Britain’s Tesco has done it again, this time tossing a father who was carrying his daughter on his shoulders. It sure seems to me that they are getting a lot of self-inflicted bad publicity these days.
There are two aspects of the story that also are of relevance to those who prefer to go barefooted.
A spokeswoman urged Mr Dunkley to return to the store and talk to the manager. ‘We take the safety of our staff and customers very seriously,’ she said. ‘Each store can make these decisions on an individual basis, there is no blanket policy.’
We’ll talk about “safety” in a moment. But first I’d like to concentrate on the latter part of the spokeswoman’s statement. Why would any intelligent and rational company allow each store to make such decisions on a store-by-store basis? If you are a customer and, each and every time you go to one of the stores in a chain, you have no idea whether you will be tossed, why shop there? If I’m tossed from a store for being barefoot, and then I am told that each manager at each store makes his or her own decision in that regard, why would I even tempt fate by trying a different store in the same chain? There are just too many other stores that I can rely on. Such a decision by upper managers means that I’ll never shop any of their stores again, even the ones with managers who don’t have such a ridiculous policy.
Note that I am not criticizing a blanket ban (though I could do that, too!), but the fact that a policy is non-uniform means a much greater loss of business than folks might otherwise realize.
The story also says
But the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said Tesco’s decision was ‘misguided’.
‘Sometimes over-reactions mean people are stopped for supposed health and safety issues when in reality there isn’t a real health and safety issue at all,’ it said.
This also is quite applicable to barefooting. These store people have no idea whether bare feet are safe or not (of course, we barefooters say they are perfectly safe) but they still buy into the myth, even when there “isn’t a real health or safety issue at all.”