So what are you wearing today?
No, I’ve not decided to use the post valentine left over love to try and crack onto people, but rather ask the question “Does’t matter what you wear to work in a library?”. This is a topic that I’ve run into many times in my professional life. For the record I’m fairly well turned out most days (shirt, tie, jacket etc), with the exception of Fridays where I wear a smart t-shirt. We don’t have a dress code where I work (yet) though one has been mooted, to a unpopular reaction that you might be have been able to guess. It’s not definite nor a done deal, might even turn out to be quite a useful little tool for those managers who do need to have a word with someone “inappropriately dressed”.
I’ve touched on the subject before with his weaselly nibs and I have to confess it’s an area that I’m still unsure quite how I feel about it. Yes certainly there are outfits with lashings of flesh on show that really wouldn’t be suitable to work in customer services; but when summer comes and the students are wearing less – is left to the library staff to maintain the grooming standard? My natural predilections towards chaos over order feel that telling people what to wear is a closed minded approach, but my evolving manager’s gland suggests that it’s a useful yardstick to pull out when someone goes too far beyond the pale.
Come to think of it, I’d like to see one bring in an academic dress code. Frankly when I attend meetings I’m the smartest one there; and that certainly isn’t a usual state of affairs. Off duty, it’s combats and slogan t-shirts for me!
But while the clothing you wear certainly can affect the perceptions of the customers, does the clothing diminish or enhance in anyway the quality of the services you offer? Let me put it like this – if I issued you a book whilst clad in a red leather mini-skirt, how would a set of trousers make the exchange any better quality?
If you can lose for a while the image I might just have put in your mind, I’d be interested in your thoughts. Do you have a dress code, formal or informal (no pun), in place? Is it hard to live up to? Has anyone pushed it to the limit? Or are you like me, trusting in the majority of the working populace to know what is and isn’t appropriate to wear. Especially for back office people like myself, just how much does it mater?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go shave my legs…