Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Office Dress Code Nuttiness

The creation of an office dress code can be a tricky beast, as you want to straddle the line between letting your workers be comfortable and maintaining an appropriate businesslike appearance--all while avoiding any rules that could lead to discrimination claims. But it seems like someone in Human Resources at Swiss bank UBS has taken this full retard. They now have a 43 page manual outlining their dress code, with items such as "don't eat onions" and "cut your hair once every four weeks".

Now, part of me thinks a lot of these rules are probably borne of necessity--some guy wears loafers with no socks, then you gotta make a rule, some woman has her thong poke up over her dress pants, gotta make a rule--but 43 pages? I don't think I could come up with 43 pages worth of dress code discussion even if I listed every type of inappropriate style of footwear (open toed sandals, clown shoes, platform shoes with fish tank bottoms). This is clearly a level of micromanagement that makes you wonder why UBS didn't finally just decide to issue uniforms to all employees and shave them all bald each morning before they marched in unison to the work plant for soulless banter followed by rote work.

What's the right mix, in my view?

1) Get rid of neckties as a requirement. They're literally nooses, and send the wrong message. Plus they get in your food way too often.

2) If you can't tell they're sneakers from a distance, they'll count as work shoes.

3) I don't understand pantyhose requirements. If you're looking close enough to tell whether a woman at the office has bare legs, you're doing something wrong anyway.

4) It's sad that anyone should have to point out that clothes must be clean, but there we are.

5) Pajamas are ok if you've been having one hell of a week. Don't judge.

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