Monday, August 4, 2008

Dress code

It’s 8am and I am the only person in my section of the El car not wearing jeans or shorts. Where do these people work? A couple of them, I suppose, might be students, but most appear to be near my age – mid-twenties to mid-thirties. At 8am on a Monday, I would assume that they’re headed to work.

So where do they work that they can wear jeans and baseball caps or shorts and t-shirts?

Our office actually reinforced its dress code recently. The issue was never the men. Their dress code is clear: dress pants, dress shirt, tie. I’m sorry to say the issue was with the women. Too many did not understand what “professional attire” meant. There was never a ban on capri pants or sandals – until now. Too many women looked like they were on their way to a picnic rather than a day at the office.

I know that a lot of hip young offices have adopted loose dress codes where trendy clothes like “dress shorts” can be worn. But we don’t work for a young hip office. We are an old-school organization with old-school rules and expectations. And one of those expectations is to look like you’re a professional and you’re here to WORK.

We can still wear sandals, but flip-flops are strictly verboten and I can’t say I’m sorry. I hate that whap-whap-whap sound and some women in our office clomp around like cows.

And should you have to tell grown women that hoochie spaghetti-strap tops are not “office appropriate”???

Of course people complained (they always do) and when one woman said to me, “But I’m more comfortable in flip-flops” I replied with “I’d be more comfortable with a beer and a cute boy to rub my feet. But I’m here to work.”

OK, so I guess I’m not cool in this regard. But I really feel like people take what they’re doing more seriously if they dress for it.

End rant. Sorry.


Garth said...

I think you should implement the catholic school girl uniform dress code in your office. It will make the men happy. :)

EEE said...

You haven't seen the women who work in my office, Garth...

Anonymous said...

I have only worked in two school systems in my career. The first was in a suburb outside Atlanta. Everyone dressed professionally. On Fridays, we could wear a school shirt and jeans. I remember one teacher wearing a jogging suit and being reprimanded and another wearing cute white Keds (after Easter of course) and being told they were not appropriate. This was the first district so I did not know any different.

Here in Florida, there are local unions that like to flex their muscle. The contract says "professional dress", but doesn't define it. At my school, some teachers wear jeans with athletic shoes and a sloppy shirt every day. Others wear flip-flops and the list goes on. The principal has expressed her displeasure, but must be powerless to do anything. I have only been here 6 years and sometimes I feel like I'm still trying to figure out the system since things are so different than in Georgia.

I still haven't figured out where we are supposed to get supplies. In Georgia, each department chair had a liberal budget. My department (I was chair) never went without. Here you beg if you want anything or spend your own money.

Oh well. Roll with the flow or.....

From the heart