Dress Code - Chapter 1
Date: Sat, 4 Feb 2012 08:36:44 -0800 (PST)
"Employee must keep legs cleanly shaven and remove all
unnecessary body hair. The following articles of clothing are
mandatory: skirt and blouse or dress, bra, panties, garter belt,
hose, and heels. No slacks, trousers, or any article of male
clothing will be permitted. Hair style, makeup, nails, and
jewellery will be appropriate for professional business attire.
Wigs are not permitted. Employee's supervisor will be the sole
judge of compliance with this contract, and may inspect employee
at any time to determine compliance."
I re-read this paragraph 3 times, and then moved on to the next
"Failure to comply with any portion of this dress code will be
grounds for immediate termination with loss of all compensation
and benefits. In addition, in case of termination, employee
shall owe the company an amount equal to one year's salary."
The last high-lighted section read, "Section 4 shall apply to
I checked and found that section 4 was the above dress code, the
first high-lighted paragraph. At the bottom of the page, also
high-lighted, was my signature.
How did I get myself into this mess? Let me try to explain. I
had spent years in a dead end job with no chance for
advancement, no hope for more money, and no challenge. Over the
last year, I had been sending out resumes, all of which were
ignored. Thus, when I received a request for an interview, I was
The interviewer was a very attractive woman who was favorably
impressed with my qualifications. I felt the job description had
been written with my experience in mind. In addition, I met a
number of beautiful and well-dressed women employees, all of
whom were very friendly.
Then the interviewer offered me a job at a salary roughly double
my existing one. When she handed me a multi-page employment
contract, I had confirmed that the salary figure on the first
page was the same as she had mentioned, quickly scanned the
rest, and signed.
We agreed on a start date that would give me time to notify my
employer, and I left, practically skipping.
Prior to my start date, I had my best suit cleaned and pressed,
shined my shoes, and even bought a very expensive tie. When I
arrived, the receptionist smiled until I told her my name. She
then scowled, turned her back, and made a phone call. After
that, she ignored me.
Obviously she was having a bad day, so I turned my attention to
the other lovelies who were within view. Same reaction. The few
I was able to make eye contact with, gave me dirty looks and
turned their faces away.
Finally, I saw a door open and my interviewer standing in it.
She looked me up and down for 30 seconds, then snapped, "Come
with me..." and disappeared through the doorway.
I followed her into a hallway and then into a conference room.
She slapped a file down on the table, snapped, "Read this!" and
I sat and read the employment contract. Finally, she returned.
"Have you read it?"
"Do you understand it?"
"Including the part about the dress code?"
"Well, I don't understand the relevance. It's all about women's
clothes, and doesn't apply to me."
"It applies to all employees, as stated near the end."
"You certainly don't expect me......"
She interrupted, "I certainly do expect you to comply, the same
as any other employee. This company started 50 years ago, with
all female employees, and the dress code has been in effect
since then. It has been very effective in eliminating any
tendency for sloppy or inappropriate attire. The company is not
going to modify the dress code just because you are male. To do
so would open us to charges of sexual discrimination.
I didn't know how to respond to this, so I kept quiet.
"Now that we have established the relevancy, would you say you
are complying with it?"
"No, of course......"
She interrupted again to ask her assistant, who had entered the
room without me being aware of it, "Amy, do you think he is
complying with the corporate dress code?"
Amy looked me up and down with entirely too much interest,
licked her lips, and said, "Not even close."
"Then, it's unanimous, you are not in compliance, and are
subject to immediate dismissal. You have a decision to make. You
can either agree to comply here and now, or write a check for
one year's salary, and leave."
"I don't have that kind of money."
"That's your problem. Which is it going to be?
I thought for a moment, saw no alternative to going along with
their crazy idea, at least for now until I figured a way out of
this and said, "OK, I'll do it."