Is it me?

By Anita Jaynes on 1 December, 2023

TBE Partnership with Thrings

Over the years, John Davies’ Is it me? has become a favourite of The Business Exchange for its wit and camaraderie. This time, John revisits his favourite subject, Crocs.

It’s rare that I revisit an Is It Me? topic. There is so much to talk about that a second rant on the same subject might be seen as a bit of a waste. However, something has happened in my life that I can’t ignore. It has rocked me to my very core and I’m not entirely sure how to deal with it. My colleague and business partner for over 20 years, Kate Westbrook no less, has been and gone and done it. She’s crossed a red line. She’s pushed a boundary. She has taken the proverbial biscuit. She has bought me a pair of Crocs. 

Not only has she bought me Crocs, she has also customised them with my initials. On each foot. On top of that she has chosen to buy me a particularly colourful pair – red, white and blue no less. And the icing on the cake is that she has given them to me a birthday gift. A very, very, thoughtful gift.

My dilemma? I like to think that I’m a polite person. I was raised in a Christian household – Welsh Baptists on my Mum’s side and Church of Wales for my Dad. My parents went out of their way to teach me right from wrong. They encouraged me to be kind. They highlighted the fact that being polite costs nothing and means a lot. I’ve always tried to hold myself up to their standards – it’s fair to say I’ve not always succeeded – but I’ve tried. Kate knows this.

Having sat next to me for 20 years Kate also knows what my views are on most things, and particularly on adults wearing Crocs. I just don’t get it.

I know lots of people that I’d describe as normal, lovely, sensible people, who choose to wear these shoes. In every other aspect of their lives I’d describe them as sane, and yet when it comes to footwear they let themselves down. They look (in my opinion) very strange indeed. And yet here I am. A polite chap, with very strong views on the topic, wondering what to say to Kate.

Now, I know she knows what she has done. She knows exactly how I feel about these rubbery sole protectors, and yet she has gift wrapped them and presented them to me with a sincere smile. She couldn’t wait for me to open them and she is desperate for me to try them on. They are currently on my desk, looking at me, challenging me to slide my foot in, to walk along with the air wafting through the unholy holes.

So I’m using this Is It Me? to ask for your help. Do I tell Kate what I really think? Do I reel off a sentence which includes the words, ‘shove’ and ‘don’t shine’? Or do I smile politely, gracefully thank her and plot what will need to be a long, drawn out, epic and cold revenge? My DNA tells me to be polite and to play the long game, but knowing what I know and what she knows I’m desperate to be less polite than my parents would have expected.

Between you and I, while Kate isn’t looking or listening, I’m considering re-gifting them to someone more deserving of such handsome footwear. If you get them from me for Christmas then you’ll know how much I think of you. In the meantime, it’s coming Kate, it’s coming.

John Davies,

Senior Corporate Partner, Thrings


t: 01793 412634