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Forum Description: Discuss the joys and travails of going barefoot.
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:50 AM   #1
barefootjaime
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Barefoot to the Post Office
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I actually got grief at the post office today by one of the postal clerks because I came in barefoot to mail packages. I have been to that post office like 1000 times and they never said anything about it. I told her that it was not against the law and that they can't really deny me access to a government service if I am breaking no laws or health codes. She didn't know what to say. Hopefully she will just let me be next time I come in.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:55 AM   #2
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What were her reasons for not letting you in? Sounds mad - from talking to others who have had similar experiences in places it appears that the employees who are themselves subject to dress and heath & safety codes wrongly think that this too applies to the customers. I dont know about the US but here in the UK its usually the customer who enters a business at their own risk.
From what you say I dont think she expected you to assert you rights!
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:16 PM   #3
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Well, I was standing at the counter getting postage applied to boxes by one of the clerks, when the other one got bored and went out into the lobby to fill the postal supplies, that's when she noticed my bare feet (even though I was wearing long pants). She came back around the counter and said "Excuse me, I noticed you don't have any shoes". Then she went on about how the Post Office requires the employees to wear shoes and how they are liable if I step on something. I tried to be polite and told her that it is not against the law to go barefoot and the rules she was talking about were for "employees" due to OSHA regulations, it does not apply to customers. Furthermore I told her that being a government agency, they are not allowed to deny government service to a citizen who is not breaking any laws or health codes.

She didn't know what to say but only reinforced the notion of me stepping on something. Hopefully she has dropped it and will not bother me the next time I come in.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootjaime View Post
I actually got grief at the post office today by one of the postal clerks because I came in barefoot to mail packages. I have been to that post office like 1000 times and they never said anything about it...Then she went on about how the Post Office requires the employees to wear shoes and how they are liable if I step on something. I tried to be polite and told her that it is not against the law to go barefoot and the rules she was talking about were for "employees" due to OSHA regulations, it does not apply to customers. Furthermore I told her that being a government agency, they are not allowed to deny government service to a citizen who is not breaking any laws or health codes.
That's too bad. I've been to a lot of Post Offices and have NEVER had any hassle. In fact, government buildings are great places to go without shoes. What a lot of folks don't get is that OSHA is the "Occupational Safety and Health Act." It was created to protect the safety of company workers back in the days when protective equipment and safety procedures were viewed as extravagant expenses. Employees are often running machinery, moving equipment, lifting, etc. OSHA was put in place to safeguard the folks involved in these activities. As a customer, you're in a business to mail a package, buy groceries, renew your driver's license, whatever. These activities are not dangerous acts, nor are you an employee of the company (i.e., it is not your occupation). As such, OSHA does not apply to the customer. Unfortunately, many don't comprehend that distinction, and if they have to wear steel-toed shoes, they believe everybody has to wear steel-toed shoes. Fortunately, I've had very few negative encounters when I've gone out. Sometimes if I talk to the employee in a civil, calm tone, they'll back down. There are just a few out there who won't budge. Oh well,...
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:35 PM   #5
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Your response was right on the money, barefootjaime. There's absolutely nothing she can do, as you're completely in the right. Who knows, perhaps she'll even come to accept the fact that you're always barefoot and eventually warm to the idea.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:46 PM   #6
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All I will say is.. PUT SOME FUCKING SHOES ON.
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootjaime View Post
She didn't know what to say but only reinforced the notion of me stepping on something. Hopefully she has dropped it and will not bother me the next time I come in.
Be glad she didn't drop it because you might have stepped on it.

(Those pesky antecedents will get you every time.)
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:25 AM   #8
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Well, my only hope is that she doesn't try to pursue it further and make a stink to the Post Master, etc, etc. I just can't believe how she was fixated on the fact that I could hurt myself on the nice tile floors. I was going to ask her "Where are all these bear traps and land mines at that I need to watch out for"? Geeeez.

As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, the post master helped me out in the summer, he called me into his office while he looked up custom printed mailing labels for me. I came into his office barefoot and I was wearing shorts, so it's not like it wasn't obvious. He didn't say a word to me about my lack of shoes.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:41 PM   #9
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Sometimes another point of view helps to deescalate a situation: Maybe she was just interested in you, as she came in front of the counter? Maybe she just wanted to say anything to you, so why not say something about barefooting (and a lot of people think it's dangerous), and how she worries you colud get your nice feet hurt ... Just a thought.

If people talk to me that i shouldn't go barefoot (happens rarely anyway) i found out that it often helps having the attitude that they worry about me honestly. I can tell them i'm used to, look out etc., and so comfort them. Just not looking for confrontation, but trying to take it as an exchange of experience and attitudes. Probably this doen't help in any situation, but is worth a try.

Anyway, of course no post office in the world may refuse to serve barefoot customers. This would be a severe discrimination!
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:25 AM   #10
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Weird... i've never had an issue at the post office and i've been there barefoot countless times. Hopefully this was just a one-time thing!
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