Friday, January 30, 2009


A colleague is about to install a light-coloured carpet. I suggested she should insist on shoes being removed in the house. She said she already did this.

Good for her.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Going Barefoot in the office

I started my new job as a drug and alcohol worker last week. It is going okay, but there is still a lot of training to do and it is a bit of a drive to where I am currently working in Hemel Hempstead.

A colleague yesterday had removed her shoes and was going barefoot in the office. I have not done that myself since starting, though I did in my last workplace. It might be considered unprofessional, so I wait for somebody else to do it first. I have been wearing flip flops, anyway, so my feet are comfortable enough.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Phillip Howard again

Removing shoes came up again on Phillip Howard's etiquette column:

Q. Visiting friends of my son’s, whom I’d not met before, in hot weather and wearing no socks or tights, I was dismayed to be asked to remove my shoes. My feet get me about more than adequately, but they are hideous: gnarled, humpy and bumpy, and nobody gets to see them; I choose sandals carefully to cover them. Acquiescing politely, I spent the visit uncomfortably, with my legs curled “cutely” under me in an armchair, aware of the perfect feet of the rest. Approaching 70 at the time, what should I have done? Other than moan at my son afterwards?

A. You handled a slippery situation with dignity and decorum. It was impertinent of your hosts to insist on you taking your shoes off without at least providing slippers. Do not be ashamed of your feet. All feet are absurd appendages if you examine them with a cold eye. I should not have moaned to my son afterwards. That was making a mountain out of a toe-hill.

What jumps out at me here is that this is a person in their late sixties. I would probably not ask a person in their sixties to remove their shoes.

I will be boring and mention again that hosts should try to let guests know in advance about removing shoes. However, in my opinion, it is not the end of the world if you forget or they turn up unexpected. In most cases, people will not be bothered.

I do object to Phillip Howard's comment:

Do not be ashamed of your feet. All feet are absurd appendages if you examine them with a cold eye.

Feet are not absurd! What are they supposed to look like? Pig's trotters?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Sorry about my absence

Sorry I have been absent, but I still have not got any internet fixed up in my apartment.