Needing to Vent

Friday we went over our dress code with employees...again, specifically mentioning appropriate vs. inappropriate items. Our receptionist is wearing nearly all the inappropriate items. HELLO?! The policy said no cotton pull-on pants; trousers/slacks of a suiting material are great. Velcro sandals with rubber soles...unacceptable...dress sandals are great.

Allow me to repeat the mantra...I love my job I love my job I love my job. INHALE...EXHALE.

Thanks for listening!


  • 30 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • FHRB, I feel your pain. The thorne in my side was our Sr. Process Clerk. She had been allowed to wear jeans for years, although no one else could. We updated dress code, introduced it, had meetings with all ee's. Her manager met with her individually to let her know jeans would no longer be acceptable. Next day she shows up in.....khaki colored jeans.
  • Hope this isn't a sign... our Professional Dress Code returns next Tuesday. Biggest overall problem I have is first line superivsors not addressing those not in compliance within their areas. Therefore those of us on the Policy Police squad have to go and get involved.
    I am going to really enjoy not wearing a time for the next four days!
  • So what did you (or her boss) do?

    Either she is completely dense, in denial, or she's testing you. x:-)
  • I am talking to her this afternoon. I think she's dense and testing us. I also believe that she's going to tell me that pants made of a suiting material rub on her knee (she had surgery in January and is still limping, don't get me started!) and wearing dress shoes hurts her knee. I'm going to inform her that there are many soft suiting materials and that we'd be happy to accomodate nice, clean tennis shoes with a note from her doctor.
  • Can I please ask when it became HR's job to teach people appropriate office attire? I am so sick of sending out the no flip-flops in the office I can't stand it. Their Manager's either don't notice it or refuse to do anything about it. I have decided to let it go until the CEO (Mr. Suit) screams like a banchi and then maybe some of the Managers will notice what their employee's are wearing.

    I love my job! I love my job! Inhale....Exhale.
    Okay I'm over it. Thanks for letting me vent!
  • Catbert46,

    The only problem with that route, if your organization is like mine, is the person who gets screamed at for not enforcing policy is HR.
  • This is where pork usually chimes in, so I will, because I agree with him.

    It is NOT HR's responsibility to enforce policies. Supervisors/managers [b]exist[/b] to supervise/manage their employees, which includes policy enforcement.

    I just got this email from one of our locations; "We are having a hard time getting our employees to wear their uniforms can you please send a formal letter address to our employees effective immediately to start wearing uniforms."

    My answer was NO, I will not send a formal letter. Just enforce the existing policy, for crying out loud. It has not changed in years.


  • Add this to the vent list;

    I just learned that a supervisor "shares" performance evaluations with her staff by handing the document to them, and tells them "read and sign this and give it back to me."

    This particular supervisor has been with us 10 years.

    If I mysteriously stop posting, that means I have killed myself.
  • I just found out this happened here the other day, but the supervisor went one step further and said, "I didn't rate you.....I feel it's over rated." Mind you, our raises are tied to the rating. I'm very curious to see the final draft of this review.
    I love my job!!!!
  • When I talked to the employee wearing the cotton pull-on pants, she informed me that they were polyester. I almost fell off my chair. In my experience, polyester takes a gazillion years to fade.

    I know everyone has one, but this is the employee I wish would just LEAVE!! T-r-o-u-b-l-e.
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 08-30-07 AT 03:36PM (CST)[/font][br][br]I had an employee argue with me about what she was wearing once. I just said, "Sorry. Whatever it really is, it looks like xxx to me. If it appears to me to be xxx then it will appear to others to be xxx. Since xxx is not allowed per our dress code because of its appearance, then this item is disqualified for the same reason." End of discussion.

    Good luck!

  • Am feeling snarky right before naptime. Also my brain has burned out its last working cell for this week.

    FunHRBanker, what kind of pants AREN'T "pull-on" pants? x:D
  • Excellent point, Q! I didn't think of that. Pull-on pants that I'm referring to have no hook and zipper closure.
  • So, polyester/suit material pants can't have an elastic waistband, they must have a zipper? Does that apply to skirts, also? I have several nice business suits with pants and skirts, but they have elastic wastbands. Are you saying that would not meet your dress code?
  • No, I meant the cotton pants. Man, this is confusing! If they look like leggings or sweatpants without the elastic on the bottom.

