when visiting, that it stays with them for the rest of their lives.

Anonymous said...

Mark, I agree, but the lady in the library was in a public place and she took off her shoes before resting her feet on a chair - what she could have done was reminding the children why she had to take her shoes off in this situation.

Mark said...

Did the kids have their shoes off? This would re-enforce the meassage about removing shoes.

Anonymous said...

Mark, I don't know (hopefully the poster from Wales comes back here and clarifies), but I assume the children had their shoes on but the librarian lady had hers off because she rested her feet on a soft chair. My point was that she could have reminded the children why she had to take her shoes off. Do you agree?

Mark said...

I do indeed agree. My local church runs a playgroup for under fives and it has a shoes off rule for both staff and kids. This is good as it teaches kids about taking off shoes. It is good that staff do it as well. I don't like visiting homes where kids have to remove their shoes whilst adults keep them on. This sends out the wrong message to kids.

Anonymous said...

Mark - this is smart, where does the play group meet and what do the staff typically wear? I agree that it is a good message to the kids.

For the librarian lady, how do you think it would be best to word her message why her shoes were off so that the kids understood?

Mark said...

In the church photo of the playgroup the staff are all bare foot. It's very cold here now so they change into soft ballet style slippers and they kids wear slippers for safety reasons.If parents need to walk on the play mats then shoes obviously come off.Most people here, take off their shoes so its not a big deal for people.
I think the librarian could have told the kids that it's rude to put your feet wearing shoes on the furniture. Also she should have told them to always take off their shoes when they get home and when visiting as this is respectful and comfortable.

Anonymous said...

Mark - I agree. Do you think the librarian lady showed the kids a good example by putting her feet on a chair?

Mark said...

I think this lady showed a bad example to the kids by putting her feet on the seats.

Anonymous said...

Even though she took her shoes off?

Josh said...

Hi sorry hadn't seen the posts.

I posted about the lady in the library. The children all had their shoes on.

I think someone asked her age - I would guess early 30's.

I can't remember what she was wearing the first time, but have seen her do it again since when she was in a stripped jumper, skirt and opaques tights with her shoes on the floor again.

I don't thin it set a bad example and assume she took her shoes off so they didn't dirty the chair on which she was resting her feet.

I have also overheard her talking to a colleague and she said she carries slippers with her and changes into them when vistitng friends and so on.

Anonymous said...

Josh, thank you for the info - looks like she made it a habit to make herself comfortable and rest her feet (having respectfully taken her shoes off) on the chair. What colours did she wear? And, do you agree it would be a good educational experience for the kids if she explained to them why she had to take her shoes off?

Mark said...

Well, I suppose that it sets a bad example to children. It is rude when visiting people to put your feet on seats

Josh said...

She was in a white jumper with black horizontal stripes, black skirt and black tights. I don't see it being an issue, but assume she didn't want to put her shoes on the chair.

I know it sounds bad, but think she sat on the table as the kids were sitting on the floor and just rested her feet on the chair. her shoes had ankle straps so she quite deliberately took them off.

Anonymous said...

Mark, got your point... it was in a library, though, not in someone's house, so putting her feet on the chair to be more comfortable was probably ok, as long as she didn't make the chair dirty.

Anonymous said...

Josh - sounds like she was well-dressed and well-mannered - did her black tights look well with her shoes off and do you think she should have told the children why she deliberately took her shoes off? She took her shoes off at least twice, right?

Josh said...

Actually 3 times twice doing the reading sessions, and also once just with her shoes off behind the counter. Sorry I don't know whether she told the children.

Anonymous said...

So was she always wearing opaque tights, looking sophisticated and presentable and well-mannered? I still think it would be a nice learning experience if she told the kids why her shoes were off.

Josh said...

Yes she looked fine both ways. Yes I agree it would be good if she told the kids.

Anonymous said...

So were her tights always opaque? Probably wouldn't be as classy if she were barefoot.

Josh said...

Yes everytime I've seen her she has been in opaque tights.

I agree it wouldn't look good barefoot, but in tights I think it looks fine.

It might even be a bit smarter than her shoes as they look a bit worn.

Anonymous said...

Josh - looks like by taking her shoes off, she looked not just well-mannered and neat and clean, but also classy. Her tights-clad feet were on the soft chair, right? Or was it hardwood? Were her shoes high-heeled?

josh said...

Hi - yes it was a soft chair.

Her shoes (she seems to wear the same ones all the time) are medium heeled with 2 buckles on each shoe.

