2 reader updates (with happy endings)

Two more updates from recent letter-writers:

1. How can I ask my new employer for breaks to sit when I go to trade shows? (#3 at the link)

It turns out that my new boss is extremely understanding, and as soon as I told her I was having foot issues she arranged so that I could sit down for nearly the entire time during the 5 day trade show. I feel like I really lucked out with this in having such a great boss, and it was a huge relief.

The reader who suggested looking into Dansko shoes was a great suggestion too. I got a pair of their Mary Jane style and they are great for walking and when I do have to stand! Thanks everyone for the support and helpful suggestions!

2. My interviewer kept laughing at me (#1 at the link)

The interviewer turned out to be who would be my direct supervisor. Unfortunately, the college’s English department (so, including the writing center) was changing department chairs, so my interviewer/supervisor had to do interviews I’m not sure he was prepared to do. He offered me the position, but before I made my decision, he invited me to come into the office and meet everyone in the department. This second meeting went very well, with no awkward giggling; in fact, everyone in the office made me feel very welcome and I learned what work would be like on a day-to-day basis. I accepted the tutoring position, but due to personal reasons, I was unable to start immediately. But my supervisor was very supportive and accommodating during the entire hiring process, and I’ve had a great first month working at the writing center!

Even after working with him for just a month, I’m already starting to notice a lot of my supervisor’s quirks. I can assure the comments section that his laughing was not due to drugs! Through bits of conversation, I’ve learned that he played football for a big college team, and he even mentioned that he hopes that isn’t too intimidating to me. In hindsight, I realize I was feeling very insecure because it was my first post-college interview, and even though I avoid judging based on appearances, being interviewed by a 6’2″ athlete didn’t help my nerves! Through our conversations, I now understand that my supervisor was laughing to help me feel more welcome during an interview that wasn’t going as planned on the English department’s end.

I’d also like to add that my supervisor is extremely supportive of everyone’s goals at the writing center. This position is a great stepping stone for future English professors, and most of the past employees have gone onto working in various academic positions both at this community college and at larger 4-year colleges. During downtime, my supervisor encourages me to work on my own creative writing projects and frequently discusses them with me. He says that as much as he likes all of his employees, he wants everyone gone in a couple years so that they can pursue larger goals beyond this part-time tutoring position. Honestly, I’ve never had this level of support in any of my previous jobs, and I’m excited to go into work everyday because I’m always learning something new. Maybe some of the most awkward interviewers can turn out to be some of the best bosses?

(I can’t resist popping back in to answer that. My thought: Awkward, sure. Rude, mean, disorganized, or flaky, generally not.)

{ 42 comments… read them below }

    1. louise*

      My Danskos made me fall/wobble a lot, so I’m wary of trying that brand again, but I had a pair of (the world’s ugliest) eccos for awhile that seriously changed my life. As in, previously numb toes could feel again and I wasn’t limping by the end of my retail shifts. I’m a huge believer in finding the right pair of high quality shoes!

      1. Monodon monoceros*

        I feel kind of wobbly in my Dansko’s, too. And they are horrible on ice. However I am in love with my Clark’s shoes. I first bought some brown ones, and recently went and bought the same shoe in black. I swear almost every time I slip them on I think “holy comfortableness Batman”

        1. NOLA bound*

          I own about 5 pairs of Clarks and keep picking up every time I go shoe shopping. I see a shoe style I like and “wow, it’s a Clarks.” And I know I can trust them to be comfy.

        2. stillLAH*

          I love my Clark’s for standing, but recently found out they are TERRIBLE for walking! I walked to lunch with coworkers (1.5 miles, maybe?) and came back with awful blisters :( They’re great for what I bought them for though–standing around at concerts.

          1. Monodon monoceros*

            Strange, I find them great for walking. I actually specifically bought the black ones while travelling because I was doing a lot of walking in the city and realised I was basing my clothes choices on being able to wear my brown Clarks so I’d be comfortable walking all day.

          2. Smunchy*

            I have a pair of the black Clarks (with green accents – can’t remember the name) and wore them to Dublin/London last March. One day we walked 6.5 miles! By the end of the trip, my feet were getting a bit sore, but I never would have made it that far with any other shoes.

          3. Sara M*

            I agree, I’ve had no luck with Danskos, but Clarks are awesome. I think people just have different shaped feet and structures.

          4. Snork Maiden*

            I find the same thing, Clark’s are good for standing but they have pinch points on me that aren’t apparent until you start doing some walking. Also the cushiony insole makes my feet tired; I prefer a harder, more supportive footbed for my woefully flat feet. I’m currently digging Wolky shoes and I have a $45 insole that I use in runners or hikers for casual use. Also got a pair of Dansko clogs for $12 (!! I guess nobody in my town likes bright green leather). They are a bit wobbly for long walks – a heel strap would be ideal – but a godsend for standing on concrete.

