Tag Archives: shoes

ADA for Sneakers?!

15 Sep

Dress codes are stupid.  Especially when the job is not customer-facing in any way.  Like, who cares what people wear as long as it’s not showing body parts that are unacceptable for work?!  But Companies still persist in trying to micromanage employees.  Also, dress shoes legit hurt my feet and slow me down.  So I wrote a letter to leadership at my corporation.  It was persuasion to just go ahead and change the dress code because it’s unnecessary:

My purpose is to respectfully persuade you that daily sneakers should be allowed in the dress code.
We are not client facing so sneakers won’t be an issue.  Our professionalism, productivity, and quality will be the same if we can wear sneakers.  If anything my shoes have been the conversation point that brings joy to both me and the people I work with.
Sneakers offer support and comfort.  Which is important to me.  I have genetic bunions that press shoes and become sore and sharp ankle bones sure to tear blisters.  Also, participating in competitive dance For 11 years of my childhood has impacted my feet making them Crack and pop and leaving my arches tender.  Cheerlesding with its explosive jumps (and the resulting high impact landing) and the twisting stunts over 5 feet above the ground left lifelong ankle problems.  And 4 years of pole vaulting and struggling to complete my turn resulting in landing my full body weight from heights above 7 feet have left my ankles stiff and sore In adulthood.  Sneakers provide that supports and comfort to feet and ankles that have known better days.
I seldom speak at work because of anxiety and introversion, but I do express myself through my outfits which I plan a month ahead.  And shoes are perhaps the most important part of the outfit- matching and tieing the look together.  I honor holidays, events, and themes using my attire and thats what makes me who I am.  95% of my shoes are sneakers for the afore- mentioned comfort.  I just bought a slew of pants to meet dress code now I’m reluctant to buy all new shoes when I already have ——— pairs of perfectly good fashion sneakers.
I implore you to please take this earnest letter into consideration and change the dress code to allow for daily sneakers.  They mean a lot to me.
I don’t know why, but I expected a human response to this sincere letter.  I should have known better.  I got the “corporate treatment” instead.  You know, where they copy and paste the rule they wrote and email it to you (again) informing you of the rule.  Which I already knew, and that’s why I was writing?!  Like, change the rule, b/c we don’t need it-is what I was asking…  Alas, I was just given this rule and told if I had a problem I’d need to register a disability.  Which seems very, very heavy-handed.  But I went through the paperwork and the motions and the doctor’s appointment, not expecting much.  And to my surprise, I was granted disability status.  But should it have gone that far?  I don’t think so, just let us wear shoes, ffs.  Below is some of the things I had to put in my fancy government papers:

 

musculoskeletal:

bunions

plantar fascietis

weak ankles

 

Problems:

alignment (especially compensating for unsupportive footwear)

balance

concentration

decreased stamina

fatigue in feet and ankles

muscle weakness

reduced motion in the ankles

sitting (exacerbates pain and stiffness later)

standing

stiffness in feet and ankles (exacerbated after sitting).

walking

 

Prevent worsening of conditions and reduce further problems by wearing more supportive footwear.

 

Need a wide toe-bed.

need support for plantar fasciitis.

need more support for weak ankles.

 

Oh the joys of Corporate America!

Foot in Mouth

17 Feb

My company recently changed the dress code to make it more casual.  Yay!  We can wear jeans every day instead of twice a week.  Hoodies are in play once a week.  Everyone was happy.  Except, they said sneakers can only be worn on Friday (I have been wearing them every day) which seems like a step backwards.  I have been devastated about it and at a loss what to do:  Take my chances, hope I continue to be invisible, and wear sneakers until I get in trouble to the level of losing my job?  Buy bunches of new colored shoes that fit in dress code so I can still wear cute matching outfits?  Try to get a doctor’s note?  I wasn’t sleeping, I have been upset.  So even though I’ve been reluctant to speak out on anything or make any type of waves–this is important to me so I had to try something.  I couldn’t sleep at 3AM and I wrote the points I wanted to turn into a letter into my phone.  And apparently, the result was a triple stuffed oreo of an opinion paper and pretty good.  So I kept it, and despite many nerves and doubts I sent it out to the people I thought 1) May have written the dress code and/or 2) Might listen and do something about it.  My supervisor’s boss, her boss, and the VP of the company who said something to the effect of, ‘if we can be flexible and accommodate why not do it?’  And I thought that attitude was perfect for this situation.

Hello,

My purpose is to respectfully persuade you that daily sneakers should in fact be allowed in the dress code.

We are not client facing so sneakers won’t be an issue.  Our professionalism, productivity, and quality will be the same if we can wear sneakers.  If anything my shoes have been the conversation point that brings joy to both me and the people I work with.

Sneakers offer support and comfort.  Which is important to me. I have genetic bunions which press shoes and become sore.  My sharp ankle bones are sure to tear blisters. Also, participating in competitive dance for 11 years of my childhood has impacted my feet making them crack and pop and leaving my arches tender.  Cheerleading with its explosive jumps (and the resulting high impact landings) and the twisting stunts over 5 feet above the ground (sometimes hitting it at high speeds on the dismount) left lifelong ankle problems.  Four years of pole vaulting and struggling to complete my turn resulting in landing my full body weight from heights above 7 feet have left my ankles stiff and sore in adulthood. Eight years of track and running a daily mile has contributed to plantar fasciitis.  Sneakers provide that extra support and comfort to feet and ankles that have known better days. In addition, I try to stand while I work, because sitting is a killer, and it’s much more sustainable to do that in supportive footwear like sneakers.

I seldom speak at work because of anxiety and introversion, but I do express myself through my outfits which I plan a month ahead.  Shoes are perhaps the most important part of the outfit- matching and tying the look together. I honor holidays, events, and themes using my attire and that’s what makes me who I am.  95% of my shoes are sneakers for the aforementioned comfort. I just purchased a slew of slacks to meet dress-code so I’m reluctant to buy all new shoes when I already have 36 pairs of perfectly good fashion-sneakers.

I implore you to please take this earnest letter into consideration and change the dress code to allow for daily sneakers.  They mean a lot to me. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

 

And I guess I should have anticipated my supervisor’s boss to call me into her office for a chat about it.  Which was awkward because I had worn sneakers that day (against dress code).  She skipped right to me putting in an ADA request and indicated I should come to her (or my supervisor) with issues a.k.a.  don’t go above her head again.  I knew she was putting me off, and I don’t like that and it wasn’t the result I was going for.  But I didn’t have the diplomacy to push back without making an enemy of her (anymore than I already had).  So I was basically given the (my words) ‘rules are rules shut up and make our lives easy’ corporate line.  And I didn’t like it.