Static and Silence
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2001-09-07 18:59:19 (UTC)

Must I conform???

No. I refuse. I am who I am...I am me. I do not try to
be different...I am just who I am.

Ok, where is this all going you may be asking yourself.
I'll tell you....

Yesterday I had my PMI (Personal Management Inservice). We
meet on an individual basis with our manager every other
month. This is a time to bring concerns or needs to the
table. This is also a time when my manager reviews our job
performance and addresses any concerns he has as well.

When I walked into my manager's office he told me he
had "good news and not so good news". I said, "Well, start
with the not so good news to get it out of the way". He
said, "I want to talk about the way you appear. I don't
want to make this a big deal, but you are not dressing the
way I would like you to dress". I said, "Ok". He then
said that my pants were too casual. I was wearing pants I
bought at Structure. They are khaki in color...a little
baggy...with a single side pocket on the upper leg. This
pocked does not even have a is merely an opening
and hardly noticable. I like this pocket as my PCS phone
fits in there nicely.

I asked what was wrong with my pants to which he handed me
a sheet with the Dress Code and Appearance Policy. Please,
allow me to share this policy:

1. Hair, beards and sideburns must be neatly groomed, clean
and present a professional appearance.

2. Must present a conservative, businesslike appearance by
wearing appropriate clothing for the type of work being

3. Shoes with closed toes and secured heels are required
according to safety recommendations. Tennis shoes are
considered acceptable as ling as they are neat, clean in
good repair and conservative in color and style

4. Jeans and/or jean-style pants are unnacceptable

Ok, I aslked what was wrong with my khaki colored cotton
pants. He said that "they are jean-like in appearance
because of that tiny side pocket". I asked if there was
anything else wrong with my dress or appearance. He told
me that my shirt was inappropriate as it did not have a
collar. I was wearing my 3 button Eddie Bauer knit
shirt...and nowhere in the dress policy does it state I
must have a collar. I asked my boss what kind of shirt I
was supposed to wear. He replied, "A polo shirt or a
shirt you would wear on the golf course." I was quick to
reply, "I do not wear polo shirt nor do I play golf. But
if I did I would wear the shirt I am wearing right now."

He told me he did not expect me to go out and purchase new
clothes right away...but that he was going to give me a few
weeks to start dressing more "business casual like everyone
else". I work on the engineering team with 11 other men.
They are all clones of one another...wearing tan Dockers
with golf shirts and wingtips.....ICK! I refuse to be
assimilated into their collective!!!!!

Then for the good news. He told me I was doing outstanding
work and that he had been speaking with our VP and CIO and
that she was really pleased with me "going the extra
mile". So I asked my boss, "I have been working for this
company for over four years. I have been elected by my
fellow employees at the medical center as employee of the
year last year. I have always dressed like this. If I am
doing such a good job and everyone is pleased with my work
then why is there suddenly such a problem with how I am
dressing???" He told me that he "appreciates my
idividuality but there is no place for expressing it at

Last evening I went to the store (American Eagle). I
bought a brand new pair of pants and a shirt...and came
into work this morning as they had expected.....almost. I
also purchased some blue spikey hair gel....turns your hair
blue when you apply it. My hair is almost black...but it
still stands out. I got out of the shower this morning and
spiked my hair blue. When my boss saw me he walked up
behind me, patted me on the back and said, "You look really
sharp today....and I understand you are upset....but please
do not come in with blue hair on Monday."


That's been my exciting Friday thus far. This weekend is
going to be a busy one for me.....I shall elaborate more on
that later this evening....

Until then I shall leave you with a quote that I really
enjoy. I placed it above my monitor at work....

"I no longer need to punish, deceive or compromise myself.
Unless, of course, I want to stay employed." ;-)