Fitting in with corporates & convention

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  • This made me think:

    Resenting convention and the corporate world



    I presume at some stage I will have to get a semi normal job again, some people have taken great pleasure in telling me I will have to cut my hair and wear a suit. They don't realise that the look is part of the plan; any place that doesn't like how I look isn't the sort of place I want to work for.
    :reddevil:



    We can't all be working from the shed or on our own small holdings. How do other people cope with working in a corporate environment?

  • That all depends on where you want to work. I work with Students, Hippies, Semi-retired etc all through the festival season and of course they do not conform to any dress code. They don't have to.

  • I hate working especially full time and it takes a lot of effort to not let it get on top of me. I have quite an interesting...though exhausting..job so it`s not really the job itself for me. It`s the lack of time that i have to do the things i want to do and the fact that i`m too exhausted to do much when i do actually get time off.


    I wear a uniform so don`t have a dress code as such but i do have to take off my jewellery and am mean`t to take all my piercings out. I leave my ear ones in and ignore the occasional notes in my pigeon hole and find that they leave me alone so boundaries can be pushed. Sometimes you just have to suck it up unfortunately :rolleyes:

  • Dont do it Fried onion... [panic]dont cut your hair and work for the big man.... :hippy:
    You will go to an office with artificial lighting, and never see real sun light.
    On your weekends off it will piss doon with rain.
    Working your balls off whilst some arse licking pip squeak in the next desk gets the promotion YOU deserve.
    You will buy a car on H.P just to fit in with all the other 9=5 ers... only to find that the car will pack in long before youve finished paying for it.... oh and because its a flashy car the garage mechanics think you have loads of dosh so they instantly quote you £400 just to take a light bulb oot.
    You will work all your days pay for a hoose that the goverment will then take off you to pay for your old age care in a shabby goverment care home.
    And your family will have to pay your funeral expenses unless youve been boring enough to have organised that yourself in stead of spending the money on a holiday and LIVING.


    Oh aye - holidays.... what do you get? 20 odd days a year wow. sounds really worth it.
    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    LOL:D


  • Does it have to be a corporate environment, Fried Onion? We know quite a number of people with unorthodox jobs, from working on markets, self-employment in trades of all kinds, to doing various sorts of work in not-for-profit orgs. Only problem with most of these jobs is they don't pay a big wage, but at least these folks dress how they want to dress on the job, and nobody gives a monkeys.


    (I guess this is why we've always stayed poor but happy!).

  • I've done the corporate bit in the past, hated it, don't intend to return to it. Though I seem to have got myself into a bit of a mess so I will need some kind of reasonable income at least for a while. I did consider some dodgy dealings but after nearly going inside a couple of times I chickened out of that.


    Yeah I don't intend to conform any more than I have to. I do IT stuff, most of which can get away with scruffy especially in small companies but many seem to think you're not professional unless you look like a banker. I won't be working for those though.


    I was just wondering if anyone did however work for places that enforce a strict dress code that doesn't include supplied clothes. Anyone have any amusing little acts of rebellion like Emma's piercings or some funky waistcoats? there has to be someone that works in a bank in a kaftan surely?

  • In the 1990s I spent 5+ years working as a chauffeur - I was self-employed, owned my own car (a jag) and relied on various companies for my work - a bit like driving a cab for wealthy people and corporates.


    So every day I drove a clean car and wore a smart suit - To the uneducated I reckon I looked like a villain, but because of the nature of the work, our clients treated us pretty much like idiots - to them we were just another disposable commodity.


    For instance, one client used to eat his dinner in the back of the car and leave the waste on the seat for me to clean up - and this was one of the directors of Foster and Partners architects (tempted to name him, but don't want to risk libel allegations).


    I don't think I could do it now - I've pretty much made myself unemployable and, as much as I've tried, rarely hold down a PAYE job for more than a few months. It's like I need to be sovereign over my life more than anything ever - I just can't do it any other way, even though it would be far more secure to surrender to the system.

