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Old 04-07-2010, 07:52 PM   #1
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Default My job makes my feet hurt.

I just started a new job about five weeks ago at McDonalds. I work about 25-40 hours a week depending on when they need me. I've worked in food service in the past but I was smaller and didn't work as many hours. Now that I'm about 350 pounds and working about 30 hours a week (36 this week:/), my feet, calves and ankles just KILL me. I bought brand new shoes with arch support but they still ache and ache and sometimes I just want to cry by the end of my shift they hurt so bad. Today I couldn't take it so I asked to leave after 6 hours (I was supposed to work 7) because we were pretty slow anyway. My manager had no problem with me leaving early but I still felt bad but my feet just hurt so bad I could barely stand any longer. My ankles and feet have been swelling up because of it too.

Anyone else work in a job that requires hours of standing? More importantly, does anyone have any suggestions of how to minimize this?
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:58 PM   #2
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I worked at Kohl's for two years (during high school and college). At about 300 pounds during that time, I can COMPLETELY relate to what you're saying.

I found myself finding any job I could think of that involved sitting down. I would ask to go fold jeans or t-shirt tables just so I could sit down in the floor next to the racks and do that.

And at Kohl's, you aren't allowed to wear tennis shoes. You have to wear semi-dressy shoes, which makes it even worse. So, I'd have to buy a new set of flats at least once a month because I'd wear the other ones out. And they would smell horrible by the end of the shift.

In other words, I fucking hated that job.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:03 PM   #3
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If I had to wear flats I would literally die. Today I wore old sneakers because I forgot my work ones at home (went straight from class to work) and I think that's why my feet hurt even worse because no arch support at all in them.

Unfortunately, there isn't much at McDonalds that involves sitting down (nothing, actually) but I volunteer to do any job that will let me WALK instead of standing because if I'm moving it isn't as bad and if I'm busy, I don't notice it as much. Unfortunately because I'm new I get stuck working the two jobs that require the least work aka the most standing around doing nothing. I volunteer to sweep, mop, clean the playplace, take garbage out, etc. ALL the time because at least I can walk around a little and sometimes I'm like PLEASE LET ME DO DRIVE THRU but they only will if it's slow usually.

I'm trying to lose some weight because that's the only thing I can think of that will help.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:04 PM   #4
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Bleeeeh.

When I worked at Disneyland, I wore Docs with special inserts and black support socks (similar to the kind diabetics wear to promote circulation). Avoided salt, too.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:07 PM   #5
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When I was in my 20s I worked in a used bookstore. After hours not only on my feet but also going up and down ladders, lifting heavy boxes full of books, going up and down stairs, running up and down aisles by the end of the day I was so tired and my feet hurt so badly I would literally drag myself home. Every step was torture. I did that job for four years and my feet changed shape because of it - they got wider. I was a size 28 then so about the same size as you now. I don't know how I did it, but towards the fourth year I had asked to be transferred to the office to do data entry and fill web orders. I just couldn't stay on my feet all day anymore. I certainly couldn't do it now.

I think I managed by sitting down as much as possible - like volunteering to work the info desk whenever I could, or sitting on the floor to sort books and by switching up my shoes all the time. I think I alternated between flip-flops, sneakers, and sandals. I always kept a pair of flip-flops handy. On most days by the end of the day my feet were usually too swollen to fit into shoes anyway. I also took lots of ibuprofen, used a ton of tiger balm/icy hot on my calves, and elevated my feet when I got home. It turned out to be a really interesting job because of all the people I met and great books I accumulated, but I am reaaaally glad those days are over.

Just hang in there and do whatever you need to do to get thru the days in one piece. You might get used to the routine and find you can deal with the painful feet better than you thought.

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Old 04-07-2010, 08:11 PM   #6
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So I'm certainly not alone in this apparently. Thanks for the suggestions guys. :]
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:22 AM   #7
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I worked retail for years and weighed between 350 and 400lbs for all of those years. Ultimately, work boots saved my life though. I wore 8 hole Docs (am I dating myself?) They laced over my ankle and I could tie them fairly tight. They kept my feet and ankles well supported and minimized the swelling. I also agree with what Olwen said about changing shoes. I always started the day with boots changed to sneakers if my feet started to hurt and slipped on flip flops for the ride home. If you can, keep your feet elevated while you’re sleeping and get one of these to roll under your feet while you’re sitting on the couch. I hope you start feeling better asap.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:14 AM   #8
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I can completely relate to this- I work as a bartender and literally can NOT sit down for the entire duration of my shift. When you are standing still lift one foot at a time- roll your ankle around, flex your toes, all that. Do NOT take your shoes off at any point- always hurts even more when you put them back on! try and crouch down and stretch your legs out too- just take a wee bathroom break if you need to and get some stretching done- makes a huge difference for me.

