A Particularly Strange Day In The Office

I really didn’t intend to write again so soon, but there we are, these things happen.

Talking of being places, there I was, calmly – if a little groggily; it was early morning – clearing the counter ready for a thrilling day of glorified cooked-pig-carvery, when suddenly our supervisor, who can never normally be arsed, called us for a ‘short meeting’.
So, I ambled over, perched on the other side of my counter and listened in mild suprise as my colleagues and I were informed that the dress code was changing. Though the revised code we were given did not apply to us, as food halls sales associates, it does affect the rest of the store in its entirety.

What really got me thinking were two items under the ‘female dress code’ heading.
I’m forced to paraphrase slightly as my memory really isn’t that good, but believe me, I got the gist of it right. Anything within the “s are real quotes, as you might expect.

1: Female sales associates will be expected to wear full make up at all times. This includes “base, blusher, eyes made up, lipstick, lipgloss and lipliner”.
Oh, and please be aware that certain store lighting “has a ‘washing out’ effect,” and take this into consideration when applying make up.

The old dress code, of which I thoughtfully saved a copy, has this to say:
“make up must be fresh and natural looking”, something which was echoed in the food halls dress code. We wait with bated breath for the new food halls code.


Surely I can’t be the only person to see this for the idiocity that it is. You can’t just force women to wear full make up! More to the point, what twisted logic said that it was in any way acceptable, to the point where the changes were allowed to happen?
I mean, if I were asked, my rationale for refusing would be, simply “I am allergic to most cosmetics”. Which is perfectly true. However, there is also the point that I really have better things to spend my money on than finding that perfect blusher. Or that I really have better things to do with my time than apply said perfect blusher. Or, the one that would really irritate them – “oh, I wouldn’t want to spoil the beauty I have naturally“. Would any of these be considered a reasonable excuse? I think not.

2: Shoes must not be rubber-soled. A little strange, no? Well…. No. Because which shoes are rubber soled? Trainers, yes, but anybody with even the vestiges of common sense knows not to wear trainers to work in Big Posh Department Store. Think about it, though, and you realise that pretty much every flat shoe in existance has a rubber sole, unless it is a moccasin and therefore also very, very unsuitable for work. In fact, three options of shoes were given: court shoes, shoes with a kitten heel, and stiletto heels.

In the old dress code: “court shoes or boots”, although “boots may only be worn with trousers”.

This shoes thing just annoyed me. We do long days – a seven hour day, the equivalent of a ‘normal’ nine-to-five job, is considered a short day on my counter – and when you’re standing for that length of time, day in, day out, I imagine you could really tire yourself out by wearing heels, even kitten heels.

And in general, I find myself bemused that somebody thought that this was a good plan.


2 Comments on “A Particularly Strange Day In The Office”

  1. the bluest light says:


  2. Alan says:

    So make up is the new Hijab of Harrods?

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