Posts Tagged ‘ the office culture ’

Why is she wearing a swimsuit to the office?

Part of the office culture here is that staff members do not have to report incidents, issues or concerns directly to the upper levels of management.  They are free to talk to someone lower down the order who will take it up on their behalf and they can bow out of the process at that stage should they wish.

This works well.  Some people can have concerns that they won’t be listened to or they feel intimidated about going straight to the top.  So, I’ll recall an incident here.

The title of this post was the opening to the conversation and it took me by surprise.  I remember thinking what, who?  It was a case of her over there and a brief rant about why the standard of dress was not appropriate.

To quickly set the scene, it was a hot day and the person in question was wearing a skirt that came above the knee (but not in breach of policy), a thinly strapped top (stomach was covered and very little cleavage showing) and heels.  A matching jacket was hung over the back of her office chair.  For certain, it was on the casual side of professional but well with in the rules.

Now I’ve seen a few swimsuits before, some more daring than others perhaps, but I can never recall one that I would (probably inadequately) describe as a skirt suit.  Alas per policy I had to report it in writing, describing the discussion and what the other party was wearing.  I felt like a catwalk MC who wasn’t doing his job properly “xxx was wearing a cream coloured……….”.

It was dismissed out of hand but a few days later the woman who made the complaint came to see me again.  She identifies herself as a feminist and a supporter of feminist ideals.  She said she hoped things didn’t go further with her issue, she was having a bad time at the moment and wanted to hurt someone and that someone was going to be the best dressed female in the office at that moment.

She had no intention of striking out at a male though.