    The code states that pants, skirts, etc. must be made of a suiting material.
  • Our ladies dress code for pants states: "Dress pants/slacks must be worn. Belts must be worn unless pants are designed to be worn without belts. Pants must be pressed and clean making a neat appearance. Anything less casual than the above is not acceptable. Pants should break at the top of the foot or shoe; length must not come above the ankle. Docker “style” dress pants are acceptable. While Capri pants and their fashion cousins that come in assorted lengths from just below the knee to just above the ankle may be the latest trend, they are out of place in the conservative professional dress business environment. These styles are not appropriate: Shorts, Split skirts, stone-washed fabrics, jeans or jean/denim like styles, overalls, Culottes, Capri styles, etc."
    As I mentioned earlier, we return to Professional Dress this coming Tuesday, I can hardly wait.
  • I am SO glad we changed our policy to a more relaxed one a few years ago. We still must be neat, but it is business casual all the way. Now we can wear 'colored jeans.' That is, they may or may not be some kind of denim, but they can be in a jean style. We draw the line at the real thing except on Fridays. We also allow capris as some can be very nice.

    Also, since the hospital who owns us relaxed their stance on footwear, we allow tennis shoes too. They must be clean and neat, but they are allowed. I love it! I can't believe how much mroe energy I have at the end of the day when I wear tennies instead of heels.

    I can see that organizations that have a lot of customers or visitors would not be able to do things this way, but it really works well for us. I hope things change enough in the future that even organizations with a lot of customers will feel they can relax things a bit and spend time concentrating on the job instead of their pinched toes.

    Good luck!

  • Everywhere I go, I add this to the dress code policy:


    "The following is a guideline and is not meant to be all-inclusive. Management reserves the right to use discretion in all matters of professionalism and appearance, even when an employee may technically be in compliance."


    It's the killshot for almost every challenge I've received, and it has helped me twice in unemployment hearings.
  • "Management reserves the right to use discretion in all matters of professionalism and appearance, even when an employee may technically be in compliance."

    I like that, Frank. I will add that to our policy on the next handbook revision.
  • Same employee shows up this morning with white beachy flip flops and tells me that they "were in the sandal section!" Flip flops do not qualify as professional business attire. Why is this not obvious?!
  • I hope you sent her home to change her shoes. I also hope this shows up in her next evaluation. She needs to get how important this is.

    Good luck!

  • I'll deal with your flip flop person if you deal with my mini skirt leather person with the see through blouses. I did sent her home when I found out about it and I did reprimend the supervisor for allowing it.

    Also I have one employee that comes to work and changes into bunny slippers after she gets here. Now why can she not figure out that Bunny Slippers are for the home and not the office!

    Venting also....
  • "...and I did reprimend the supervisor for allowing it." Another job for HR Policy Police! I luv it when Superviosors, Sr. Management, etc. will walk past someone that is so not in dress code, not say a word to the ee or their supervisor and then call HR so we can "take care of it".
  • Such is the life of the "HR Professional"!
  • That is exactly what happened and our policy states that the supervisor has the last word in the dress code for his/her department.

    So I get to look like the Wicked Witch!

  • Just curious...what were some of the challenges you overcame with this statement?
  • Hey drehil, not sure how it's helped Frank, but just yesterday I reminded a supervisor to use the statement.

    We prohibit visible tattoos and indicate they must be covered at all times. A staff member showed up to work wearing masking tape wrapped around her ankles, to cover the tattoos. She reported that she has to use 7 bandaids every day to cover her tattoos and she can't afford to keep buying them.

    Technically, she was in compliance, but it looked like crap. The supervisor, evidently unable to think for herself, said she thought she had to tolerate this because the tattoos were covered.

    That is when I busted out Frank's statement.
  • Frank, I am finally rewriting my employee handbook and just used your "catch all" statement on post #18.

    Still love it.

    Where do I send the royalty check? It's burning a hole in my wallet.
  • Ah... Just put the money toward more Mt. Dew for Ray. Besides, I don't have a pocket to put it in... It's Pantsless Tuesday here.
  • We had a receptionist who dressed in stretch pants and tight tops. We solved the problem early on by sending her home on her own time to change, advising that she should not return to work unless she was appropriately dressed.
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