I like to think of myself as a progressive guy. Or at least a little strategic at times. That's why dealing with items like dress code compliance (a cross that all male HR Generalists have had to bear at one point in their careers) will likely drive me from the HR game at some point in the future. Could be when I am 60, could be next year. Who knows?
What's the big issue? The Consumerist recently posted a Dress code it claims is from a Comcast Call Center. Nothing wrong with Comcast. However, plenty of challenges when you get 1,000 employees together in 4X6 cubes. Want to spend your time as a HR pro recruiting? Maybe developing some management training? Great - just go talk to Alice (in Cube 317) first about her non-compliance with the dress code. Apparently she has on what we believe is one of the "never appropriate" items:
-(shudder) Spandex Pants
-Excessively tight clothing
-House Slippers with nasty toes
Could the manager have had the conversation without getting you involved? Sure. Without saying something to get you sued? Hmmm. So you walk down to Cube 317 to take care of business. You pull out speech 17b on what's appropriate or not and BAAAM!!!! Alice tells you she has a medical condition where the spandex in the pants helps her circulation, and the slippers are the only thing her feet will fit into because of the swelling. You look up and - I'm not joking but you guessed it - there are 20 Call Center Reps, all dressed the right way, watching what you are going to say next.
Backed into a corner, you do what you have to do. You tell her she'll need to work through some medical documentation to justify the exception, and 3 hours later, when you think you have that one triangulated, you have 3 more medical "necessities" on your desk. So much for the upscale stuff you were working on.
And there goes your whole week. If you are in a big, consumer-based Call Center, rinse and repeat. If you are a male HR Pro, prepare to be verrrry uncomfortable.
PS - Got to love that Comcast chose to plug their corrective action steps right into the Dress Code Policy. Now that's efficient!!!