        3. Elizabeth West*

          I can’t seem to find any Clarks that I like. I’ve gone with Romiko (wore them in London) and Ecco, though the Eccos right now are ugly. My Anne Klein ankle boots got destroyed walking in London and Cardiff. I guess they basically aren’t made to hold up. So I got some Born riding boots with buttons and so far I LOVE THEM.

          1. Elizabeth West*

            Best shoes ever—a pair of Etienne Aigner ankle boots that were so comfortable they were like slippers. I wore them for two years, until they had holes in the soles and fell apart. I miss them. :(

            1. Snork Maiden*

              I really like Romikas as well – I can slip my insole in them. Mine are ugly, but a weird ugly I can own and make work with my wardrobe.

      2. Nina*

        I had the same issues with Danskos, numb toes and constant tripping/falling down. I bought a pair of cheap Mary Jane style SafeTSteps and they were a thousand times better.

      3. Hlyssande*

        I had a similar issue with Alegria’s nursing shoes. Something about their heel makes me 10x more likely to roll an ankle. So sad because I had a pair of red patent Mary Janes from them!

      4. Jipsy's Mom*

        Ha ha! I fall off my Dansko’s all the time…and continue to wear them anyway. (Wearing a pair right now, in fact.) I’ll just be walking along and all the sudden I’m stumbling and flailing for no reason…

        I am oddly excited to tell my husband I’m not the only one who has trouble. I may be the only one who has trouble but continues to wear them religiously, though.

    2. Meredith*

      I bought a pair of Danskos because I have really high arches (which contributes – along with super tight calf muscles – to ouchy plantar fasciitis in my left foot). I was hoping for more support than they’re giving me on their own, but with Birkenstock insoles under the footbed they’re much better. (Birkenstock blue insoles! So expensive, but holy cow I love them and can switch them into all my shoes! Worth it for minimizing my foot pain and supporting my arches while I heal.)

      Glad this person’s boss is letting them sit during trade shows. I work trade shows sometimes, and those concrete floors are no joke.

    3. Melissa*

      When I was younger I was vehemently opposed to the concept of comfort shoes; I thought all the styles were ugly, and they were expensive, and I didn’t want to buy them. I preferred stylish uncomfortable shoes, for some reason.

      Now, I am really invested in the idea of well-made, comfortable shoes. I was JUST thinking today about how most of my shoes are inexpensive leftovers from college and grad school, and I have fewer pairs of practical comfortable dressy-ish shoes. Now I really want a pair of Danskos. I think I might treat myself after the holidays.

    4. gr8 candidate*

      For those of us with challenges finding comfortable shoes for work, play, dress, or that can accommodate orthotics, I found BarkingDogShoes.com to be a very helpful resource. There are often discounts offered to readers of the blog. The archive will be helpful in searching for shoes with big toe box, for plantar fasciitis, bunions, wide calf bots, etc. I have no connection with the author, except that I have found her reviews helpful. I found the blog by going to the American Podiatric Medical Association website (apma.org) to read about products that carry their “seal of acceptance/approval” – there are many more links there. I found Aravons too pricey to replace – now I have a pair of Merrell Dassie MJ’s (with a slanted strap) in black that are lightweight and work well with my orthotics.

  1. Bend & Snap*

    I hear Danskos take awhile to break in, but I have some HIDEOUS Born clogs that are the best things to ever happen to my feet.

    They only come out at trade shows.

    1. LPBB*

      I LOVE Born, although they can make some ugly shoes. I pretty much wore them exclusively through my retail career!

    2. Liz*

      Why are the most hideous shoes almost the most comfortable? I have a pair of clogs that my landlord told me were the ugliest shoes he’d ever seen, including the time he spent as a circus clown (true story).

      1. AdAgencyChick*

        Because “delicate” and “pretty” != “supportive.”

        When I find exceptions to this rule, I POUNCE!

  2. AnotherHRPro*

    Whey is it all the comfy shoes are ugly? I’m wearing a new pair of clarks today. They aren’t too bad looking, but definitely not super cute.

    1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

      That was where we veered off talking about the Dankso’s in the original thread. There are some freaking *cute* ones. My Dankso Mary Janes are the first shoes I have liked for their looks in years (meaning, ones that I have worn because I only do comfort shoes). And there are more that I want.

      Check them out on Zappos!

    2. Cherry Scary*

      I find clarks sandals to be pretty cute. Now only if my office allowed open-toed shoes. Or it wasn’t November in Ohio.