  • Back when I worked as an apprentice mechanic at around the age of 17, as part of the training I had to spend some time working behind the counter dealing with customers. I was told by my boss to remove an earring I had in my ear (which was just a tiny silver hoop) When I pointed out that one of the women there also had earrings he told told me 'that's different'


    On another occasion I had my hair cut (like a number 2) and was called into into the office to be told it was too short and I looked like a thug.
    This really pissed me off especially as my mate (who was black) had his head shaved and they never dared to say anything to him.
    Anyway I turned up for work the next day with no hair, there was not a lot they could do or say really and I just got a dissaproving look and a shake of the head from the boss.


    This was my second stab at an apprentice and I stuck it out (just) but left the minute i was qualified., the first one ending with the boss telling me 'you know what your problem is, you're a square peg in a round hole'
    When I think about it now, those words were quite inspirational and a label I have tried to live up to.

  • I've never understood that the consensus seems to be 'if you do not get a job, get married, get a car, get a mortgage blah blah' you are NOT normal. any deviation from 'the Norm' and you are considered eccentric, unconventional, aberrant, abnormal and a whole epithet of adjectives just because you don't want to be the same as everyone else. Part of society, yes, member of the herd, yes, conformist automaton drone, NO.
    Oooooooh, am I ranting?

  • It's all about control, while you're too busy paying off the mortgage or rushing home to see mindless tv then you're not realising how shit the government it.


    I have lost so many jobs due to my disdain for "authority"... I've always been a disappointment to my father :D

  • I used to work in an education authority's advisory team and often received hints and direct comments about my clothes and length of my hair. I refused to wear the suits everyone else seemed to be wearing. After thirteen years I was dumped in a reorganisation and have remained self-employed for more than sixteen years now.


    I suppose the closest I come to working in a corporate environment these days are the music workshops I sometimes run in schools. Somehow, over the years, a kind of corporateness has crept into the clothes that teachers wear. I wear my jeans and tie-dye, which is definitely not an image that schools welcome. However, if one is good enough at the job many things can be overlooked. I suppose it might be different were I employed as a member of staff, but I maintain my self-employed status.


    Performing live is a slightly different matter. The bands I work with often have a loose kind of dress-code, but we try to respect the people for whom we are working and not go out of our way to embarrass them or draw attention to ourselves for any negative reason. We dress up to play the game and have fun doing it - even to the extent of wearing formal black tie for the annual Burns Night party at a Cambridge college. Also I believe it should always be the couple remaining the centre of attention if we are playing for their wedding. We're there to do a job. My solo work is a different matter again. Should anyone come back after hearing me once, they know they are going to hear some songs that will make them squirm. What I wear will not get noticed then :reddevil:

  • I can think of a few times where I've gone into a company as a freelancer and been offered a full time job on the back of my work, but often with a "presentation" condition attached... "You'll need to take out your earrings" - and in some cases this has been regardless of whether I'd be mixing with the public or not.


    One of the best ones was "you'll need to wear darker socks" (they were light blue) :eek:


    Needless to say I'm yet to accept an offer.

  • I think that's why I previously tried hard to get a job at a charity; I had some kind of concept that they would be more accepting, while the truth is they are just as corporate as anyone now.



    Should anyone come back after hearing me once, they know they are going to hear some songs that will make them squirm. What I wear will not get noticed then :reddevil:


    Now I want to hear you play!

  • Treestump hit the nail on the head fair play, especially with the comment about arse lickers and promotion. It makes me sick at times, because hard work dont seem to get you nowhere, only more work as they know it gets done, this gives the arse lickers more time and space to,well...lick arse basically. Good post stump.

  • I was thinking about this again earlier - when I did have to wear a suit regularly, because of the cost of dry cleaning I'd invariably wear the same one for days on end, just changing my underwear and my shirt -- and I'm sure I wasn't the only one doing it.


    People who work in the City must smell really bad. :D

  • Haha yes. The assumption is that everyone who works in a suit earns decent money; not true, my first job paid £3k per year & I had to wear a damn suit, luckily I had a couple left over from my Mod days :D though they were a bit tight...


    I reckon there must be a few hippies out there wearing a tie die t-shirt under a work shirt or perhaps a pair of screw-the-man socks?

