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Humor: Dress for Success
Old 01-15-2015, 10:50 PM   #1
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Humor: Dress for Success

I was talking with co-worker 1 and another co-worker 2 came up. Here was the conversation

1 to 2: "You are dressed up nice today and yesterday."
Me (joking): "You must have an interview for a new job?"
2 to us: "Well, received these clothes for Christmas, so I figured might as well wear them. However, you know what they say 'Dress for the job you want, not the job you have'."
Me: "Guess I better come to work in my shorts, old t-shirt and tennis shoes then; I want to be retired and not have a job!"

I thought many of you could appreciate my attempt at humor. My work is actually pretty casual dress, no ties or suits unless a real big mtg with lot of visitors. Most days is dockers type pants or nice jeans and a std button shirt, and some oxford style dress shoes. Sure glad I don't have to wear a tie for normal workdays like when I started out as engr back in 1987. Now to just survive approx OMY!
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Humor: Dress for Success
Old 01-16-2015, 03:58 AM   #2
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Humor: Dress for Success

OMY'ers definitely slack off in workplace "dress for success". In college, one of our professors said "whether you like it or not, people judge you by the way you look". So I would dress well when I was in a situation to be judged - mtg, etc. But most of the time I went to work in jeans, since I would routinely do site visits. We did have a no jeans dress code in the office that I was somewhat exempt from.

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Old 01-16-2015, 05:40 AM   #3
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I thought many of you could appreciate my attempt at humor. My work is actually pretty casual dress, no ties or suits unless a real big mtg with lot of visitors. Most days is dockers type pants or nice jeans and a std button shirt, and some oxford style dress shoes. Sure glad I don't have to wear a tie for normal workdays like when I started out as engr back in 1987. Now to just survive approx OMY!
I got my MSEE in '86 and in my first job wore a dress shirt, pants, and shoes. In '91 I changed jobs ( a few times since) and it's been jeans, t-shirts and sneekers.

1.5 months to ER. I think I finally convinced them I'm serious
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Old 01-16-2015, 07:38 AM   #4
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I wore jeans on a customer call for the first time this week. As a bulldozer salesman this would not be unusual, but I've always felt that dressing for success was important. Now into OMY I don't feel it so much.
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Old 01-16-2015, 07:53 AM   #5
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I'd think wearing jeans would be 'dressing for success' in your business...
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:23 AM   #6
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I used to dress warmly, with a hoodie, when I flew for business as it usually involved standing in a freezing parking lot waiting for an airport shuttle. I knew I'd overdone it when another passenger pushed his luggage and a few dollar bills into my hand.
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Old 01-16-2015, 09:05 AM   #7
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I'd think wearing jeans would be 'dressing for success' in your business...
Actually many of the guys making the big bucks seldom get their Gucci loafers dirty while swinging multimillion dollar deals. While not at all in that league, I am old school enough to wear a dress shirt and pants. Of course much of it is regional as well. Much of my time is spent in the NYC, northeast US area. There most jobs are union regulated which eliminates much hands on action on my part. At my age I'm fine with standing there and doing the pointing and talking.
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Old 01-16-2015, 09:05 AM   #8
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I used to dress warmly, with a hoodie, when I flew for business as it usually involved standing in a freezing parking lot waiting for an airport shuttle. I knew I'd overdone it when another passenger pushed his luggage and a few dollar bills into my hand.
Awesome!
DH was waiting for a friend to meet him when he flew out to Seattle last year to meet our bus at the shipyard, and apparently was looking especially hobo-ish sitting on the curb, as a guy came up and gave him directions to the soup kitchen.
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Old 01-16-2015, 09:24 AM   #9
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Actually many of the guys making the big bucks seldom get their Gucci loafers dirty while swinging multimillion dollar deals. While not at all in that league, I am old school enough to wear a dress shirt and pants. Of course much of it is regional as well.
+1

My son in law is a 'bulldozer salesman' in West Texas and Oklahoma. He'd be SOL if he showed up at any customer's place of business wearing anything more formal than khakis.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:17 AM   #10
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My workplace for the last 30 years (federal government office) never had a dress code. But I wore suits or skirt/blazer or jacket the first ten years just to try to get some respect because I was a 5'0 female engineer ('85 ChE) who looked at least five years younger than my actual age. And most of the other engineers were male and 15-20 years older than me. Now it is generally just a blazer and slacks and jeans on Friday but never a T-shirt and tennis shoes. Also my office is cold all year round so the blazer is handy. However as I OMY, am noticing that I am starting to wear jeans more than once a week.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:31 AM   #11
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+1

My son in law is a 'bulldozer salesman' in West Texas and Oklahoma. He'd be SOL if he showed up at any customer's place of business wearing anything more formal than khakis.
My late nephew was a banker that helped farmers get financing. He was always in a suit per his employer. The farmers he worked with got a huge kick when he'd climb into the cab of their new equipment for a test drive.

