Author – Shoeless Guy
Gavin, Milo and I had to attend the local school to continue our engineering course due to equipment failure in our college workshop. It was an opportunity for our college to create a link with the school for sharing facilities. We had to be on our best behaviour, ambassadors for the college, anything less would be frowned upon. Upon arrival we signed in at reception and then went to the school’s workshop where we had to put on our PPE, personal protection equipment, basically overalls, high visibility jackets, hard hat and steel toe capped boots.
At lunchtime me and Gavin decided to have a cigarette, Milo didn’t smoke but would meet up afterwards. The college has a designated smoking area for adult aged students and staff but not here so we found a quiet area of the school grounds to go and have a smoke. A prefect called Steve appeared and told us smoking was prohibited. He took a photo of both of us. “What’s with the camera?” I asked. “We photograph anyone who breaks school rules, come with me” he said. “And if we don’t? ” said Gavin. “That’s what the photos are for, you can be traced” he replied. We expected to be shown off the premises to continue smoking but he took us inside the school building. We followed him into an old gym hall where several school kids and an older lad where sat on the floor shoeless. Ben explained we where in the Sin Bin where rulebreakers are punished. I told them we are just visitors to the school and unaware of the rules. “By signing the visitors book you agreed to the rules, also in reception is a large sign ‘No Smoking anywhere on the school premises” said the prefect. On a desk was a box of shoes, I guessed they belonged to those sat on the floor, I knew what was coming but I was determined not end up in my socks. “Take off your boots” said the prefect. “No f***ing way” I said and told them that I was nearly 20 and I’m not being treat like them kids. Steve said “Accept the punishment now and no further action would be taken”. Gavin reminded me of not bringing the college into disrepute. I felt frustrated at being punished for something that is acceptable at our college. I reluctantly took off my boots as the younger pupils watched, my warm black socked feet immediately felt the cold floor. I watched Gavin take off his boots, at 19 I was totally embarrassing surrendering my boots to school kids. They where put in the box with the other confiscated shoes. We where ordered to sit at the back of the gym. We walked in our socks passing the school kids nearly half our age, they laughed when the prefect shouted “Even the big boys have their shoes taken too”.
We sat on the floor “This is f***ing embarrassing” said Gavin. He was interrupted by Ben who warned us about using bad language and told us to be quiet or we’d get detention. I laughed at our situation, punished by school kids who where now threatening us with detention, I told the prefect how draconian this punishment was much to the amusement of the older boy sat on the floor. Gavin advised that I should be quiet and not to ignore their threats as they had succeeded so far in punishing us. So I sat quietly staring at my socked feet. The bell rung, we stood up and walked to the desk. The young pupils where given a stern warning and then handed their shoes back. The guy called Shane didn’t get his shoes, Ben took great pleasure denying the lad his footwear. He looked very unhappy walking out in his black socks. Me and Gavin demanded our boots but where denied them and told to collect them in detention. “I’m not 10 years old and most certainly not doing detention” I said. Regardless of my age I was told I won’t be getting them back until I had and was reminded of what our college expected of us. Gavin looked at me with shrugged shoulders, we reluctantly agreed to attend but we needed our boots for the workshop. We had our Nike trainers in our bags but had to hand them over in exchange for our boots. We quickly put on our boots and rushed to the workshop. Milo asked where we went at lunchtime, he laughed loudly when told that our boots had been confiscated and where made to sit on a cold floor in our socks. I struggled to concentrate throughout the afternoon as I was anxious about losing my expensive trainers and unhappy at having to attend detention to get them back. Gavin said at least we had something on our feet unlike the 18 year old who had to spend the afternoon in his socks.
We hoped to blag our way out of detention, just get our trainers and leave. Milo waited outside while me and Gavin entered the room. “We’ve come to collect our trainers” said Gavin. “Really!” said the teacher. He told us to sit at some desks. “Boots!” shouted the teacher. “What about them” I said. “Take them off, you deserve further detention for thinking I’m stupid to just give you your shoes and let you leave”. Me and Gavin just smiled at each other knowing we won’t be here tomorrow. “You already have our trainers” I said. “Now I want your boots too, take them off” he demanded. As we removed our boots we could see Milo laughing through the door window, we placed them on the desk, for the second time today we where in our socks. As the teacher took our work boots he too spotted Milo laughing. The teacher opened the door and stared at him “I’m just waiting for my mates” said Milo. Wearing his overalls, high viz jacket and hard hat the teacher knew he was with us. “Would you like to come in” asked the teacher. Milo declined saying he preferred to stand in the corridor but the teacher insisted. He walked in and stood by the teachers desk. Aged 20 and 6ft 6 inches tall sporting a beard he looked more like a worker coming to fix a pipe than a student. The teacher demanded he take off his boots. “Why I’ve done nothing wrong” said Milo. “I don’t take kindly to students laughing at others’ misfortune, now take off your boots” said the teacher. Milo’s face went red with embarrassment as we all watched him take off his size 11 work boots, he handed them to the teacher who placed them with our boots inside a cupboard, he removed our trainers, locking the cupboard again. Milo went to sit down next to us when the teacher said “I thought you preferred the corridor” His face went red again as the teacher sent him out to the corridor to stand in his socked feet. Everyone laughed including me.
“Are these your trainers” asked the teacher. “Yes” I replied. He told us we can collect them after detention tomorrow. I told him we wouldn’t be here to which he replied we’d have to make the effort as uncollected footwear would be donated to the school raffle, our expensive trainers would make great prizes.
The teacher said that Ben the Prefect would be supervising detention as he had to attend a meeting but would be back later to return our confiscated footwear. He walked out carrying both mine and Gavins trainers. “Your blagging sucks Gavin” I said “Not only are we doing detention but we have neither our trainers or boots” as we sat again with the school kids in our socks.