    3. Beancounter in Texas*

      I’ve got wide feet and I have a pair of Bass shoes I got on sale that have never failed me. I’m also a fan of Clarks shoes for my wide feet. I have one pair of Helle Comfort, which advertises itself as fashionable, yet comfortable. They’re certainly … different.

  3. College Career Counselor*

    I have a family member going on year three (four?) of Merrell slip-on Jungle Mocs who says they’re among the most comfortable shoes she’s ever worn. Depending on the color/style, they might not be dressy enough for the office, but I could totally see wearing them behind a table at many (if not all) trade-shows. Think very comfortable waterproof-slipper-with-good-tread.

    1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

      I had Merrell suede clogs that I wore into tatters.

      Clogs are ugly on my size 10 feet but damn they were some comfy shoes.

      1. MJH*

        YES! I have always hated the way clogs look on my size-10 feet. I am glad to find out I am not the only one. And I love my feet, so it’s not just that I’m judging overly harshly. They look really bad!

        1. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

          Length does not need both breadth and height added with no heel to counteract that or strap across/other lines to break it up.

          Basically, it makes a long foot look like a brick. (and I actually wear a size narrow….still a visual brick in clogs)

    2. ExceptionToTheRule*

      I love my Merrell jungle mocs. I have a pair in black & in brown and they go with about anything short of “dressy”. I also have a pair of Merrell walking sneakers and cold weather boots. Love them, love them, love them.

  4. Jake*

    I had a boss as supportive as #2. It is a life changing experience, and one of the reasons I give the benefit of the doubt to the boss more often than most folks on this site (and more often than I should).

    1. Sascha*

      It really is awesome to have a good, supportive boss. My former manager was one such, and I’d follow him to whatever company he went in a heartbeat, if only they had jobs available. It’s so empowering to work for good manager.

    2. Joey*

      Makes me wonder how many folks have never had a good boss. I feel kinda bad for people that have never had a good one. It’s night and day.

      1. Outside*

        Whats a good boss? I havent had bat-shit crazy ones like we see often here but neither have I had ones that changed my life….

      2. Serin*

        I’ve had one good boss. One.

        One dramatically bad one, one moderately bad one, and the rest were fifty shades of mediocre.

      3. Pennalynn Lott*

        I have had:

        * One good boss.
        * One boss who was good at coaching (for sales) but sucked at managing.
        * Ten bat-shit crazy bosses (one who did cocaine in the office; one who expensed prostitutes to the company account; one who unzipped my shirt; one who was happily — and vocally — racist, homophobic, and anti-equal rights (who was a woman); one who would email me at home on weekends with her pseudo-psychiatric theories about why I suck so much at work and in life; one who set the speakerphone on everyone’s phone so that he could listen to non-phone conversations because he thought it was someone in the office who told his wife about his girlfriend; one who would tell other managers that he wanted to punch me in the gut; one who came to work drunk/stoned and eventually killed himself (on the bathroom floor of one of the employees who let him sleep on the couch after his wife kicked him out and he couldn’t manage a place on his own); one who couldn’t open his mouth without screaming obscenities at everyone, complete with spittle flying and slamming doors; and one who liked to tell me raunchy, woman-hating jokes and show me his latest worse-than-hardcore porn acquisitions (before the days of the internet, so he kept the magazines and photos in a drawer in a file cabinet in the office).
        * And the rest were just run-of-the-mill bad: gossipy, clock-watchers, micromanagers, only ever gave negative feedback, avoided conflict, majorly forgetful, told you to do one thing then screamed at you later for doing it, and/or called 30 people into a meeting and chewed them all out just to get a message across to one person in the room, etc.

        Which is why I find it fascinating when Alison always says that most managers are good managers. Where the hell are they??? (Obviously not in tech sales, based on my experience).

  5. Liane*

    If you like boots, Walmart’s LEI & Faded Glory calf boots (“riding” & wide calf) look great & are very comfy & most of the heels are medium. I have plantar fascitis that flares if I am not careful about the type of shoes & heel heights; I can’t do either flats or more than 2-3″. I stand all day and they are fine. Heck, I use the same boots with my Star Wars costumes–and I have no trouble wearing them to march in our city’s local parades (sometimes retracing the route back to the staging area if the Imperials organizing the joint Rebel/501st parade unit forget to arrange for handlers to drive us back).
    They are also inexpensive & last for several years–even my costuming pairs.

    1. Elizabeth West*

      Walmart had a line called Earth Shoes that made some very comfortable sandals. They had wide enough straps so they didn’t chafe me (I get blisters at the drop of a hat). They did have some closed-toe shoe styles suitable for the office, but I haven’t seen them in a while. I don’t know if they are gone for good, or if my Walmarts just suck now.

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