“Best of…” 2016-d

From: BP

Date: 4-24-2016

Subject: Library Dress

[In response to a discussion about public library rules that include footwear requirements, B.P. wrote:]


I’ll never get this crap! I WORK as a maintenance man for our local library (have done so for 25+ years) and ALWAYS work barefoot, as long as it’s not winter and snowy. The entire staff calls me “Barefoot Bob” (as does just about everyone else in town) and expects me not to wear shoes.

The also have me do special presentations there during the year and always advertise me as “Barefoot Bob.” I take care of every imaginable problem at the building and save them a ton of money compared to what it would cost to hire a specialty contractor to come for each situation.

A year ago, our director / librarian took a job with a bigger library, where they don’t have an on-site maintenance person. She is frequently communicating back with the staff here, venting frustrations, and saying that she’s give “anything” to have a “barefoot Bob” at her new building.

Incidentally, our library here holds weekly exercise, dance, yoga, and martial arts classes in their large community room. EVERYONE in those classes is barefoot (but they arrive with shoes and leave them at the door!), so if this library had some kind of “shoes required” policy, they’d have to cancel a good number of their special programs.

Ironically, last summer, when the director I mention above was still here, one of the young school-age workers who was hired for summer help at the desk, showed up to work barefoot one day, and was told to wear shoes! Our director (who was the one who actually reprimanded her) told ME this story, kind of laughing(!) She said the young girl asked “What about Bob? He never wears shoes?” To which the director said to her “HE’S BAREFOOT BOB! He’s EARNED the right!!!”

It’s not just the librarian and lower staff, then and now – the entire board of directors knows that I never wear shoes, and kind of expect that from me. They’re supposed to be the “corporate protectors,” right? I go barefoot throughout the building and lawn (even mowing the grass), into the bathrooms, into the unfinished basement, on ladders, etc., and all those places that I’m SURE are just full of germs, parasites, sharp, rusty nails…etc…You get it. (HA!) and if I was wearing shoes, somebody would say to me “Bob, What’s the matter?”

It’s interesting that these places seem to have double standards, or that one facility can be so picky about it. There must be a way to appeal this nonsense about having to wear shoes to the librarian or board, especially is you have some medical and scientific documentation to back it up, such as can be found on our website.

Sincerely, “Barefoot Bob”
(Remember, I EARNED the right…)