Shine Your Shoes Like a Pro

Open letter to you-know-who: Shine your shoes.

I know lots of things don’t matter much in life, and this might be one of them, but it doesn’t take much effort to put some polish on your shoes. It makes your shoes happy, it helps them last longer, and you look better too, which can translate into more confidence on your part. And being taken more seriously by others, especially people older than you.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a woman wearing a scrappy pair of beat up dress shoes. But I often notice male auditors, security analysts, IT guys, managers, and even VPs occasionally wearing shoes that have never seen a shine once they left the store, or in sad need of repair.

It doesn’t take long, isn’t hard, and isn’t expensive. Even if you wear casual shoes (not tennis shoes) instead of dress shoes, they still need some polish occasionally.

I know that shoes don’t make the person or define their work, so what does it say? For those of you who don’t polish your shoes, why don’t you? It’s part of being a professional. As one of my managers used to say, “It’s all about perception.”

I just thought of my last post and why typos are so accepted today. Perhaps in the days of casual dress, uncared-for shoes are now acceptable. However, you don’t wear typos on your sleeve and keep them with you all day.

What’s your opinion?



Filed under Employment, How to...

2 responses to “Shine Your Shoes Like a Pro

  1. Danny

    My opinion is most IT personnel takes pride in looking like slobs. Sorry to be so blunt. I’m glad to hear your post about shoe polish, but I must say, I purposefully buy shoes that don’t require polish. They’re nice shoes, but they wear well. Good leather normally does.
    If you did a police lineup at any said business, you’d see:
    -power suit
    -Banana Republic cool hipster outfit
    -Bart Simpson shirt and Zubaz pants
    Then you’d say:
    -web design
    I like to try and confuse people as much as possible. I like being comfortable, but wearing “pajamas” to work is not cool…even if you are smarter than Dan Kaminsky.


    • Hey Danny,
      Always feel free to be blunt in this space. The same knife that kills also cuts our cancer. Sometimes truth hurts, and pain can be a good thing. It keeps us from continuing to do stupid things.

      Your comments are not only funny, but true. Thanks for the chuckle.

      On the other thumb, it’s a sad commentary on IT and auditors (and all other slobs). This occurs even in companies that have a strict dress policy. In the end, it comes down to management. Each individual manager is responsible for how his* department is viewed and respected, and dress IS a part of that. Some managers think that only performance and employee satisfaction (dress like I want) counts, but perception is everything. An IT department that performs well, but is viewed as slobs by the business will suffer in the long run. So will the business environment.

      * Note to all my readers (nothing you said, Danny): I use he/his and the like on this blog simply because it’s easier and faster. I refuse to get hung up on making everyone happy. Occasionally, I use she/her just to mix it up and poke the males in the eye once in a while. Remember, this blog is about IT security, audit, and technology, not political correctness. So please keep that in mind. I do appreciate all of you who read the blog, and especially appreciate those who comment and add some color (including blunt neons).


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