(odoreater @ May 05 2005,13:05)
Originally Posted by JLA,May 05 2005,14:55
My co-employees are slobs and show it eight hours a day, Monday thru Friday. I wear a shirt and tie everyday. I try to mix it up with colors, styles etc. This is far better dressed than 99 % of all the employees here. I don't care what they think or say. This has become a country of poorly dressed slobs and I will not become one ...
That seems like a good attitude if anything is going to change. Â I just don't want someone looking at me and thinking to themselves: "gee, he looks like he wears expensive clothes, we must pay him too much" or "gee, this guy seems to put a lot of thought into what he's wearing, maybe we're not working him hard enough and he has too much time on his hands."
If that is really a concern, then in addition to not wearing nice clothes at the office: Â (1) don't buy a nice car-- someone might see you in the parking lot; (2) don't own a nice home or rent a decent apartment, and if you do, don't ever mention it to anybody at the office; (3) don't wear a watch that costs more than $300; (4) don't let your wife or girlfriend be seen by your employer driving a nice car, wearing nice clothes, jewelry, etc., because presumably you paid for it; (5) don't have kids, because they are expensive and your employer may think he pays you too much; if you do, don't carry pictures of them in your wallet or put them on your desk; and for Â the love of God, don't send them to private school, take them to the doctor or dentist, or feed them. This kind of reasoning is silly. Â Employers by and large do not give a damn how their employees spend their own money. Â They certainly don't make decisions about the employee based upon such irrationalities, unless they themselves are irrational. Â In which case you're better off working somewhere else so you can live your own life and spend the money you earn. There is a difference between dressing nicely and conservatively, and dressing flashy or obnoxiously. Â The latter is wrong for more reasons than offending your employer.
I'm not sure that I agree. If you show up on your first day of work at a law firm, driving your bmw, wearing a $2000 suit a $1000 watch and $800 shoes, I can see people being irked by this and therefore having little sympathy for you in the amount of work that you're assigned or the bonuses you get. I also don't think it's totally inconceivable that when the compensation committee is sitting around with limited bonuses to give around and two associates who have similar quality work products to be more favorable towards the guy the drives a ford and wears the $300 than to the guy who drives the bmw and wears the rolex. Maybe this is irrational, but people act irrationally and make irrational decisions every minute of every day. If you wanted to avoid irrationality by quitting jobs where other people act irrationally, then pretty soon you would find yourself not working anywhere. It's easy to make all these lofty proclamations about rationality and what not, but I don't think that they take into account the reality of the workplace and office politics. If there are partners that like you and take you under their wing, you will be very successfully. If everyone thinks that you're just trying to be flashy and showing off, people will be turned off by this. And I'm not talking about wearing a Magic Johnson suit, I'm talking about wearing something as basic as a spread collar instead of a straight point collar or a buttondown. As to all of the other stuff you mentioned, no 24 year old Summer Associate is going to own a nice home and if he's driving a nice car it's probably because thier parents bought it for them. I'm not talking about someone who has been at the firm for years, I'm talking about summer associates, who are at the bottom of the totem pole.