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Old 01-17-2015, 12:46 PM   #12
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I became very skeptical, and even have a lot of animosity for, the suit-and-tie dress code based on my own observations in my first job out of college.

My first job in the early 90's was at a VERY (and I emphasize VERY) conservative large consulting firm. Back then, they had a very strict corporate dress code. Suit and tie, always. It was so strict, I remember having to keep my jacket on while running cable underneath a raised data center floor. One guy I worked with got sent home one day because he had violated the dress code. He had forgotten to wear either a belt or suspenders (one was required).

They tried to pitch it as being professional, but I quickly learned it was a sham. Some of the worst performing people got cherry-picked for assignments just because they kissed ass and dressed the part. Some people even wore three-piece suits in an effort to get ahead.

To me, it meant it the quality of your work didn't matter, just how you dressed. I thought it was bullsh*t.

The next job I took was at HP, where it didn't matter what you wore (within limits), and every job I've had since then hasn't really had a dress code. In fact, I haven't owned, or worn, a suit in probably 25 years, and it suits me (no pun intended) just fine.

I think corporate dress codes are a sham. In fact, I'm so biased against suit-and-tie types, when somebody comes in to interview and they're wearing a suit and tie, my first thought is that it's a facade, and I wonder if they're trying to hide incompetence by wearing a suit, which is exactly what I saw in that first job of mine. It's a hard impression to overcome for me.
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Old 01-17-2015, 02:45 PM   #13
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.....snip......

They tried to pitch it as being professional, but I quickly learned it was a sham. Some of the worst performing people got cherry-picked for assignments just because they kissed ass and dressed the part. Some people even wore three-piece suits in an effort to get ahead.

To me, it meant it the quality of your work didn't matter, just how you dressed. I thought it was bullsh*t.
Couldn't agree more. I was part of a super team, we'd had years together. Nobody cared how you dressed.
Then our director left, replaced by a new CTO who picked the new leaders in the group based on how they started dressing .

They were the two worst leaders in the group. Most of the remaining folks transferred out, myself included. Karma came to visit eventually. When one of the new people "came out", the CTO told his hand picked manager to fire him as he didn't want any of "those kind" in his area. I was so proud of the new manager as she went straight to HR. One CTO was gone.

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Old 01-17-2015, 04:54 PM   #14
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My first job in the early 90's was at a VERY (and I emphasize VERY) conservative large consulting firm. Back then, they had a very strict corporate dress code. Suit and tie, always. It was so strict, I remember having to keep my jacket on while running cable underneath a raised data center floor. One guy I worked with got sent home one day because he had violated the dress code. He had forgotten to wear either a belt or suspenders (one was required).
I have a great story along the same lines.

A good friend of mine was a technician with IBM back in the late 60s/early 70s. Strict dress code of suit & tie. At the time, they were starting to ease up a bit, and allowing people in some offices to opt for a pastel shirt instead of plain white.

Well, my friend's territory was Wall Street, and he got a call early on a Sunday morning to go in and fix a machine. He figured that at that hour, nobody could possibly see him except building security, so he just threw on a pair of jeans and a sweat shirt.

A few hours later, he was on his back under a machine (they were pretty big back in those days), and a partner of the brokerage firm came in to visit his office for some reason. He looked through the glass wall into the data center, gasped, and went up to his office to make a phone call to the CEO of IBM, who happened to be Tom Watson, Jr., son of IBM's founder.

The conversation went something like "I just saw one of your people in here, and he looks like a slob!"

Next day, word went out throughout IBM that the days of relaxed dress codes were over. No more pastel shirts, and anyone caught out of "uniform" would be summarily fired.

The funny thing is that my friend went on to a long and successful career with IBM, and nobody he worked with ever knew about his little incident.
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Old 01-17-2015, 04:59 PM   #15
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My late nephew was a banker that helped farmers get financing. He was always in a suit per his employer. The farmers he worked with got a huge kick when he'd climb into the cab of their new equipment for a test drive.

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Sounds like he'd get along well with Oliver Wendell Douglas.

My farmer GF used to tell us "If someone shows up on the farm and wants to shake your hand, do it. If he's wearing a tie, count your fingers before he leaves."

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I have a great story along the same lines.

A good friend of mine was a technician with IBM back in the late 60s/early 70s. Strict dress code of suit & tie. At the time, they were starting to ease up a bit, and allowing people in some offices to opt for a pastel shirt instead of plain white.

Well, my friend's territory was Wall Street, and he got a call early on a Sunday morning to go in and fix a machine. He figured that at that hour, nobody could possibly see him except building security, so he just threw on a pair of jeans and a sweat shirt.

A few hours later, he was on his back under a machine (they were pretty big back in those days), and a partner of the brokerage firm came in to visit his office for some reason. He looked through the glass wall into the data center, gasped, and went up to his office to make a phone call to the CEO of IBM, who happened to be Tom Watson, Jr., son of IBM's founder.

The conversation went something like "I just saw one of your people in here, and he looks like a slob!"

