Wednesday 26 February 2014

Floppy shoe disaster - the CBT approach

Shoes. What could possibly go wrong...?

Last week, whilst walking very briskly across Bristol to catch a train to go and deliver another day's training, something didn't feel right.

I looked down and could see most of my socked left foot. Now call me insightful but I realised that something must have gone very wrong in the shoe department. It had. The sole had almost completely parted company from the upper and was hanging on only at the very toe-end and heel-end. The rest was a gaping hole. The right shoe was starting to split too. Great.

Pingoo-like, I flopped along to the station, and later flopped along the mile or so at the other end. In the rain.With increasingly wet feet. The wet feet didn't bother me. Hey, I play golf in the Scottish Winter. You can't let a little discomfort bother you!

But I was definitely perturbed about the prospect of my shoes not lasting out the day, and more to the point by what my client and trainees would think... Look at this guy... Can he not afford a decent pair of shoes?... Imagine turning up to deliver training looking like that... Maybe he is having some major personal problems and has stopped noticing his shoddy appearance... Who hired this guy?... He certainly doesn't create the right impression....

This proved to be excessively pessimistic.

The reality? Nobody seemed to notice. The detailed explanation I had prepared for the dilapidated state of my footwear was not required. The training went well. People seemed pleased and were not put off by seeing more of my feet than anticipated.

Later, I Pingoo'd back through Bristol and out to the airport. Security did not think I was a shoe bomber and allowed me to board the plane to Edinburgh.

The shoes just about hung on and I finally made it home. When my wife picked me up from the train at Stirling, she kindly brought me another pair of shoes. (Wives are good.) My shoe nightmare was over.