At 10:30 on Tuesday night, as I edited our final Customization Requests document, I came to a realization.
“I had to wash a load of dress pants tonight… I’ll have to wear my denim ones tomorrow.”
Early warning, I’ve learned, is best defense anyone in my department is equipped with.
“Peter,” my director said as she merrily continued her perfect touch-typing, “I don’t think I would care if you came in a monkey suit.”
You see, technically there is no rule against wearing denim on business dress days, so long as it’s part of your business dress attire. The dress policy clearly states “Business shirts with a full collar, ties, and dress slacks,” without distinguishing any fabric considerations regarding any of the clothing items. And, while I might automatically assume that vinyl probably does not qualify, I have no reason to make the same assumption about denim. My pants are definitely slacks – cut like slacks, creased like slacks. They just happen to be made out of high quality denim. Yet, the groupthink immediately causes my fellow associates to sneer and say, “I see you wore your jeans today,” just because they are on the lookout for anyone that might not fit in. My director does not subscribe to said think.
Yesterday I reaped a bounty of sneers, despite the fact that my pants were creased and well-pressed while the sneerers were often wrinkled, or khaki. Every time I walked into my director’s office she would sneer and say, “I see you wore your jeans today.”
And then we’d burst out laughing for an entire minute. I like working with people who have avoided/evaded the groupthink.