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AIBU to think that workmen should offer to take their shoes off in your house?

(412 Posts)
Dollslikeyouandme Thu 20-Feb-14 07:03:44

I'm a shoes off in the house person, and always offer to take mine off when visiting. It's not because I'm a weird cream carpet visitor slippers freak. But I have carpet, a ds who likes to play on the floor. And a neighbourhood where the streets seem to be covered in dog shit.

I hate asking people to take off their shoes, so usually don't, and just hope they do anyway.

I've noticed workmen never take off their shoes, and lately I've had to have a few people in and around the house and gave been cringing at their boots standing on my bathmat mainly.

I just think shoes on carpets are gross.

Dollslikeyouandme Thu 20-Feb-14 07:05:56

I have wooden floor in the hallway and kitchen so don't care about shoes on that but aibu to think it's just rude to walk your shoes up somebody's stairs and stand on their bathmat?

NCISaddict Thu 20-Feb-14 07:10:37

Depends what job they're doing. If they're handling anything heavy then boots can be part of their personal protective equipment.

Applefallingfromthetree2 Thu 20-Feb-14 07:10:59

I do think more people should be prepared to ask visitors to remove their shoes. It's quite common in many other countries but for some reason British people seem to find the whole thing embarrassing.

When you think of where the shoes have been why should we put up with dirt be walked all over the house

meebles Thu 20-Feb-14 07:11:59

we are a shoes off household too and social visitors I would get to take their shoes off. Anyone doing any sort of building work needs shoes on though for safety. Maybe shoe covers are a good compromise?

Dollslikeyouandme Thu 20-Feb-14 07:12:37

Good point NCI, in this case several people have been just to 'have a look'. So no special equipment needed!

Eastpoint Thu 20-Feb-14 07:14:53

We've had lots of builders & they have all offered to take their shoes off when they come in if they are measuring or looking at something. Recently we had our kitchen redone & they put hardboard down to protect the hall floor (they used our downstairs loo). We had a special sticky backed thin plastic on all the stair carpet & landings as they also moved our washer & drier to the top bathroom.

echt Thu 20-Feb-14 07:15:14

Come to Australia. All tradies start to take their shoes off at the door, though unless they've been doing plainly mucky work, we urge them to keep them on.

Dollslikeyouandme Thu 20-Feb-14 07:15:21

I think because my house and carpet isn't anything fancy I feel embarrassed and fussy to ask, but then I start to think I bet if I was in a big fancy house they'd offer anyway.

Dollslikeyouandme Thu 20-Feb-14 07:17:01

Well I've got a surveyor coming today, do you think it would be ok to ask him to take off his shoes?

NCISaddict Thu 20-Feb-14 07:17:46

I never take mine off, have only been asked to once. I would be disciplined if I did but then I don't really count myself a workman/woman.

Most people who come to do work in our house offer to take their shoes off but I always say don't bother. The chimney sweep puts down vast quantities of sheets down in a trail from the front door, takes longer than the actual chimney sweeping.

Applefallingfromthetree2 Thu 20-Feb-14 07:17:51

Don't be embarrassed, just ask. I'll do the same

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 20-Feb-14 07:23:05

You could ask, but I think it's a bit revolting. They're there to do a job, too - I'd feel really ill at ease.

Floppityflop Thu 20-Feb-14 07:26:36

It depends. I would prefer them to keep their safety boots on, if necessary, than to have an accident. For example, I would never expect someone to ascend a ladder in stocking feet! If workmen are working in your house and you are bothered by mess you can put dust sheets down. Visitors would take shoes off in other countries but the telephone engineer didn't, for example, when I lived elsewhere. But clean shoes is a must and lots of workmen ask if they should if just coming for a quote.

TheSmallPrint Thu 20-Feb-14 07:28:26

I frequently visit people's houses and my shoes are not builders shoes, I always ask if its 'shoes off' as most people are too embarassed/ shy to ask but usually say yes when you ask.

Dollslikeyouandme Thu 20-Feb-14 07:29:05

I hate to say this, but I wonder whether the contractors are a bit less respectful because I live in a HA property. Because I've had some really rude ones.

One came to replace a radiator and sat in my living room swearing because he struggled to fit the new one, he then had a row with his girlfriend on the phone, three his phone across my living room floor and called her a nob head under his breath.

Another one and I'll never forget this, came to redo some crumbling bricks out the back, he turned up at 10 for his day, then went off to get the bricks, came back at 1, ate his lunch, smoked and drank coffee in my garden until 2, worked on this bricks until 3. Then some other guys turned up, I assumed they'd come to help, no, they all stood in the garden laughing smoking and chatting and all left for the day at 4.

He stretched that job over 3 days.

Slapntickleothewenches Thu 20-Feb-14 07:30:30

DH refuses to take his boots off purely because of dropping things on his feet. He does carry shoe covers though and is diligent about using them (he is well trained grin)

If it makes you feel that bad then you could get some and offer tradesmen the choice of removing shoes or using covers. To refuse to do either is unreasonable.

Dollslikeyouandme Thu 20-Feb-14 07:33:26

I didn't expect the brick layer or radiator guy to remove shoes btw, just giving examples of rudeness.

There have been various people in lately to just look at things.

Morgause Thu 20-Feb-14 07:35:04

I think it's rude to ask people to take their shoes off at all.

Dollslikeyouandme Thu 20-Feb-14 07:37:42

A lot of people seem to think like that morguase, but think about it, outdoor shoes are pretty grim. I just can't understand why anyone would want to walk all that crap around your house.

Bornin1984 Thu 20-Feb-14 07:38:55

Why would your choice of landlord effect somebody taking shoes off??? I wouldn't ask anybody to, they are there to work!!!

Like visitors at the hospital where I work we ask them to put shoes on if they r off for safety and prevent falls.

This is just plain weird

wowfudge Thu 20-Feb-14 07:42:32

I feel like I'm the only person who isn't bothered about shoes in the house having read this! I usually wear slippers around the house myself and I don't wear them outside. We have doormats outside and inside for foot wiping.

If you want people to take their shoes off, just ask them though. When it comes to workmen, if the job is inside I usually put dust sheets down to protect the carpets from the front door onwards (and furniture if needed depending on the job). These are just a collection of old sheets and curtains built up over the years.

I actually don't like it when the first thing visitors is take their shoes off and create a shoe mountain in the hall. No one ever seems to ask where they can put them, they just dump them.

LillyAlien Thu 20-Feb-14 07:43:55

Sorry, YABU. Either ask people to take their shoes off, or put up with them keeping them on.

The fact that you are too self-conscious to ask is not their problem.

BTW, I doubt those workers acted like that because you live in social housing. Sounds like standard behavior for a large subset of British builders.

DinahSoar Thu 20-Feb-14 07:44:30


Unshod feet are not necessarily clean. Most people can actually use a doormat. Your bathmat, however, should be hung up between uses or it'll be harbouring germs anyway.

But this is essentially a class thing and there'll never be a 'right' answer (bit like 'lounge' v 'sitting room', 'toilet' v 'loo', and 'pardon' v 'what' etc).

NCISaddict Thu 20-Feb-14 07:45:55

I'm not bothered about shoes off but then I've always had a dog even when the DC's were small.
Would take my shoes off if asked as a visitor but not at work.

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