Hope you're feeling better soon luv!
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:16 PM   #9
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Not a BBW but a fat guy that does a lot of standing, good shoes will save your life. My first job at was horrible until I found a good pair of shoes. I don't know what the dress code is for McD's Wolverine Durashocks are great and most styles come in black. My wife (who is a BBW, hopefully that buys me some credibility) likes Avias. I have found that shoes having less squishy stuff inside but more actual support feel better than just a super soft inside.
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Old 04-08-2010, 05:35 PM   #10
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I will second succubus' advice about rolling your feet. Is there something on the floor that you can rub your feet on? When I worked at a clothing store, I would massage my feet against the bottoms of the racks.

Also, when you get home, lie in bed on your back and prop your legs up against the wall at the steepest angle you can manage. Helps aching feet and legs enormously.
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:23 PM   #11
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Also, when you get home, lie in bed on your back and prop your legs up against the wall at the steepest angle you can manage. Helps aching feet and legs enormously.
Wow. I'm going to have to try this.

Yeah, I have the exact same problem as thatgirl, and we've comiserated before it really is unbearable. I started wearing plain as heck nikes and long pants to cover them as much as possible... it helps a little... but other than that, it still sucks :/
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:25 AM   #12
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I've seen some ads about a newer shoe that is supposed to help with circulation, posture, and other things. I believe they're by skechers (never thought I'd be promoting those shoes to anyone) but I may be mistaken. I'm not sure if they'll help but something to look into nonetheless.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:18 AM   #13
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This is why I don't work retail. Well, that and they aren't hiring, anyway. I used to work at Wal-Mart when I was younger and smaller and it would get to the point where I could not walk sometimes. I was born with incomplete ankle joints as well, so the weight does not always distribute properly. It's not technically a disability, so I'm boned. I can do jobs where you walk almost the whole time, but I am simply not able to do jobs where you stand for long periods. I also have some nerve damage in my right knee from an injury in 2008 which can make parts of my knee go into spasms. I really feel you, I could simply not do that job.

I was berated by my ex for being unable to do that kind of stuff-- he would always blame it on my weight (he had a lot of fat prejudice for a so-called FA), but it wasn't just that. Even if I weighed 150 pounds, the nerve damage and joints would bar me from this kind of thing. I actually think MOST people who work these kinds of jobs leave their shift in sheer agony...
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:41 AM   #14
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I agree, the standing still is far worse than being able to walk around and keep the circulation going. I worked in the checkout register at a Kmart for a couple years, oh, back around 1995-ish. I would go home crying sometimes because I hurt so badly. I have found the SAS shoes to have a good bit of support, but they aren't cheap. Maybe check them out, though.

http://www.sasshoes.com/main/view_st...og.php?catid=2
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:59 AM   #15
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If they have comfort standing mats at work try to always stand on it because it makes a world of difference. Lean on a counter or wall every chance you get to take some pressure off your legs. Good supportive shoes and cotton socks are critical.

I have not worked a stand up job in many years but have done some volunteer work doing so that reminded me how thankful I am that I do not have to. I will say however that over time it gets easier to stand for long periods.

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Old 04-09-2010, 01:11 PM   #16
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When I was on my feel all day I would often leave work with really achy legs. My legs were really solid and stiff too but since I've moved onto a sit-down job they feel so much better and have sort of softened up a little too so are easier to stretch and exercise. I found the best way to manage the pain was to wear trainers (hidden under long trousers), drink a ridiculous amount of water and minimise salt intake and then when I got home I used to lie on my bed with my feet up against the wall, worked a treat in alleviating the discomfort. Maybe try and go for a swim to help get your legs relaxed and to ease the pain after a shift? I don't envy you as I so feel your pain! Ooooh also, maybe if you have the spare cash treat yourself to a calf a foot massage, it's heaven!
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:21 PM   #17
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Get arch supports for your shoes. Give them a few days to work. See if you find a difference. I got ortho insoles from a foot doc and can walk for 6 hours now with no pain. Can spend the whole day at the mall with no problem if I want or walk a mile.
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:19 PM   #18
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My job has me on my feet running around for my entire 10 hour shift and I work between 40-60 hours a week. The best shoes that I have found so far are shape ups by sketcher. They are pricy but so far my feet and back have been pain free and before I got these shoes I would hurt so bad at the end of my day I could hardly walk.