I have been using the library quite a lot as I am in the middle of doing my dissertation. I overheard her speaking to her colleague and heard her saying that as well as working in the library, several nights a week she works in a pub in the evenings and goes there straight from work.

Anonymous said...

Looks like it took her some effort to take off her shoes, but apparently she really wanted to since her shoes, worn outside, were definitely not as clean as her tights, and besides, she would have damaged the soft chair by her heels. Do you agree? Was she always in black tights? What color was the seat on which her stockinged feet were testing? Also, I wonder how she managed to get seated on the table - do you think the first thing she did was taking her shoes off and getting up on the chair, and then sitting on the table with her feet resting on the chair? I understand her shoes were laying by the chair, right?

Josh said...

Yes I have only seen in black opaque tights.

Sorry don't know how she took them off.

Maybe she just finds it more comfy as well.

Anonymous said...

Josh - I think even if she just did it for comfort she should still let the children know that she should take her shoes off before putting her feet on the chair. Kind of like, "I will get myself comfortable and rest my feet on a chair - let me take my shoes off first so that I don't make the chair dirty. No shoes on the furniture!"

Kind of interesting how this lady takes her shoes off at work and still looks presentable. Have you talked with her?

Josh said...

Not about this. I wondered about asking her about it though- do you think I should?

I also wondered if working in a pub had something to do with it. maybe she is tired or something?

Anonymous said...

Yes, you should ask her about it. What is her name, by the way?

Not sure whether working for a pub has to do with it, but it is probably much comfier to be in her stockinged feet when she sits on the table with her feet on the chair. Do you think it might also be the library rule of no shoes on the furniture?

Black tights look very classy with her outfit. Have you noticed whether her nails are painted?

josh said...

Her name is Katie. Sorry have'nt seen whether her nails are painted.

I just thought that it might be uncomfortable working all day then working in a pub in the evening?

Anonymous said...

I am sure it is uncomfortable working two jobs. When are her reading sessions - in the morning, I assume? And, looks like she doesn't feel self-conscious being in her stockinged feet in a public place, does she? I suggest you talk to her about this.

Josh said...

Yes in the morning once a week.

No she seems v relaxed about being in her stockinged feet.

Anonymous said...

So next time you see her being on her stockinged feet, will you ask her why her shoes are off? Where does she keep her shoes during the reading sessions?

Josh said...

This morning I am working at the libary, but have borrowed a friend's laptop. This means that rather than the normal libary I am in the wi-fi area which is upstairs.

Anyway, I saw the lady again (her office is up here as well) and she was in her stockinged feet. We got chatting and she started asking about my dissertation. Anyway while she was doing this she sat on the table next to the one I was working at. Anyway, I
asked her where her shoes were and she just said she did'nt like wearing them!!

richyrich said...

Whereabouts in Wales is this library?

Josh said...

It's in West Wales.

I don't want to say exactly where as I would hate for her to get in trouble.

From chatting to her she clearly prefers going in her stockinged feet and does'nt like wearing her shoes, and i would hate anyone to complain.

richyrich said...

I can't see why she would get into trouble as long as she does her job well. Over the years I've come across a number of people working with their shoes off and no one ever complained about them as far as I know.

Josh said...

Hope you don't mind me asking but where have you seen it?

I think she looks fine shoeless esp as her shoes look worn / old

richyrich said...

Over the years I've seen a number of instances but several years ago I used to work for a company (also in Wales but in the North East) There was this young lady who worked there as a secretary and one of the first things she did after arriving at work almost every day was take off her shoes (sometimes before she'd even taken off her coat) and would then spend the rest of the day in her stockinged feet, leaving her shoes under her desk. She would remain shoeless even as she would go round the office to see other people. I don't think anyone ever complained about it and when people would ask her why she was shoeless she would simply say that she didn't like wearing shoes. After a while we all just accepted it and no one thought much about it.

Anonymous said...

Josh - got it - so when she reads to the children she takes her shoes off just to be more comfy, right, rather than to keep the chair clean? Anyway, it looks like it accomplishes both goals. Where did she keep her shoes when the two of you were talking? What was her outfit like - I assume she was wearing tights, right?

Richyrich - what did your colleague normally wear to the office? Was she walking around in her tights, or just barefoot? Did her outfit look completed?

richyrich said...

Anonymous, my colleague would always dress very smartly, usually a blouse and a skirt, along with a jacket in winter. Sometimes she would wear smart trousers. She would usually have sheer light coloured tights (sometimes black ones) and would go about her work in her stockinged feet. Her shoes were usually high heeled ankle strap ones (she seemed quite keen on t-bar ones) As soon as she'd arrive at the office in the morning (or come back there after her lunch break) she would sit in her chair (but sometimes bend over or lift her leg one at the time), undo the shoe straps and then slip off her shoes and she was then done with them (ie her shoes) until it was time to leave.

