Those who know me know I’m a full-time barefooter. I haven’t worn shoes in 20 years.
When I got my current job 8 months ago, I was told I had to wear antistatic sandals within the facilities, because we’re an company that makes static-sensitive electronic products. I promised I would to get the job, but of course I ain’t doing it - like I do every time I get a new job in a new company.
My boss “tolerates” me barefoot in the office because my main argument, which is that I’m more electrically grounded when I’m barefoot than when I wear antistatic shoes, is technically correct. Still, he regularly bugs me because wearing antistatic shoes is mandatory, for the simple reason that there’s no provision in the standard for barefoot employees.
Today, the ISO-9001 auditor came around for the yearly assessment of the company. I completely forgot about that, and I ran into him and my boss as I was going to the lab. My boss made a disapproving face, and I made a “oh shit!” face when I realized who it was. I tried to turn around and make myself scarce as discreetly as possible, but… too late. The guy hailed me and asked me:
“Hey, you’re barefoot!”
“Er… yeah” I said “Sorry, I shouldn’t be, I know…”
“Well, you’re not supposed to, that’s for damn sure. But if anybody isn’t going to zap static-sensitve components, it’s you eh?” with a huge grin on his face.
" Er… right" - starting to get really embarrassed in front of my boss now. “Look I’m sorry, I know I should wear sandals. I’ll wear them from now on. Promise!”
“Oh, screw that.” he said. “Stay exactly as you are, it’s safe for the products and that’s all I care about.”
Wow, an intelligent ISO auditor… That’s something I haven’t seen in years! Usually they’re sticklers for the rules as they’re written exactly. But this one actually used common sense. Best side effect: my boss has nothing against me no more - not that he was very pushy about it to begin with, mind you