Although there was a dress code, the owner was pretty relaxed as long as the work got done. It was a manager who tried to enforce the dress code.
Dress codes at workplaces have been a source of conflict and debate for many years. Workplaces have been redefined over the past decade allowing for more individual expression. Many employers believe that keeping employees happy helps with productivity and so have relaxed rules around dress codes. But for some bosses, enforcing strict dress codes is a chance for a power trip and a means to exert control over employees. One person who wore Converse Chuck Taylor shoes was asked to stop wearing them and she maliciously complied in the sassiest way possible, reported Bored Panda. The Reddit user titled their post: "So you want to get fussy about the nonexistent dress code? I can work with that."
"I work in upscale catering with a busy corporate division as well as our private events like weddings and such. The staff wore jeans and a t-shirt which was fine for corporate deliveries of lunch and the like. My daily work wear is jeans, a crisp white shirt, and Converse Chuck Taylor shoes. Red chucks for the record," she explained. "I also have full sleeve tattoos on my arms and a resting murder face. Personality is a total contrast to outward appearance however in that I'm very outgoing and like to get people to laugh, which I'm very good at with our clients."
She had a great rapport with clients and it was evident that her dress sense of style wasn't hindering her work in any manner. "As such, the company owner has given me a lot more slack about some of the more formal rules in place because he knows I can make an event run smooth like rich creamery butter," she explained but added that one person had an issue with her dress code and constantly badgered her about it. "So my department head has a pickle in her a$$ about the Chuck's I wear. Constantly on my a$$ about wearing red shoes," she wrote. "For months she harped me almost daily until finally, she wrote me up."
She agreed to the demands of her department head but only to drive her up the wall again. "When I was at the meeting dealing with the write-up I told her that I would not wear my red shoes anymore to which she looked extremely satisfied and pleased with herself. Till the next day when I showed up in orange and white checkered Vans. It's a small malicious compliance, but it's what I got and I'll never forget the look on her face when she realized how pointless her argument was," she concluded.
Reddit users sided with her and said it didn't matter what she wore as long as she got work done. "I don't understand why people don't learn the culture they are in and consult with higher-ups before they start creating new rules and codes," commented one person. Many shared their own experiences with dress codes at work. "I worked in an office where the owner was proud of the fact that there was no dress code. He wanted his employees to be comfy as they worked, and to look accessible to clients, not like a lot of corporate robots," wrote one person "New manager comes in. I got written up for not dressing appropriately. I usually wore jeans and a plain shirt. The new manager didn’t like any of my look because it wasn’t “office appropriate” but really hated the headband. I went to the owner and told him about my write-up. He was PISSED. The new manager didn’t last much longer."
One person suggested it was a sign of a poor manager. "I never understood why people trusted employees enough to hire them but not enough to do their jobs. Why hire them then? I could see monitoring an employee who was demonstrating poor performance but otherwise, it’s just guaranteeing everyone is miserable and hates you as a boss," they wrote.