Anonymous said...

Richyrich - thank you for elaborating - did her tights look good and were her feet properly pedicured? I probably would pay her a compliment when she were there shoeless - apparently she did not feel self-conscious in her stocking feet? What was her name and age group?

Josh said...

I am guessing she takes her shoes off partly to be comfy but also to avoid damaging the chair.

Today she was in a pink sweater, black skirt and back opaque tights.

Her she were in the corner next to her desk, together with her jacket, and scarf.

Richyrich - thanks for sharing about your ex-colleague. Did she wear the same shoes all the time or different ones? Also, did she ever wear boots in the winter or change into other shoes or slippers?

Anonymous said...

Josh - when you were talking to her were her feet on the floor or on the chair? Did her tights-clad feet look good? I like her color coordination.

I think I would allow women to work shoeless as long as they had presentable socks or tights on.

In the cold season, I've seen some women bring blankets to cover themselves with if they are working next to a window - in this case, they take their shoes off, I wonder why.

richyrich said...

She looked perfectly smart and professional in her stockinged feet and her feet seemed well pedicured. She did have a range of shoes but as I said she was fond of ankle strap and t-bar ones. Her shoes were always smart (not that we saw that much of them expect when she arrived at work and left for the day!) I never saw her wear boots. Her name was Sarah and she was in her early 20's at the time.

richyrich said...

Also I never saw her change into slippers or other shoes, she was nearly always stockinged footed in the office.

Josh said...

Wow - did clients or people ever visit the office and if so did she put her shoes back on?

The shoes you describe sound a bit fiddly to put on - like this lady with 2 buckles on each shoe - though it doesn't appear to bother her at all.

Annon - no her feet weren't on the chair. She perched herself on the table and her feet were just in the air. I still don't really know why she takes her shoes off though.

Anonymous said...

Josh - you might want to ask her why she takes her shoes off - do you think this question would be weird? You can also observe how smart she looks in her stocking feet.

Richyrich - did she work with her feet on the floor or did she put them up on a chair? You said she would come to the meetings in her stocking feet, right? Has anyone complimented her?

Yesterday I saw my female colleague, in her mid-30s, bring a white blanket, as she sits next to the window. She came in her boots but changed into heels; when she covered herself with her blanket she took her heels off. So at the entrance to her office you could see her boots and her heels.

Josh said...

I did mention it and she just said she didn't like wearing them.

Are you in the UK. Did your colleague need heels, she might have been more comfy shoeless?

richyrich said...

People from outside the company didn't normally visit the office but I think Sarah would have stayed shoeless even if they had! Her feet would usually be on the floor when she worked. Yes she was in stockinged feet the whole time when she was in the office. I don't know whether or not anyone complimented her on her feet. I never heard anyone do so but that's not to say that it never happened when I wasn't around.

Josh said...

Did she ever go barefoot in the warm weather or change into comfy shoes or slippers in the winter?

I heard this lady in the library say she carries slippers with her, but haven't seen her in them at all.

Anonymous said...

Josh - did you ask her why her shoes were off on the chair though?

And, how opaque were her tights?

As for my colleague - a small company on the east coast USA here, no dress code. She likes dressing up though and often wears heels -she took those off when covered by her blanket, I wonder why.

Anonymous said...

Josh - I think that stocking feet look classier than slippers, and are more appropriate when her feet are on a chair.

Rich - if I worked with Sarah I would definitely compliment her on her stocking feet, and maybe offer a blanket. I would also encourage other employees to take their shoes off.

Josh said...

Rich - do you still work with Sarah.

Anon - yes you're probably right.

I atually think she looks smarter in her stockinged feet rather than shoes.

Anonymous said...

Josh - I wonder what makes her look smarter in her stockinged feet rather than shoes? Is it because her tights look like new whereas her shoes do not?

richyrich said...

No Josh I left the company years ago and shortly after I left it was bought out and moved location. I don't know what Sarah is up to now I'm afraid

Anonymous said...

I wonder whether everyone was ok with Sarah not wearing shoes, and also how she started on it.

Also, were her nails always painted?

Josh said...

Annon - yes her shoes are quite worn looking.

Rich _ I would be interested in how your colleague started it. Did she ask if it was ok or just start going shoeless?

richyrich said...

Sarah's nails were painted if I remember. As she started at the company shortly before I did I wouldn't know how she started her habit but she seemed established with doing it by then. It was just something everyone accepted. I did hear a few people just asking her why she was shoeless and she just said that she didn't like wearing shoes and it was just left at that.

Anonymous said...

Josh - I see - do her tights look new and clean though?

Anonymous said...

Richyrich - sounds like she was very comfortable - did she have her own office? Did her tights always look new and clean and show off her painted nails? Was she British, by the way?

richyrich said...

Sarah shared an office with 2 others. Her tights always looked nice and clean and she was British.

Anonymous said...

Did Sarah's office mates keep their shoes on though? Probably the office wasn't so clean if they were.

richyrich said...

I remember a few other young women at the office removing their shoes a few times but none as regularly as Sarah did. The office was pretty clean on the whole however there was a basement at the office that was used for storage and Sarah used to go there sometimes to fetch stuff and she would sometimes spend a bit of time in there sorting things out. Needless to say she would go there in her stockinged feet and when she came back the soles of her tights would then be a bit dirty!

Anonymous said...

What did the other women wear when they removed their shoes? Was it more common to go shoeless in the bad weather?

richyrich said...

Actually it was in hot weather in the summer that the other women went shoeless so it was probably because their feet were hot rather than to keep the office clean. They went stocking footed too but one was barefoot as she had no tights with it being summer.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone take their shoes off in the winter to keep the office clean?

richyrich said...

There was some heavy snow once and a few of us including myself did take off our shoes as they were mushy. I went about in my socks and one of my female colleagues said that she liked them (ie my socks!)

Anonymous said...

This is a nice compliment. Was she in her shoes?

richyrich said...

Yes she was.

Anonymous said...

What did other women wear that day? Were some of them walking around shoeless?

Matthew Celestis said...

In my experience it is more common than not for women working in offices to remove their shoes at least some of the time. Some do more than others, but women who never remove their shoes in the office are the minority.

Anonymous said...

Matthew - actually this is contrary to my observations - I've only seen women shoeless in the office a few times, usually it was because they had to stand on chairs and other furniture or (less often) because they were tired of their heels. I mentioned earlier in one of my comments that one of my colleagues brings a blanket from home and covers herself with the blanket while working - in this case, her shoes are off, although I am not sure why.

Josh said...

I was in the liabary this morning and overheard the librarian chatting to someone while I was working.

I was quite shocked by this and don't know the full circumstances but evidently she has split up with her partner / husband and in her words "lost everything". I also learned that this was why she works in a pub to earn extra money to pay her rent. She's a lovely lady and I just felt so sorry hearing what she had been through.

Anonymous said...

Josh - this is really sad - hope things turn out better for Katie. It is a shame she is so broke that she has to work two jobs and cannot even afford new shoes.

Josh said...

Yes I wondered if that was why she wears the same shoes all he time.

BTW she had them off again this AM

richyrich said...

So sorry to hear that Katie is going through a tough time. Let's hope things pick up for her very soon. Do you know whether or not she has children?

Anonymous said...

Josh - what was she wearing today and where did she have her shoes off (on the chair or on the floor)? Is her grooming ok despite her hard circumstances?

Josh said...

Sorry Rich I don't know if she has children.

Yes her grooming is ok, but I only realised today that she wears a summer style jacket, and I mentioned the state of her shoes before - worn.

I want to chat to her but am a bit nervous.

richyrich said...

If she can only afford one pair of shoes, do you think it possible that she might be taking them off so as to save wear and tear on them to make them last as long as possible? Also maybe she's a bit embarrassed at the poor state of her shoes and thinks that stockinged feet look more presentable.
In any case it's a real shame that she's down on her luck at the moment, especially as you say she's such a nice lady. If her life is tough and she is lonely, she might appreciate it if you and other people did talk to her a bit and show an interest in her and her life. She might well open up more to you after a while, as long as you handled her with sensitivity and kindness, which I'm sure you would

Josh said...

Richy - thanks for the advice.

You may be right. Certainly I know that she doesn't have a car so walks everywhere.

Anonymous said...

I agree with RichyRich. She might be embarrassed about her only shoes to be so worn and think she is more presentable in her stockinged feet (tights are way cheaper than shoes, I am sure.) What colors did she wear today?

Anonymous said...

Also - if she walks everywhere that means she is tired of wearing them and also they are not very clean - so probably this is one of the reasons she is shoeless whenever her feet are on the chair.

Anonymous said...

I personally wouldn't dream of spoiling a persons carpet with my bacteria ridden shoes. I would make do with just my socks or even resort to my contingency plan (spare pair of Crocs in the boot of my Metro)

Matthew Celestis said...

That's good to hear.