Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Things Not To Do or Wear At Work

Ok so I work for a pretty conservative company as are many of the companies/agencies located near where I work in downtown Washington, D.C. Let's just say I work for one of the largest and oldest professional associations there is in the US.

As I sit in my office or walk down the halls I'm constantly reminded that some people just don't seem to get it when it comes to working in a conservative, professional environment. I've compiled a list of what shouldn't be done in the office. Most of the things I've listed are common sense. Other things, although they sound a little crazy I've seen them. These are just want I came up with when thinking about the last week or so of work. If you read my tweets you've heard all about my experiences at work.

What Not To Do At Work (at your desk)
1. Clipping of the nails (finger nails and especially not toe nails)
2. Sucking on a lollipop (especially if you don't have an office and are out in the public, actually just don't do it.)
3. Brushing your teeth, flossing, or gargling mouthwash
4. Singing out loud while listening to music
5. Chewing anything with your mouth open so others can hear you chew
6. Cooking anything that will stink up the office (i.e burning popcorn, curry, most types of fish)
7. Spraying anything that will stink up the office
8. Taking off your socks and picking at or between your toes
9. Bashing your boss or your co-workers, you never know who's listening or who's friends with
10. Leaving your cell phone ringer on. Unless you're a doctor or on-call, you can put it on vibrate or have people call you at your desk. No one wants to hear your phone ringing while you've stepped out to go to the bathroom or a meeting.

What Not To Wear At Work
1. Tank tops or strapless clothing (unless under a suit jacket)
2. Flip flops of any kind (unless you work at the Beach)
3. Anything where your back is out
4. Anything that exposes your bra straps, butt crack or love handles (no one should see these parts of your body)
5. Sweats, velour, or track suits, even on casual Fridays
6. Pants so tight you have a camel toe (If you can feel it, everyone else can see it)
7. Too small cardigan or blouse. You know when you see some and the buttons are holding on for dear life or there's that one button that won't stay closed and reveals the person's bra.
8. Anything so low-cut that has the potential of exposing your arreolas
9. Cullottes (don't know where people are finding theses, haven't seen them since like '87. They are nothing but long, loose fitting shorts think Golden Girls. But who wears shorts to work unless you're a camp counselor or a P.E. Teacher?
10. Anything satin or velvet. Some materials aren't meant for daytime so just don't do it.


  1. Good list.

    I think there should be a ban on Hawaiian shirts.
    People who tuck their sweaters in.
    Men that wear brown/black combo belt and shoes.
    Tucked in football jerseys (especially Redskins).
    Heels so tall that it looks like you are on the stroll.

    In what not to do: I have a coworker that yawns and sighs loudly to get attention.
    Turn your desk phone ringers down, the phone is next to you.
    When saying hello to a fellow coworker there is no need to shout Haaaaaaaaaay.

  2. You always wanted the kind of job and company you work for. I so admire you for knowing self, having intent and reaching at least this goal in your life. I am so opposite, though I have had to endure in life what you find so much ease in, corporate aconservative airline that is now out of business.

    AS an older woman and retired. I found this so interesting. I only know the work world these days through my three children and one has his own techy artsy business, so no dress rules at all. My oldest daughter breaks many of the things on your list and I wonder why she keeps getting promoted and maskes such good money. She tell me because she is smart and gets along with people, is a good team player and though a bit different she is clean and consistent. And as is adament about wearing what you want as you are about being conservative. We all should agree on the social aspects of your list.

  3. This is the oldest daughter to the retired one and now I am forced to clear my name! First of all the retired one forgot to mention the youngest daughter that chose a profession where she only wears scrubs and sensible shoes.

    As the only child with a quasi-corporate job, I actually don't violate, or disagree with any of the rules on either list, except for the flip-flops (and occassionally the lollipop).

    I don't see a difference between sandals with open toes and flip flops. Flip Flops shouldn't get a bad rap just because most of the time they're made out of very cheap rubber or plastic. Since I invest in pedicures once or twice a month during flip flop season, I feel that I should be able to show the result of my investment...comfortably.

    Closed toed shoes lead to closed toed minds and a lack of imagination when it comes to problem solving. Who can think about anything but the pain, if your feet are all bound up and pinched because you're trying to look sophisticated in the Summer? Summer is not a time for sophistication...it's hot! Hot and in pain does not equal sophistication.

    They can also lead to athletes foot in the summer since the feet are all hot and sweaty and cramped up. There might be less instances of people picking at their feet and toes at their desks if they had been wearing flip flops all along.

  4. Maryanne

    Sorry..but flip flops are COMPLETELY different from open toed sensible sandals...they should not be worn around the work place PERIOD. Unless you work in a no clothing rules workplace then they shouldn't be worn..Sorry I agree with the Blogger.

    I do have a sensible satin shirt I wear to work. Very nice and work like. Its a button up..So I guess it depends

    Otherwise I agree with all the rules. If anyone reads my blog they know I HATE WOMEN WHO DRESS INAPPROPIATELY AND WEAR STUFF THATS TOO SMALL


    Women who dress to get a man at work are super attention starved if you ask me, and can't make it ONE DAMN DAY without trying to get attention for their assets..GROW UP

    *told yall I hate when women dress inappropiately*

    You forgot to mention that women and men should try to cover inappropiate tattoos at work. Cover your tats PERIOD if you can...

  5. I just saw a woman in a tank top.

    And I side with True - Some women here have their tattoos showing. Some I understand are in places that they can't help.

    I work in a professional building and will wear jeans to work with a collared shirt. If I do wear a t-shirt, I usually have a blazer to go over it.

    Probably the most relaxed shoes I've worn are my Chuck Taylors, but most of the time I keep my feet under my desk.

    I got caught up in a meeting one time on a Friday with my department head boss. He didn't say anything but it felt funny that everyone else was in a shirt and tie and I had on jeans and a summer button down shirt, untucked.

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  7. I have loved this discourse on dress. I wore flip flops for two years everywhere as an attention getter for my flip flops for Kenyan Children campaign. So as a result we sent 5,000 pairs in 2008. As a result, I received an award by a group of business women. Tonight I walked onto the stage in one of Seattle's 5 star hotels in my very fashionable heels and accepted my award. Most did not think I could walk in heels or even owned a pair. That is my flip flop story, also Pacific Islanders find them the shoe of choice no matter where they work. I think that some of this is geographic culture. We can always tell women from the east coast in Seattle, they are over dressed. Likewise I am sure the east coasters lament at how those from the west coast break the office dress rules all the time. We are the home of Northface outerwear and techies that help determine the culture of dress.

  8. The guy who used to sit in the cubicle in front of me (until he got fired) used to cut his finger nails and floss at his desk... ew, lol

  9. im currently interning for OTD its like a organization that employs people and WOW..did i have a rude awakening

    i like to wear ralph lauren polos, american eagle etc..but polo and khakis. and steve madden shoes..

    to my dismay i can't wear that..its mandatory that i wear a shirt and a tie at all times which sucks cuz thats not me :-/ but the pay makes me happy

    (sidenote) i knew a guy who would come to work in sweats from running and change in his office WTH lol