Barefoot Baker

Somewhere along the line, it’s been decreed that cafe staff must wear shoes… apparently. When and by whom this was supposedly established is something I’m not clear on. To my knowledge, people can wear whatever they darned well please on their feet, short of strapping on a pair of lamb cutlets – that would be a clear OHS hazard. Trust me; I know about that from experience, but let’s not go there.

To my point: why should I have to wear anything on my feet if I don’t feel like it? I own the joint, for crying out loud, not to mention that I regularly partake of the best foot and nail care treatments Cheltenham has to offer. See, I like to keep my feet healthy, and a big part of that care is preventative. That means two things: an annual check-in with my podiatrist, and going barefoot as often as possible. I’ll bushwalk barefoot, I’ll go down the street barefoot and, moreover, I’ll go to work at my own cafe barefoot.

It’s unusual, I know. People are often taken aback when they first realise what I’m doing, partly because I seem like a cookie-cutter embodiment of normality at first glance. They get over it pretty quickly, though, especially once they realise it doesn’t have any bearing whatsoever on my baking and almond milk-steaming abilities. My point, then, is that wearing shoes on my feet does not make me less able to do my job. Apparently, it makes my job less safe, and sets a poor example for the younger workers. To that, I say phooey.

Look, it’d be one thing if I had fungal nails and was spreading athlete’s foot all over the shop. It would then make a lot of sense to wear shoes, seeing as I welcome both customers and staff following suit and going shoeless. It’s all a matter of common courtesy. The fact is, though, that I don’t have toenail fungus of any description, and even if I did, the chances of anyone else getting it are slim to none. That’s because nobody else ever takes me up on said invitation to go barefoot – their loss.