Sal Story #5: Dress Code

Not long after the org chart disaster, I was put on the futile task of creating the company dress code. Futile, because it was essentially a revolving door of opinions by superiors and inferiors, that could change momentarily- before you were even able to get a sneak peek at this week’s French Elle.

I guess I should preface this with the fact that each of us ladies (some more than others) were eyed down from head-to-toe by Sal and/or his assistant upon walking in the door. A look of approval or disgust was assigned non-verbally, though these things weren’t necessarily a part of following a dress code, unless your code only included Marc Jacobs and Chanel. When he demanded regulation of dress, I imagined this had something to do with my prior conversation regarding whether or not the company had a handbook. When he was asking what we would need with that, I explained several helpful components that newcomers might need- from benefits to dress codes. About a month later he undertook dishing out components of this plan at random.

This was also the result of one faux-pas from the new girl in accounting (a hot pink bebe tube dress that showed cheekage), though he had no problem with the skinny girl in the naughty school girls’ outfit. I got started and had a pretty good outline when Bev started meddling in my business. She insisted that I had an incomplete log, and began listing extraneous (and what I thought were obvious) additions to my list, including ‘pajamas.’ I knew it was ridiculous, but she was my superior, so I added these things to the list. I presented the above paper to Sal that evening, and this is what I got back (see above).

Firstly, he chastised me for including such stupid things such as pajamas, spaghetti straps, and bra straps (thank you, Bev). He then proceeded to yell while simultaneously writing, “If you need a list of unacceptable attire you don’t belong here!” Sure, Sal, I’ll just interject that into the dress code portion of the employee handbook. Why did he ask for a list if this is how he felt all along?

He stormed out of the french doors and held up my paper, mocking a few of the additions that Bev had actually made- while she nodded her head in agreement with my supposed naivety. He declared that dress codes weren’t for fashion companies like ours.

The girl from accounting didn’t come back.

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