Hope you find some relief soon!

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I just started a new job about five weeks ago at McDonalds. I work about 25-40 hours a week depending on when they need me. I've worked in food service in the past but I was smaller and didn't work as many hours. Now that I'm about 350 pounds and working about 30 hours a week (36 this week:/), my feet, calves and ankles just KILL me. I bought brand new shoes with arch support but they still ache and ache and sometimes I just want to cry by the end of my shift they hurt so bad. Today I couldn't take it so I asked to leave after 6 hours (I was supposed to work 7) because we were pretty slow anyway. My manager had no problem with me leaving early but I still felt bad but my feet just hurt so bad I could barely stand any longer. My ankles and feet have been swelling up because of it too.

Anyone else work in a job that requires hours of standing? More importantly, does anyone have any suggestions of how to minimize this?
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:30 PM   #19
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Get a pair of "food service" crocs. they're about 25 bucks. I work at mcdonalds. trust me. I love them.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:39 PM   #20
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http://www.crocs.com/crocs-bistro/10...-footwear-work

my bad they say they are 39.99 here. I got mine for 24.99 at the stride rite near my house. They are supportive and comfortable. The only downfall is they make your feet sweat a little bit more than shoes do. They have the same grippy bottom like a "shoes for crews" sneaker has.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:44 PM   #21
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Oh boy can I relate to this! Why I hated working retail! I know everyone who's worked retail has complained about standing for 8 hour shifts, but I definitly think its harder being a big girl and it's nice to find others who 'get it'. I worked at a store a few years ago and stood for 8 hours at a time and sometimes with just a 20 minute break on really busy days. It was torture. Inner soles helped a little bit but the pain was so bad I would go to the bathroom just to sit on the toilet for 2 minutes to make the pain feel better (No not joking at all lol) I don't have any suggestions to offer except that I know what your going through.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:13 PM   #22
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Thank you all so much for the suggestions - I'll definitely look into some of these shoes.

Fallenangel - I go to the bathroom for a few minutes just to sit down too! haha.

Tooz - I actually have an issue with my left ankle that makes it worse, although it doesn't sound as bad as yours. I broke my ankle when I was younger, like 10 or so, and ever since it's been weak and rolls all the time and with all this standing it just aaaaches.

I've started to notice pretty much everyone complaining about foot pain at work.. I thought it was just me because of my weight but even the smallest girls at work complain after 6 hours or so. Today I worked eight hours and I had my break after only 2 hours of my shift so when I got back I had to work for 5 1/2 hours still and I wanted to cry.. it helps when I get the break in between. I made it though, hah.

Thanks again for all the suggestions :]

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Old 04-09-2010, 08:28 PM   #23
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I always try to take my break as LATE as possible. I usually take a break so that when I get back, I only have an hour or 1.5 hours left. It makes it go by faster, it seems.

And I'm glad I'm not the only one who would take bathroom breaks just to sit down.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:32 PM   #24
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I almost begged my manager to let me go at 7 (we can't go between 5-7) but he's like nope, 4.. and then I got back at 4:30 and had to work til ten. It really does make it seem so much faster the later the break.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:47 PM   #25
DitzyBrunette
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I worked in a day care center a few years ago where they were ridiculous about the teachers never sitting down, we always had to be doing something - and on top of this stupid rule we could not wear sneakers, we had to follow the dress code. We were on our feet most of the day and then uncomfortably dressed while doing it. I bought comfortable soft soled old lady flats from Payless and wore them ONLY while at work. They helped but not much. I left that job a few months after, it was awful, I've worked at quite a few preschools and that was the only anal-retentive one. I truly feel for anyone who works at an "on your feet all day" job.

My sister just started waitressing at Outback and she's been a waitress and a bartender for many years so she is used to being on her feet however this job is the worst. At Outback the waitstaff has to crouch down near the side of the table to take the customers order, they have to be at eye level of the customer. She said one group was so nice and told her to sit with them in their booth and when she did it was a tight squeeze and her order pad thing got stuck under her boobs when she stood up (we're.. blessed, her even more than me). My sister is not a BBW, she's slightly chubby at best, so weight and size isn't the issue. So on top of being on her feet for hours at a time, she's also going up and down all day and that is painful. She came home with swollen feet and ankles and pain shooting up her legs. She plans to buy better shoes this weekend, I'll mention the Skechers to her (hopefully it works, I feel so bad for her). Moral of the story - do not apply to work at Outback - if an average sized girl is having trouble imagine how us big girls would do.
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