Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Corporate Stories Part 1: Dress Code.
Thought I'd start a new column on my learning experiences in the corporate world from the past couple years. First thing is about dress code. It's the first characteristic of the company I noticed when I went in to interview; what people were wearing. Types of shoes, shirts, slacks, jeans, exposed tattoos, piercings, styles, what does this company deem acceptable? On my first day, I wore a short-sleeved, button down, flat-bottomed shirt, designed to be untucked and yet proper (so to speak); along with khakis and some casual leather shoes. Went to lunch with my new boss and was introduced to a Vice President. Approximately 3 hours later, while resetting the furniture in one of the large conference rooms, my boss raises the issue of our corporate dress code in a surprisingly calm and politically correct manner, requesting that I simply tuck-in my shirt to abide by our departmental standards. Blame it on naivete, blame it on style, fine. But, imagine if you will, the chicken looking both ways to make sure the road is clear before crossing it, only to trip and fall on his face from a miniscule pebble after his first step. That was how I felt. Paranoia and caution have since followed my every fashionable step (or misstep), which is why I haven't worn that shirt since. But I am reminded of that experience each day at the office because on my company badge...there is a picture of me...smiling...from that very...first...day.