I’m still underemployed at the moment but actively seeking work. About six weeks ago, I took a position at a national wellness chain. It’s a decent job. It is a different type of service environment for me. Change is good, right? There is surely nothing wrong with expanding my skill set. And it’s an opportunity to meet new people. For me, that’s the best part of any job. Of course, I didn’t bring you hear to talk about my job. Today I want to address, ‘The Code’. I’m talking about the dress code.
I will start by saying I have not worked in anywhere that required a traditional professional dress code, suit and tie. I’ve worked places that required a standard of dress like Target with its red shirts and khaki pants. I’ve even had to wear a uniform. That was a long summer at Kings Dominion. The perk there was that I could leave it in my locker dirty and return to a clean one on my next shift. Sweet! For all of my other years of employment, I have been under a business casual policy. And I have seen it all.
Wait, I seem to be getting a little off track. Recently, we had a meeting at work where we discussed dress code. I love clothes more than I ever thought I would, but we spent 45 minutes on what is acceptable and what is not. I wanted to tear my hair out. Hair is another subject for another time. The heart of the discussion centered on yoga pants. Really, yoga pants! As we don’t work in a yoga studio, they should not be a part of our dress code.
While our establishment is not a high end salon, it is still a very respectable place. The staff should reflect that in their dress, actions, and speech. Dress codes can be very divisive, but they are also a way to build unity. A uniform dress code shows that you are part of the same team. A well attired staff will attract a similar clientele.
Do you have a dress code where you work? Is it professional, casual or anything goes? Or do you wish there were something in place?
I had a job interview with an international company yesterday. It was one of the best ones that I had been on in some time. I received some excellent feedback from my interviewer. This morning as I reviewed yesterday’s event, I found myself laughing. Interviews are like blind dates. We put on our best clothes. Often we go the extra mile, getting a haircut or a new do. As ladies, we tone down our make up and jewelry. You know how it goes.
I don’t know about you, but I had often thought of an interview as kind of a dog show rather than a blind date. The person meeting you is the judge. They’ll check you from tip to tail. They’ll then deem you worthy or not. I began to look at this process a little differently. It is also an opportunity for us to guage whether the company is a place we really want to be. It is a chance forus to see if these are people we really want to be with on a daily basis. Our workplace is #2 in our lives of where we spend the bulk of our time. And for some, it is #1.
As to my blind date yesterday, I’d like to do it again. I have some work to do. I am grateful for the excellent feedback AA provided. I plan to take all of the advice. Keep your fingers crossed that I’ll have another opportunity to meet her again.
I know that Are You Being Served is a well known British comedy, but it is still a good question. In this day and age, do you ever stop to think about how you are being served? I know I have been thinking about it quite a bit over the past 4 days. Some might even say that I’m a bit obsessive about it. We all have jobs to do and there are some days that we don’t want to do them. However, I don’t think we should ever let our client, customer, patron, etc. feel our displeasure or discomfort. It makes repeat business so much more difficult. While, I can empathize with the overworked often underpaid employees of the world. I can’t help but wonder if there aren’t just as many disinterested/dispassionate/apathetic customers out there. Just because someone waiting on us does not give us any cause to treat them like servants or worse. We live in such a ‘Do unto others before they do unto you’ society. It’s a real shame.
I want great service and I think that it should begin with me. If I am greeted with a smile, I should return it. There really is on excuse for poor behavior. So, how are you being served? And are you deserving of the service that you receive? That’s my food for thought today.
