A Few Thoughts about Shoes

“A shoe that is too large is apt to trip one, and when too small, to pinch the feet. So it is with those whose fortune does not suit them.”
Horace

“A vigorous temper is not altogether an evil. Men who are easy as an old shoe are generally of little worth.”
Charles Spurgeon

“A work-room should be like an old shoe; no matter how shabby, it’s better than a new one.”
Willa Cather

“Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out – it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.”
Robert Service

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I am writing, for the first time in 15 years, an article about shoes. Big shoes, little shoes, wide shoes, narrow shoes, Payless Shoes, Christian Louboutin shoes, and my favorites, good old Bostonians. I do not get rid of a pair of shoes until long after I’ve worn holes through the soles. That’s when they are broken-in and comfortable! If I really like a pair of shoes, I will pay to have the soles replaced but, usually, I throw them out and start the sometimes painful break-in process anew.
When the staff arrived for school this fall, I explained the significant increase in work related accidents that took place last year and the consequences we will experience for the next several years. Staff members were hurt, missed ministry opportunities at school, and there was a significant increase in Workers Compensation insurance premiums mostly as a result of slip and fall accidents. We emphasized our safety training and made sure each employee received training specifically appropriate for their job at the school. We invited inspectors from our insurance company to visit our school sites and watch us as we went about our daily ministries. The inspectors produced a written report with a number of safety recommendations to reduce the possibility of accidents. The inspectors were impressed with what our staff, Safety Committee, and administrators have done to reduce accidents this year. The Safety Committee and administrative staff reviewed the report line-by-line so that we could implement their suggestions. We all want to work in a safe environment and most changes are minor. Then we had the discussion about shoes!
Gentlemen, once again, we have things fairly easy in terms of dress code. Ladies, it’s a little more complicated. This is usually the downside of having more choices. Let me summarize by saying we’re following the recommendations of our Workers Compensation insurance carrier by updating the shoe dress code mid-year. The updated shoe dress code will be effective on the first day of the second semester, Monday, January 30, 2012. The big change for ladies is that their shoes must have a factory strap or closed back and that narrow high heels must be avoided on snowy, icy, and rainy days. The overriding principle is that all of our work shoes need to be appropriate for the weather and for walking conditions inside and outside. Please see the updated dress code below for requirements organized by area of ministry.