January 19, 2011

From the Desk of the Chief Mockery Officer: Dress Code Manual

From: Jaba, Chief Mockery Officer
To: Minions
Date: January 19, 2011
Re: Dress Code Manual

Swiss banking giant UBS recently announced that it will be streamlining its 44-page dress code which provides detailed instructions on how to dress and behave in front of clients, after the manual publicly surfaced late last year and was ridiculed by the popular press. As you might suspect, I completely disagree with their decision. As demonstrated by the ridiculous outfits worn by many of our employees as well as their complete lack of personal etiquette, workers need to be told in exacting detail what is acceptable workplace attire and behavior. Therefore, I have instructed Human Resources to begin developing our own manual with specific instructions that it be at least 45 pages long.

Some key directives will include:

Pinstripe suits must match. Unlike sport coats and trousers, it is not acceptable to wear the jacket of one pinstripe suit with the pants of a different pinstripe suit. While it’s true that both mismatched items have vertical stripes, chances are they are of a different color, width and spacing. Do not assume that they are “close enough”. They are not.

Animals on clothing is permitted only if part of a brand logo (i.e Polo, Penguin, etc.). We love animals, however, it is never permissible to demonstrate that love by wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a mural sized whale graphic. You do not work at Sea World. In addition, wearing shirts with marine mammals on it does not help our reputation as a company that hires sea cows at an unusually high rate.

Bowl cuts permitted only for Asian employees on H1-B visas. If you are a US citizen or legal resident of this country, you are not allowed to sport a “bowl cut” hairdo in the workplace. Such restrictions are more stringent for female employees.

Sandals are not appropriate work attire. It should go without saying that sandals, whether they be flip flops or hiking sandals, are not appropriate footwear for the workplace. However, based on the number of employees I have seen who apparently feel that sandals compliment their marine mammal t-shirts nicely, it is now company policy that employees are not allowed to wear sandals on company grounds (including outdoor facilities).

Sweatpants permitted in the gym only. Along with sandals, I would have normally assumed that employees had the common sense to not wear sweatpants to work. And just like with sandals, I have been proven wrong. You are not permitted to wear sweatpants unless you are actively working out at our onsite gym. Employees on company travel are still governed by this rule which means you are not permitted to wear sweat pants when traveling by plane. Wearing a sports coat with sweatpants is a terminable offense.

No air drying of personal clothing in cars parked on company premises. To my horror, I recently witnessed an employee hang his used biking shorts and other workout attire from their car window. I can only assume that the employee decided that a good air-dry in lieu of a proper washing would be sufficient. Not only do I suspect that this is an OSHA violation, it is an eye sore to have cars with articles of clothing strewn about them parked in the company parking lot. Security has been instructed to look out for such vehicles and have them summarily towed.

We expect the dress code manual to be completed by the end of the first quarter. An online dress code training module is also being developed for inclusion in next fiscal year’s performance review process.


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Chief Mockery Officer is owned and operated by The Jaba Group.