  • I reckon there must be a few hippies out there wearing a tie die t-shirt under a work shirt or perhaps a pair of screw-the-man socks?


    Hell yes. Always got a T-shirt on underneath. After all, it's what's inside that counts, right?


    I remember when I was 20ish, getting asked by an interviewer if I would be willing to cut my hair as their prospective customers might not take to kindly to my waist length hair. It was freshly washed and tied back into a ponytail too. I politely refused, and asked the man if he would have made the same request of a female interviewee to which he replied, "this isn't a job for girls". I got up and walked out, registering my opinion with a rather loud and well-timed fart as I headed for the door.


    Around 11 years ago, (and with a much naturally depleted hair stock), I was fortunate enough to land myself a job as a field service engineer in the printer industry. I like getting out and about, meeting different people, and I like tinkering with things, so it was win win for me. Well, apart from the dress code.
    Smart business attire.
    Totally NOT me at all. However, I quickly discovered that It's largely irrelevent what you wear, as the reputation of the company was what end customers saw, and not so much whether your socks matched or your tie was double knotted, and as time went by my 'corporate' image became far more personalized than standardized.
    People tend not to look at the details, more the overall package. If your doing the best you can for a customer then nobody cares if you have fingers full of rings, an 8 inch beard, skull cufflinks, Hippy t-shirt under your work shirt, pagan pendants round your neck etc, (That's just me), and if anything, it often starts off a good conversation with like-minded folk who care to stop and chat.
    I tend to wear mostly black (my own little statement), shirt, trousers, Boots (Dr Martens steel toecaps you know), and nobody has ever said anything negative about my appearance. They probably don't care as long as the work I do is of a good standard.
    If anyone is a little standoff-ish with me, I usually reassure them by telling them that in my experience it's usually the most outlandish looking people that have the most interesting story to tell, and I'm quite boring in comparison to some of the people I've met over the years.


    As for IT people, I come across all types of supposed specialists in my job. Good ones are a rarity, and supervisors know this. I used to work with an IT guy who turned up to work stoned to bits every morning, and visually was everything that corporate society would hate. BUT, he was damn good at his job, and his boss knew he was holding the department together and turned a blind eye to his extra curricular activities.


    My job? Well I try to do my bit by making sure as much company waste gets recycled as possible. I'll even take stuff home myself to recycle it. I have the most efficent/green car I could get, and generally advise people how to go about their daily business in the most environmentally friendly way they can. I know it's not much, but if I only manage to get through to a couple of people a week, then it's a step forward towards a better future for us all.

    It's no use shouting about who's to blame, when all that counts is how to change...

  • Haha nice one. Sounds like you have had similar experiences to me. The odd thing I found when travelling for work was that often the places I went were scruffier than I was. Have you had anyone mistake a pagan symbol for a devil worshipper or is that just on tv?


    Sometimes I think people are starting to chill a little & realise that what's inside is what matters and then I meet some total dick that crushes the little faith in humanity I was developing. Even Universities seem to have all their employees in little matching outfits, somebody is busy playing dollys with their workers!


    I've pointed out to potential employers in the past that some of the greats in IT are complete eccentrics in appearance and manner only to get the answer that I'm no Richard Stallman. Do managers have their fun chip removed or do you have to be born without one to consider management?

  • I'll echo the scruffy people and workplaces comment. I regularly visit the wipe your feet on the way out type. There's a fine line between being scruffy and blatantly not caring that some people just can't see. If your trousers have had the same piss stains on them for the last six months I'd recommend a change sometime soon...


    I was once accused of being a Nazi for wearing cufflinks that were in the shape of a Maltese cross! My beard drew the attention of some prisoners too, who thought I was a Muslim. I told them I was into sadism, nechrophillia and beastiality, and by the sound of things it wasn't just me that was flogging a dead horse! :D


    I find that non-christians are the most open-minded and curious, not that I would describe myself as religious. Spiritual would be more accurate, although not in a mainstream sense.


