One of the downsides of going barefooted is the constant worry (even if we get used to it) of having some store employee seeing us barefoot and throwing a fit.
But there is also an upside.
Sometimes being known for going barefoot means that a lot of people will recognize you much more easily as a regular customer or patron. The fact that you go barefoot makes you stand out, so they end up knowing how often you are using their services. And that means, if they really care more about their customers than in promulgating myths, you will get their attention in a good way.
I get that in my local grocery store. Most of the employees seem to know who I am. It’s like: “Oh, he’s our barefoot customer.”
I get it at my local “general store”. They have greeters, but not the Wal-Mart-keep-you-out greeter. And most of the greeters know me, as do many of the employees. The fact that I’m always there barefoot helps them recognize me.
I had another instance of this happen yesterday. I went to the State Library of Ohio yesterday to pick up a book that I’d ordered from another location. To get to the front desk, I had to walk down a fairly long entrance hall. By the time I got there, the librarian handed me my book, “Here’s your book.”
I was flabbergasted. The librarian had recognized me when I came in through the door and it surely wasn’t my face. Going barefooted makes one immediately recognizable, and that can sometimes be good.
I have to add that the State Library of Ohio is one of the gems of the state, and nobody seems to know about it. It’s located outside of downtown Columbus in what appears to be an old warehouse.
Officially, their main mission is to serve the state legislature and various governmental bodies. They also serve as a major resource for all of the other libraries in the state. But it is also part of their mission to serve the regular citizens of the state, and any citizen can get a library card.
And what they have is of interest to any bibliophile or anybody who wants access to books beyond the latest bestseller.
Their stacks have a lot of really old books that are fun to just browse through. Or, if one is trying to do some historical research, there they are. Or there are various rare books dealing specifically with Ohio. (That’s where, for instance, I found out about Newark resident John Sparks.)
In addition, they have interlibrary lending with the educational institutions of the state. That means that one gets access to all sorts of academic books throughout the state, which is utterly fascinating. (I’ll have a blog post in the not-to-distant future as a result of the book I picked up yesterday.)
The State Library is also the location of the Kent State School of Library & Information Science. My daughter, who is a librarian, got her degree there.
Like I said, the place is a gem.
So, if you live anywhere near Columbus and you like having access to more than just run-of-the-mill books, you might consider checking the place out.
Oh, and they welcome barefooted patrons.