When I was a Data Management Analyst, for the first few years we had to wear ties to work; except on Fridays, when we could wear jeans and open-collar shirts. Eventually, we were allowed to dispense with the ties. I always thought it was stupid to dress like that, since we didn’t have any contact with the public. We didn’t even have regular contact with the Company Honchos. Why bother dressing like that? Jeans were comfortable. A co-worker’s boyfriend went to work for the company I used to work for. She said that he said, “People practically come to work in their pyjamas!” (You almost couldn’t get into the offices without a clearance, so there was definitely no interaction with customers unless you knew they were coming; and then you could dress for the meeting.) But wearing chinos and an open-collar shirt was much preferable to wearing a tie. I’d even put on a suit occasionally just to keep my co-workers wondering.
Now that I’m (under-)employed at a company that makes automated entry systems, I never know what I’ll be doing during the day. As an “Estimator/CAD Artist” I often make “sales calls”. I spend a lot of time in front a the computer drawing pictures. But I may, at any moment, be called to help move metal around the shop. I may be sent to a site to help with a gate installation. Once I was set to digging a trench. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s good to get out of the office and work with my hands.
But, as when I chafed at having to dress in “business casual” every day, I’m now getting sick of wearing jeans every day. I can be sure of getting some dirty work whenever I wear a nice shirt. The boss thinks this way: “I want to look as if I’m just about to go to work, but not as if I’ve been working.” I saw him apologise to someone on a sales call for wearing nice trousers and a nice shirt. (“I don’t usually dress this way, but I had a meeting this morning.”)
I’ve worked at places where jeans were okay, and I’ve worked at places where ties were expected. Now, working in a place where jeans are expected or even required, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve be more comfortable if I were employed in a setting where a jacket and tie were the norm. (Of course, given my background, I’m more suited to a data processing position – which would pay more anyway.)
So I would rather have an “office job” where “business casual” is expected, and where I could wear a suit if I wanted to. I would rather work in a job were a suit is required than in one where a suit is verboten.
How about you?
[sub]I do like my job. It’s new and different to me. As I said, it’s fun to get “out in the field” occasionally. People like me. I’m getting paid to draw pictures. But I’m only making half of my previous salary, which is not such a good thing. I’m checking the employment ads every day, but I would not readily quit my current situation. I’m a loyal person, and it would hurt the boss’s feelings if I left. Still, I have to look out for numero uno. [/sub]