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Posted Monday, October 28, 2013 4:43 PM
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It is fun to see how people rationalise things that are clearly not rational, especially when there are so many counter examples

my favourite so far was that it is harder to change someone's manner of dressing than it is to teach them new skills
Post #1509143
Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 4:10 AM
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mtucker-732014 (10/28/2013)
It is fun to see how people rationalise things that are clearly not rational, especially when there are so many counter examples

my favourite so far was that it is harder to change someone's manner of dressing than it is to teach them new skills


First, I never said it was rational, completely the opposite in fact, but never the less a reality. Having said that, you are clearly over simplifying the concept. It is more than just changing someone's manner of dressing. But, to follow your lead, I will equally over simplify. I cannot teach manners or etiquette to the adult, if there parents never taught the child in the first place.
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Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 1:40 PM
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I dress for the occasion. Normal office working days are slacks, polo-type shirt, comfortable shoes, socks. If I am meeting with people from the company, same clothes. I'm allowed to wear jeans during the summer (allowed, but I still opt for slacks), but not when meeting 'big wigs' or outside customers. When I work from home...almost anything goes. :)

-SQLBill



Post #1509551
Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 2:26 PM


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Steph Locke (10/28/2013)
Grant Fritchey (10/28/2013)[hrBut...

I received a job based on an interview that took place on a swing-set in someone's back yard. I went there during lunch from my current employer. Both the setting and the situation meant I wasn't wearing a suit or tie. In fact, I was wearing shorts, sneakers and a witty t-shirt (I think it was an X-Files shirt). I got the job.

I interviewed for my current position while wearing a kilt. Needless to say, I got this job too. Oh, and I interviewed with another company that same day, wearing the same kilt.

The old days of iron-clad rules are gone. Maybe not everywhere (for example, I would assume that an interview with a financial services firm, I'm going to be wearing a suit & tie), but lots of places just don't require that kind of rigid behavior any more.

I know that upsets people, but it's reality.

And I'm with you. Let's break out the shorts and the kilts.


I'm not sure I'd count a meeting on a swing as an interview, but certainly, the context removes the formality inherent in an interview, and relaxes the dress code too. It'd be on a similar footing to a discussion about a job held in a coffee shop - I wouldn't expect anyone to show up in a suit unless that's what they wore to work that day.

In the UK, the kilt would be considered formal and suitable attire - particularly if you had one like this chap


I worked at a company where I heard stories of a former employee who wore a kilt to work a number of times. The first few times it caused quite a stir apparently because you don't see men in kilts that often in the US. He was never sent home though because he hadn't broken any rules. However one time he was sent home because he wore the kilt along with a suggestive t-shirt. I won't go into the details of the shirt but the fact that people were still talking about it 4 years later was pretty good. Having read some of the comments this guy put in his stored procs, I wasn't really surprised...
Post #1509565
Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013 4:22 PM
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Keith Hays (10/29/2013)
mtucker-732014 (10/28/2013)
It is fun to see how people rationalise things that are clearly not rational, especially when there are so many counter examples

my favourite so far was that it is harder to change someone's manner of dressing than it is to teach them new skills


First, I never said it was rational, completely the opposite in fact, but never the less a reality....


Right, so it isnt rational to put image ahead of skills/talent etc when hiring someone, glad we agree on that.

But if that is the case why perpetuate that kind of decision making when in the position to be making these kinds of decisions? There are a whole range of options available to you. For example, you could inform candidates before an interview that you expect them to wear a suit to the interview. Or, having found a talented but slovenly potential employee, you could tell them a requirement of the job is a certain dress code.

I have worked in environments ranging from the military to the most hippy charity, with a bunch of corporates in between, and my experience is that the 'standard' of dress has no relation at all to the quality of work, motivation of the people, or anything else that might be relevant. So, yes, of course different standards apply to different places but it really shouldnt be colouring your judgment.
Post #1509600
Posted Saturday, November 2, 2013 4:43 PM


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I guess one should drees appropriately for what one is doing, and especially take care to avoid giving offense. For example I will wear a kilt in most of England only when formal evening dress (so waistcoat and doublet, higland shoes) is required or at meetings of Highland or Gaelic associations/societies, otherwise I'll wear trousers or shorts, but different rules apply in Scotland. When meeting with venture capitalists it make be appropriate to look as unconventional as possible or it may be appropriate to look very conventional, depending on who the vcs are and sometimes also on what they are expecting. I've been known to wear grey suit, white formal shirt with double cuffs, IEE Fellow's tie (that tie earns lots of points with many technical managers), and mirror-polished Oxfords when meeting customers, and pressed light brown slacks, tan dress shoes, and slack short-sleeved shirt for other customers. What I wear in the office has varied enormously accoring to which firm I was working for. I dress completely differently when in Spain of Sothern France because the climate requires it, for example I normally wear sandals (as does pretty well everyone else, except tourists) - but definitely no shorts or short-sleeved shirt when looking around monuments or landmark (buildings or natural) with any sort of religious significance (no shorts for such in the UK either, but short sleeves are OK in most such places in the UK), no shorts on any sort of formal occassion and I often wear a straw hat, but in the other parts of europe I've worked in I have dressed much as in the UK. In the office I'm either bearded or clean-shaven, not in-between - switching from clean-shaven to bearded needs some time of absence from the office, but that's generally not been a problem. Different employers have had different dress codes - none of them unreasonable, I've never been expected to wear a tie anywhere near an old-fashioned printer or a multi-platter replaceable disc drive and hardly ever anywhere else, and none of them requiring a suit except when meeting customers, suppliers or backers - eg no suits for meetings with executive directors / senior vice-presidents of my employer. As a senior VP myself and for a while acting CEO I didn't see any reason to impose any stricter dress code than keep customers etccetera happy and maintain decent hygene and don't come to work looking as if you can't afford unpatched clothes or looking as if you've grown three sizes since the clothes you are wearing last fit you, and no footwear that renders you unable to walk properly or damages the flooring.
Now that I'm mostly retired, of course, I just make sure I'm warm (when in the UK) or cool (when in Lanzarote) and comfortable. No need to worry about any dress code other than one I impose on myself.

Having interviewed a lot of IT people and been very unimpressed by the general level of technical capabilities, I came to the conclusion that rejecting someone for a technical IT job on the basis of dress was not a sensible thing to do if they were technically competent and were willing when asked to adopt the company's dress code; of cause if they weren't willing, that was the end of it - given how mild the various dress codes were refusal to comply would be indicative of some sort of childish rebellion, and the risk of that carrying over into their work wouldn't have been acceptable any more that the idea of having to manage someone with that childish attitude, or inflict that sorry task on someone else, and to watch the attitude (not the dress, necessarily) disrupt his relations with his colleagues was.


Tom
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