I have often joked about the fact that I have had just about every job you can think of. I have been a waitress, a bartender, a “barista”, a cook, coffee server, sandwich maker, Phone girl at a pizza joint and even the girl who “seats” you at your table. (Billings party of six? Right this way.) I have been a receptionist, an Admin, a clerk, an assistant, an assistant to the admin (I still don’t know exactly what that was), and data entry specialist – i.e. you sit in a room with no windows and type information into a computer. I have sold clothes, books, fine pens and stationery, fancy invitations, pizza, coffee and food. I have been an employee, a manager, a co-manager and an “acting” manager. I have been a tour guide, a karaoke hostess, a teacher, a writer and a few other things I just cant remember. All of this to say: I have had PLENTY experience in the American work force.
In every one of these jobs there was “appearance guidelines”. Some places had strict dress codes: As a tour guide I had to wear a suit to work everyday. Some of the offices I worked in didn’t like women to wear “provocative” clothing or open toed shoes. The bookstore didn’t want its employees to have hair of an “unnatural” color, or tattoos. The pizza place gave me a uniform, and as a waitress I either wore the customary white shirt and black slacks, or the skin tight “please tip me because I have huge boobs” shirt. Some of these rules were for safety and others were just old rules from an old era. The idea was to look “professional” – whatever that means. But, when you work for someone else, you have to play by their rules. You learn to suck it up. Most of the time.
I recall two instances in particular where my looks (and clothing) were called into question. The first was when I worked for Nextel Communications. My job was to sit at a desk and wait for the phone to ring. When it did I would schedule people into training classes so that they could learn how to use their mobil phone. (I know. Seriously.) At any rate, I worked in a CLOSED office with no windows and I never saw a client face to face. I was therefor allowed to wear casual clothes. I usually wore jeans and a nice shirt, or a T-Shirt and sneakers. Oh, did I mention that I have big boobs? Yeah, well. One day I got called into the managers office due to a complaint about my clothing. A shirt was too low cut, or tight or something. Long story short – I was dressed completely within the dress code and they couldn’t do anything. Who complained? A WOMAN.
Jump ahead a few years to RICOH Business Systems. This time I am a receptionist. I am the front line. No problem. I can do business dress. And I do. But, on a casual work day, I wore a cute and stylish pair of capri’s. Yep. Called into the office – this time I am “too casual for a casual work day”. Who complained? THE WOMEN. Well, the next day I came to work in a tight skirt, 3 inch heels and a hot little top. I paraded around the office with the dress code in my hot little hand. Fuck ’em.
The way I see it, a woman just can’t win in corporate America. You can’t get a job in the first place if you are not good looking enough. Then, once you have the job THIS happens to you. I honestly couldn’t believe this when I read it. It is discrimination, and it is just plain unfair. A woman is damed if she dresses down, and she is damed if she dresses up. Holding women responsible for the way men react to their appearance is just absurd. I mean really think about this conversation:
“SMITH! Why isn’t your report done?”
“I was working on it sir, but I was just to darn distracted by Jennings. She is so attractive.”
“You are right she sure is. I’ll tell her to tone it down so you can get your work done on time.”
“I would really appreciate that. Thanks sir.”
WHAT THE FUCK!? The correct response would be:
“Did you just say you were to distracted to do your work?”
“Either get your work done or I am giving it to Jennings.”
And while were at it – Ladies? When you see a hot chick at your office, try to take the high road and just let her be hot. She’s not being hot just to make you feel bad about your huge ass. She probably can’t help the hotness. If you feel her outfits are not appropriate for the work place, ask yourself this: If I had that body, would I still be wearing this turtleneck and jumper? Probably not. Let’s try to put a stop to woman/woman hate in the workplace. I mean I never once complained to the boss about the ugly Christmas sweaters I had to endure during the Christmas season. I never complained because my co-worker with small boobs wasn’t wearing a bra. Let’s put an end to talking trash about each other and vow support each other …
in being hot.