Monday, July 27, 2009

Dress and Grooming

One significant different between my old job and new has to do with the expected dress code and grooming. My old place of business had a pretty simple dress code for all its salaried professionals, engineers included: business attire. Note that this isn't business casual. Each day I would get all dressed smart in slacks, button-down, and a tie. I usually dispensed with suit suit jacket, but had one ready in my office when the occasion called.

This might seem a bit of an odd wardrobe for an engineer in this day and age, perhaps even anachronistic. The only thing separating me from a bunch of Apollo-era NASA engineers was my lack of a pocket-protector, slide rule, and shirtsleeves. Still, that was the dress code expected, particularly when seeing patients or physicians. Hilary had a similar dress expectation when seeing patients. By a historical quirk, the doctors wore for office visits, not white coats. It wasn't all that bad on a day-to-day basis, although this time of year in Minnesota could make it a bit uncomfortable.

Contrast that to my current place of work. There really isn't any expected dress code. My button-down with tie would put me quite out of place. I haven't gone so far as some of my co-workers, who this time of year can be seen wearing shorts and flip-flops. Although I've worn jeans a few times, by and large I've stuck to khakis and a decent shirt. I like to consider myself a professional, and looking the part plays into that. Besides, I looked good in dress clothes - you can't get that same effect from a polo shirt.

Not to say that the relaxed attire at work isn't welcome. It is quite nice to not have to shave every other day.

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