It’s the holiday season. And it brings with it lots of parties and opportunities to socialize with many people. Inevitably, small talk often centers around education, work, and employment. Once you’ve gotten past the little social niceties, you get to the nitty gritty. What do you do? Or more importantly, are you contributing to society in a positive manner or are you a deadbeat loser with no prospects? I know that sounds a little harsh, but we humans are a judgmental lot. We measure worthiness by the ability to hold down steady employment. We tend to pity those without a regular 9-5 or 11-7 commitment. Is it fair, more than likely not, but we do it anyway. I find myself in a unique positition this holiday season. I am among the ranks of people who are not gainfully employed in the traditional sense this holiday season. Found myself at a social gathering this past weekend and realized that I am not going to be pitied. I hold my head high. I am without the restraints of a 9-5. I am a self-employed business woman!! I am fierce and independent! I value these things. A huge part of me wishes I would have had the courage to step out and do this years ago instead of clinging to a Just Over Broke Situation that drained the life right out of me. There are some days the “What ifs” claw at me desperately, begging me to look for something more stable, more secure. However, I hold fast knowing I have everything I need to be a successful entrepreneur. I am not waiting for January 1, 2012 to make changes. I am making them right now. I am committed to making this work. What are you committed to?
Some days I think that customer service has disappeared. I was going to talk about the automated systems that businesses use to manage their calls. However, I noticed that brick and mortar stores often have the same problem. There are bodies in the room, but no brains between them. What is up with the zombie effect? It’s fine for Halloween, but really not good for Christmas or other holidays. Your stores are full of people searching for the perfect gift or a new appliance because the old one couldn’t handle the load. What happened to the days when you could walk into a business and be greeted wth a friendly smile, a little conversation. Don’t you know how valuable those first few minutes with the customer are? They set the tone for the customers experience. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
The other part of this is, does your staff know the inventory? Are they kept up to date on sold out merchandise? If it is sold out, do you have anything comparable? There is little wonder that I do most of my shopping online. I know instantly if the pink shirt in Medium is not available. So, I was pleasantly surprised earlier this week when I dropped by Office Depot. The staff was friendly. They answered all of the questions I had and provided information that I hadn’t even considered. As I finish my holiday rounds, I will be returning to store to make my final tech purchase even if it means I may be spending a little more. Good service deserves to be rewarded.
That got your attention, didn’t it? Funny how a little three letter word has so much power. S-E-X! We see it and all sorts of images run through our minds. The reason it comes up for me today is it was suggested that I make this blog sexy. I still cannot wrap my head around that concept. My focus here is underemployment, job search, work, and entrepreneurship. I can tell you there is nothing inherently appealing about not having a job or not having enough work. The job search can have its sexy moments. For instance, getting dressed for an interview is like preparing for a first date. You have to take time to choose the right outfit and shoes so that you set the tone. There’s also that little hint of nervous anticipation as you wait to be called. Then, there’s the dance between interviewer and interviewee. Here’s your chance to seduce them with your knowledge, skill, and wit. This brings us to work. W-O-R-K is a four letter word. It often has a negative connotation, a ball and chain effect if you will. I started to inspect the idea a little closely as I gently stroked the keys to coax this article to life. Work doesn’t have to be a drudge. There is something tantalizing about watching humans work. As I used to work in a library, I cannot put into words how thrilling the hunt was to find information or the excitement generated when you have found the perfect article. There’s a sense of satisfaction in doing a job to completion. As to entrepreneurship, I must be completely honest. There is something sexy about conceiving an idea, nurturing it, feeding it, treating it with love and tenderness as you shape it into a full fledged business. So, maybe there is something to this business of sexiness in business and work or presenting the ideas in a sexy manner. If nothing else, I hope that you found this post as amusing to read as found it to write.
I firmly believe that each and every one of us has some sort of talent. And talent isn’t limited to an ability to sing, dance, paint or write. It could be something a little less obvious like caring for children or the elderly. It could be something mechanical or technical. And most of the time we do not recognize it ourselves. Someone often points out the things that each of us does well. More often than not, we brush off the compliment. We miss an ’A HA!’ moment.
In these uncertain times, we need to start capturing that ‘A-HA!’ event and put it to work for us. We have to tap into our talents. Who knows, each of us might find that we are multi-talented. I know a computer tech who is not only a whiz at keeping my computer operating efficiently, but he’s an entertainer. He’s a costumed hero who designs his own costumes and props. He’s not only tapped into what he’s good at, but he’s also looking for a way to make his hobby work for him as well.
What do you do? What have you heard that you are good at? Are you willing to make it work for you? If you’re not sure, let’s talk. Leave me a message. You see, my talent is helping people find theirs.