Next day, word went out throughout IBM that the days of relaxed dress codes were over. No more pastel shirts, and anyone caught out of "uniform" would be summarily fired.

The funny thing is that my friend went on to a long and successful career with IBM, and nobody he worked with ever knew about his little incident.
In the late seventies I worked in a university data center. I get the midnight call, go in, determine it's HW. Call IBM, our guy shows up in about an hour: 1/2 drunk, wearing sandals, cut-off blue jeans and a tie (no shirt), fixed the machine and left. I wonder if those events are related?
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Old 01-17-2015, 05:29 PM   #16
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Hate to admit it, but I've spent the last two days in 10 year old paint splattered yoga pants, cleaning my boat. That's what I call success!
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:45 PM   #17
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There are some conservative dressing companies in the high tech world, especially when customer contact is involved, but in the deepest darkest caves of programmers, the dress code is sometimes opposite. Indeed, there is actually a bit of social pressure to dress down - old tshirts, shorts, very worn jeans. If anything it's a reverse social measurement. You must be really really good that they allow you to wear THAT.
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Old 01-18-2015, 01:19 AM   #18
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I have a great story along the same lines...
I love these old war stories about these companies.

I'll share a couple more I remember...

I had to go to their Texas HQ for three months, and it happened to be in June, July, and August. In Texas heat.

As long as you were on the corporate campus, you were supposed to keep your jacket on. IIRC, the only place we could remove our jackets was in our cubes. Walking to and from the buildings to the parking garages in 100+ Texas heat, gotta keep that jacket on (how stupid).

A bunch of us newbies went down our first day there to the cafeteria for lunch. When we went to sit down at our table, we took our jackets off and put them on the backs of our chairs. A couple minutes later, a security guard came around and said something like, "I'm sorry gentlemen, you have to keep your jackets on in the cafeteria." We didn't notice it when we sat down, but every guy there had his jacket on while eating.

We felt like little boys being reprimanded, it was embarrassing.

Another story from a couple years later...

This was in either Indianapolis or Denver (I forget, it's been so long) but one of the mainframe security guys liked to push the envelope a bit and see how much he could get away with. The dress code stipulated VERY conservative shirts, either white or very conservative pinstripes.

One day, he shows up in a pastel shirt. I'm sure he knew it was against the rules, but he did it anyway.

That lasted all of about a couple hours, and they sent him home.

Last story I remember, a few years later than that and right before I left...

They started bringing in some third-party contractors that didn't have to fully adhere to the dress code. We couldn't have facial hair, and no hair below the shirt collar, but some of the contractors showed up with beards and mustaches, or longer hair. It just about caused a mutiny from some of us.

I remember getting all full of "piss and vinegar" (as my Momma used to say) one day, and decided I was going to talk to the General Manager of our development center about it. Now this was a guy who dressed to the nines. Three-piece suit, and cufflinks. When the company did relax the dress code a few years later and allowed casual dress on Fridays, I heard from friends who still worked there, that he tried to stop it. But I digress...

So I arrive for my appointment with this guy, and tell him a bunch of us are disappointed that contractors are allowed a more relaxed dress code than we are. I forget exactly how he worded it, but he basically marked me down as being a troublemaker, and told me in no uncertain terms that if I was unhappy with the rules, I was free to find employment elsewhere.

Which I did a few months later, when I quit and went to work at HP.

I stayed at that company for 6 years, the longest I've ever been at any employer. Looking back, it was about 4 years too long.
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:16 AM   #19
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LoneAspen, I have an odd story about the "Jacket Police" like yours. Back in 1991, after my company moved to another building in lower Manhattan. Our new office had more partitions separating our cubicles as well as blocking some of the larger beams from view. Because of the odd, trapezoidal shape of the building, there were some little gaps between some cubicles and the beams including mine.


I used one of those gaps to install a hanger to hang up my coat and jacket. One day, one of the company bigwigs was walking around our floor and saw a small part of the sleeve of my overcoat sticking out from behind the partition. He scolded me for not hanging up my overcoat in the coat closet which was not near my cubicle and making me hang it up there. He said I could hang it on the back of my chair but the chair wasn't nearly tall enough to keep the long overcoat from hitting the rug and I would inevitably roll over it with the chair's wheels and make it dirty or even damage it.


The next morning I resumed hanging my overcoat and jacket in the cubicle gap. The bigwig never returned and I used that handy spot to hang my overcoat and jacket for the next 10 years until we relocated again. In my new cubicle, I hung my coat up in a similar way just outside my cubicle but no bigwigs came around that time.
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:33 AM   #20
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Wow, these stories are like learning about some tribal customs in some far flung country!

I've never worked anywhere with a dress code beyond wearing clothes that covered most of your private parts.

I wouldn't have survived two days.

My dad worked for Lipton Tea a long time ago, and I remember him and his staff bitching about having to wear long pants when the bigwigs came down to their little research station from New Jersey for visits.


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