Today’s post starts a two parter on business casual attire.
Because one part was too long and two parts extends the boredom that this topic conjurs.
Several weeks ago, I was reprimanded for my “casual work attire and posture.”
Now, I’m not what you’d call an envelope pusher. I don’t have pink hair, no tattoos or odd piercings, and no revealing attire or hooker heels. So, when I heard this, I was rather taken aback.
After talking to my boss, I learned that it was the occasional flip flop appearance (I wear them to walk to work and sometimes they creep into my work day), coupled with the way I sit in my chair, coupled with my more “youthful” attire (I rarely wear a suit and am typically in pants, a solid color tee, and a cardigan) that had drawn the attention of the higher ups.
We have an interesting work space. I don’t have an assigned work station, and can choose to plug in to a variety of stations every day — from the typical desk and chair to a more casual environment with a booth and table.
Picture a coffee shop, but without all the clamoring for the one electrical outlet and the constant sounds of the cappuccino maker.
Even at a normal table and chair, I routinely curl one leg under the other (I’m sitting at my kitchen table doing it right now). So, put me in a booth with a table that is neither comfortable nor ergonomically correct, and you’re going to find me in all kinds of crazy poses. Because it’s the only way I can get comfortable. And on meeting-free days when I’m at a computer, the typical ankles-crossed posed gets old around noon when my ass goes numb.
Yet, this posture is apparently affecting my credibility. And it’s not just me, several other young staff members have received similar feedback.
There’s a part of me that can see the issue. We constantly have guests visiting, and if they see staff being all slouchy, I guess that reflects a certain image that we wouldn’t want to convey.
But at the same time, I can’t help but think: it’s a damn booth. How do you expect us to avoid carpel tunnel and all the other bad office job-related injuries if our feet don’t even touch the ground to do the proper ankle-cross?!
I could also go down the path of: I’m a creative, and work best in a certain way, which is more casual than how others may work. To get my creative juices flowing, I usually need to be comfortable — not proper — when sitting at a computer.
But I’ll refrain. Instead I’m being much more conscious of how I’m sitting and walking and trying to correct my poor posture.
I realize I’m being a sissy, and need to just suck it up. But c’mon. After 6 years, my posture is influencing my credibility? At this point, shouldn’t my work outweigh whether I prefer to sit cross-legged?
You tell me. How do you sit at work? Do you notice difference in generations? For example, do the whippersnappers sit and walk more casually while the old hats stay buttoned up with feet firmly planted on the floor?