Saturday, 25 May 2019

Jeans, boots, tattoos... Oh my!

Thursday was my last day working for a particular company and I have now closed that chapter in my life. It was an office job and NOT a client-facing one yet the dress-code composed of two pages of what to wear and what not to wear, including mention of shoe choices, piercings and tattoos.

Ever since my school days I have been airing my views about how institutional dress codes impose on people a uniformity that goes against a person’s personality and individuality. I must have been only some thirteen years old when I first started my active protestation of such a ridiculous matter. For truly, how in the world does wearing jeans affect one’s mental faculties and productivity level?

As I previously mentioned, this week was my last on a job so I made it a point to try out an experiment. I turned up for work always wearing decent clothes that look cool, well put-together and stylish whilst bringing out my personality. The one thing they were not was Office-Wear.

I rarely ever wore a suit to work in the past few years, nor do I usually wear what are called office trousers, mostly because I find it pretty difficult to buy any in the appropriate size. However I do consider office rules even whilst hating them so this was the first week I ever turned up in a very casual skirt or jeans.

The offending pair of jeans!
Considering that my choice of skirt for the Monday was on the short side, attention-seeking for its pattern and even likely to be considered way casual, it seemed to bother no one. So you can imagine my surprise when on the Tuesday I wore normal blue NOT FADED and NOT TORN OR FRAYED cropped denim jeans and the fact was pointed out to me by the HR department. My question of “Why would it matter?” was answered solely by the phrase “It says so in the dress code.” How intelligent an answer that was to my honest puzzlement about the situation is a mystery.

All week, my work DID NOT suffer in any way for the lack of ‘professional’ sartorial choices. So seriously, when are businesses going to wake up to the real world and acknowledge that workers are more useful for their skills than their ability to follow policies related to whether their choice of trousers makes the cut?

Each morning I took a picture of my experimental outfit to share with you here below. As you can see, nothing screams ‘indecency’ or could in any way prove problematic to my workmates. In fact, even though I do not yet have any tattoos on me, I would not even consider showing a tattoo as offending material for those around me?

This reminds me of a particular incident I faced last year whilst looking for a new home. Malta has become full of hungry real estate agents that pull potential clients off their competition’s mouths to be the first to show them the same measly number of buildings that are within most people’s budgets. I have faced annoying agents, others who were outright rude to me and even ones that were unable to grasp the simple basics of my requirements before thrusting any properties within my budget in front of my face.

Which is how one agent stood out, firstly because when I met him I noticed he had a big tattoo that was not at all hidden and later through his professionally on the job. He turned out to be by far one of the best two agents I had the pleasure to have help me find my home. So truly, how would hiding the tattoo make him better at the job? Or the others any more competent for making less casual dress choices? Attributing a person’s professional skill on the job to their choice of attire is like expecting every black cat owner to turn out to be a witch.

NB - Please note I have absolutely nothing against witches, but one could have a black cat for a pet and not be witchy at all! 🙀🙀🙀

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