Sometimes, at Work, I Feel Like Maybe I’m Being Singled Out …
To: All employees
From: Policy Committee; Human Resources
Re: Personal Appearance Policy
This memorandum is in response to recent radical departures concerning dress code, personal hygiene, and personal appearance policies. As all of you know, young man, we at Western Textbook Company promote a business casual—or “biz-caj”—policy in regard to the abovementioned issues. Management feels it is in the company’s future interests to portray a professional, businesslike image not only for visitors in our offices, but also for sake of internal morale (i.e., your downwardly spiraling self-respect).
Following is a set of guidelines that should serve as a reminder to “all” employees:
Clothing and footwear should be tasteful and professional, and should enhance our company vision, which is to be the premier publisher of scientific textbooks in the world. This means that wrinkled, soiled clothing—like that admittedly found in “bargain” or “thrift” stores—is not appropriate. Nor is sleep- or swimwear, including but not limited to: pajamas, night masks and/or caps, your infamous Odie slippers, swim trunks, Speedos, assorted snorkeling gear, spear guns, hula skirts, colored zinc oxide, oversized straw hats (à la last Wednesday), etc. Headwear or sunglasses of any kind should not be worn inside the offices. “Hammer Pants” may very well be “celebratory of the spirit of Oakland,” but these, too, constitute inappropriate work attire. (In one recent case, an employee stated that he/she cannot afford new clothing on his/her meager salary. If he/she would care to show up on time thus opening him/herself up to the possibility of a pay raise, or choose to forgo visits to the racetrack for one month’s time, he/she could easily afford an entire new wardrobe suitable for the office environment—and a belt that remotely matches his/her shoes, of which there are many on sale this very week at the Sears located a mere block away from his/her apartment on 18th and Broadway, according to MapQuest.)
Hair should be combed neatly and natural in color, particularly if you are a man of about six feet, one-hundred-eighty pounds with blue eyes and an eternally unshaven appearance who spends vast amounts of company time throwing the interoffice supply of Altoids at passersby. Please do not take liberties with your personal appearance, dejectedly citing that you are “going bald at such a young age” as an excuse to dye or shave strange and/or offensive lettering into your hair. Also, as suggested above, please do not wear Army helmets that you “got in the Nang,” either.
While we encourage individualism at Western, workers should remember that all themed office “Fun Dayz” must be voted on and approved by the Activities Committee. This is one of many reasons why we’ve incorporated the employee suggestion box. Past ideas, like “Crazy Hat Day” and “Bring Your Pet to Work Day”, have gone over very well with minimal committee planning. But unapproved, individually concocted “Fun Dayz”, such as “Dress Like Your Favorite Frank Zappa Song Title Day”, have tended to alienate and even offend coworkers, causing them to vomit and resign in haste. (I think we all remember whose idea that was.)
Acceptable personal hygiene, which should be obvious to someone who is 26 years of age, should be practiced at all times in the workplace. Do not come to work with strep throat or “maybe hepatitis,” please. We encourage all sick employees to take advantage appropriately of their ample 10 sick days each year. We do not encourage using all paid sick leave in the first six weeks of employment to nurse hangovers, as certain staff member“s” have done two years running. We furthermore feel it is egregiously unsanitary to use “dip” or “chaw” inside the offices, and doubly so to utilize shared coffee mugs and/or common area garbage receptacles as makeshift spittoons.
While on the subject of wellness, if you are experiencing a “bullet train in your bowels,” as you are fond of saying, please do not come into work, as your station, 21, is situated directly in the center of the main office under a rather forceful air-conditioning vent, thus allowing everyone else to share in your unbelievably offensive bodily emissions, (perfectly exemplified on your Lynyrd Skynyrd-inspired “Ooh, That Smell Day”).
Friday, as everyone is aware, is a dress-down, casual day. Please do not wear tuxedos, as it is simply unnecessary and frankly a bit weird. No-call/no-show employees claiming to have actually shown up to work wearing “office-camo” or “Invisible Man regalia” will be punished accordingly. All staff members are reminded that attendance is mandatory in order to avoid progressive disciplinary action, as is completion of the long overdue three-page copyediting project on atomic structure that Sue gave you seven weeks ago.
If you have any questions regarding this memo, please direct them to your office manager or to the Human Resources department. On an entirely unrelated note, we now offer full mental health coverage on our HMO, or “Homo Plan”, as you like to call it.