    On the whole people do seem to be more accepting of non-conformist types, but then my industry does seem to attract more and more of us. It's getting to be a bit of a sanctuary for the unusual from what I see.
    The trouble with eccentric types is that nobody appreciates their talents until they're no longer around.
    By all means be away with the fairys, but remember to come down once in a while to touch base if you want the man to accept your point of view. With a bit of patience and time, even the most hardcore of management can be shown the light.
    They're not all bad, but finding one who's chilled out can be a long journey. My current manager is almost horizontal. He understands that each member of his team has their own quirks and methods and they all get the job done just the same, and his life is so much easier when he sit's back and lets us do things our way. After all, the end result is still the same for him and his figures.

    It's no use shouting about who's to blame, when all that counts is how to change...

  • I had just joined a ship in the Persian Gulf, (merchant vessel, none of that war stuff and boring grey paint)..... the Chief Engineer was panicking, he couldn't believe that this long-haired bloke with earrings was his his new chief electrical officer. :hippy: It was a big super-tanker thing, and because I didn't fit his model of how blokes in my position usually looked or acted, he doubted me big-time!


    He learned to love me in the end though :)

  • Are you still servicing printers now LS ?


    I'm jealous; I think I've had one decent manager in my whole working life. I reckon a manager's job is to remove obstacles so as to allow their team to get on with things.

  • Are you still servicing printers now LS ?


    I'm jealous; I think I've had one decent manager in my whole working life. I reckon a manager's job is to remove obstacles so as to allow their team to get on with things.


    Yeah still at it, still enjoying it.
    I couldn't cope with a 'normal' job with a fixed place of work. Every day brings something different, even if it's only a change of scenery from the car window as I drive to a new customer. I can be anywhere and everywhere from Cumbria to Gloucestershire, and anything inbetween.
    Managers can be moulded, even the bad ones. It's about the way you put your argument across. I always find that if your asked to do something you object to, don't just say no and dig your heels in. Respond with an alternative solution that benefits everyone, and you usually get your point across and get the result that you wanted anyway.
    Don't get me wrong, I've had my fair share of horrible bosses in the past. CCTV cameras staring at me all day long, bollockings for taking too long in the toilet, and that's what keeps me where I am.
    In short, freedom. As long as I leave happy customers after my visits I get left to my own devices, almost self employed. I'll chat to colleagues on the phone every day, but only have to visit my office a handful of times a year.

    It's no use shouting about who's to blame, when all that counts is how to change...

  • I can think of a few times where I've gone into a company as a freelancer and been offered a full time job on the back of my work, but often with a "presentation" condition attached... "You'll need to take out your earrings" - and in some cases this has been regardless of whether I'd be mixing with the public or not.


    One of the best ones was "you'll need to wear darker socks" (they were light blue) :eek:


    Needless to say I'm yet to accept an offer.


    You should have got them to put the offer in writing with the conditions. Then if female are allowed to wear jewellery play the sexual discrimination card.


    I went to an all boys school and someone got told off about length of hair and ear rings. He pointed out that the girls in the sixth form (we did have a handful of girls in the sixth form) were allowed long hair and ear rings, and as such it was sexual discrimination, he was told that they wore skirts too, so did he want to wear a skirt? The teacher thought he was really clever and out witted him. You should have seen the look on his face when the lad turned round and said, I should have the right to wear a skirt if I want to, if the girls can. It ended up with half the school coming to school in skirts to protest equal rights for both sexes.

  • I worked in a very prestigious architectural practice many moons ago (my first proper job after the bar-work and the building sites) and a couple of days after I started I was told I wasn't meeting the dress code and I needed to wear a suit and tie. So that weekend I bought a black jacket in a charity shop (it was all I could afford) and arrived on Monday wearing the jacket, my wide black flares ('trousers' to the under 50's), black platform shoes, and under the jacket I had a black sleeveless vest and a blue tie around my bare neck. My boss said he would 'put it down to self expression which was to be applauded in the profession but unacceptable in Mayfair'.......

  • Sounds great BaguetteMan! I'm sure there were plenty of clubs around Mayfair where you would have fitted right in.


    Chris you clearly went to a much more enlightened school than I did, the boys at mine would have said something like "ewww I'm not wearing that, it's gaaaaay". :rolleyes: