I haven't had a good bitch session in quite some time now. Not just an "old man grumpy complain" session, but an honest to goodness, real reason behind it bitch because I can session. I believe the last decent one was my thoughts on poor customer service. It might interest you to learn that I haven't purchased anything from that EB store since, and have only been in there a couple of times whilst waiting for my wife to get off of work.
Anyway, onto thoughts about professionalism. I'm not going to EVER claim that I am a professional writer, my posts are more bloggy sounding than most and I wouldn't dare offend someone who has put real time and effort into learning how to write an article properly. My thoughts today more concern the look of professionalism, mostly in a retail sector, not demeanor in an office.
Uh oh, the reader says, here comes grandpa complaining about how the cool kids look! Well, to a degree this may have a little truth to it. I am looking at a younger generation than my own, and wondering what the hell are they thinking?But there is also more to it as well, in that the arena for which they are displaying their "individuality" is not the right one.
One of the key places I've truly noticed a poor professional look is at the Bell Aliant stores. I walk by or into one of these stores and I do notice their new dress code with white dress shirts and ties, or scarves for female staff. The female staff are seemingly allowed to have their shirts untucked, but this is still considered a professional, business like look. But when the male staff do the same thing, and have their ties not done up properly and have them hanging low like Avril Lavigne circa 2002, it just looks sloppy and makes me not want to be served by that person. This is made to look even MORE sloppy when it's only a few of the staff doing it, and others come to work with their shirts tucked in and their ties done up properly.
There are a lot of things that are wrong about this whole situation. Workings not caring what they look like, establishments HAVING to work these people because it's too hard to get anybody to work anymore. Let's not put the onus completely on people with questionable professional habits. There is a reason why they are in these positions. Most people just do not want to work retail anymore. There will always people who do it out of necessity. But why should someone go to work for minimum or near minimum wages, when they can go on government assistance, get into programs to help them find "better" work, etc, etc, etc. It just isn't worth it when you a) DO have to deal with lower wages b) have to deal with the public and c) have to deal with terrible management and supervisors? Would you work in a place like that if you didn't have to? I've witnessed TERRIBLE management in my days. People who claim to be professionals, yet show obvious favoritism towards blond hair and what we'll call "tight jeans". People who even when obviously wrong will argue black and blue and threaten termination to make sure they never look bad in front of others. People who use their staff and schedule themselves off for every weekend in a summer when in retail, we ALL know weekend shifts, even for management, are part of the territory. The list goes ON and ON. Throw on top of this the obviously difficult task of dealing with the public, and you get yourself a work environment that just isn't desirable.
As for the people who aren't showing their professionalism at work, readers who are bosses: Let them know. Don't let it slide. A day where a fella forgets to shave or a girl has her hair tied back is one thing. It happens. But when someone looks sloppy, it takes away from the complete package the store is trying to sell. Call it old fashioned. It doesn't matter, what matters is there still is a definable line between fashion and professionalism and it is being crossed far too often. If these individuals want to wear their pants halfway down their butts and have their shirts untucked and their ties undone, there is a time and a place. It's perfectly ok to so at home or out with friends. In truth it does look good and modern. But not at work.