As a Human Resources Consultant, I get a lot of calls from our clients that are downright serious! Sometimes I can predict the moon phases by the types of calls I get. A discrimination call means it’s a full moon. In contrast, a half moon can be predicted on the days I get calls about dress code violations and such!
Call me crazy, but didn’t we all grow up watching our parents, grandparents or some authority figure go off to work each morning dressed for work? Maybe your parent worked in a factory and if so, he or she probably wore some kind of uniform. Maybe your parent worked in an office, in which case, he or she was likely dressed in a suit. I remember my dad going off to work in a nice suit and tie every day. There were not casual Fridays, and certainly there was never a day when he said, “You know? I think I’ll wear shorts because it’s just too hot for this suit.” That was never the case; not one single time. And this is the primary person who taught me about dressing for work. Well, really he didn’t teach me about dressing for work, but this is what I was exposed to and this is what formed my opinion of what one wears to work – something WORK APPROPRIATE!! And I bet they didn’t even have a dress code!
So these days I come to work and on half moon days, I get calls from my clients about the dress code violators. On one hand, I have to chuckle a bit to myself…it all seems so silly! On one particular half moon/dress code violation day, I received an extra special call. A client of mine had a new employee. This employee worked in the public eye. This employee wore a uniform–type top and the rest of the outfit was to be bottoms and shoes in good repair, this all according to the dress code policy in place. This particular client had strategically written the dress code to include verbiage about tattoos, peircings, unusual make up and hair, and even included body scent. So, they thought of everything, right? Well, not the case on half moon day. The client had heard from some employees that a particular employee was coming to work without wearing a bra! The employees who reported this did not know this piece of information because they had witnessed something…nothing like that. The employee, it seems, was obviously not wearing a bra. So, my client decided to ask the employee to come into the office for a confidential meeting. The client proceeded to ask the employee to please begin wearing bras to work and even went out and bought bras for the violator. Well, the violator, she did not deny that she was not wearing a bra, nor was she offended by being asked to wear the bras that were bought for her, but can you guess what she did do? She asked for the bra receipt and returned the merchandise for the cash and promptly quit her job! This violator was not going to work for a company that wanted her to wear undergarments and after all, the dress code did not say that she had to!
So I ask you, what is wrong with people? Why is it so hard to understand that we have to dress work appropriate for work? I am occasionally baffled by these things. What happened between the days when my dad went to work and now? I just don’t get it.