I’m currently sitting at my desk this morning in boat shoes, a polo shirt, and a pair of old Seven jeans that have a noticeable hole in them from drunkenly attempting to jump a fence. It’s a very relaxed, almost too casual look, but my general apathy toward how I look at work is just something people have learned to put up with.
I’ve taken some liberties with my company’s casual dress code, but if they forced a more business casual dress code upon me, I’d bitch under my breath but that would be the extent of my griping. And I certainly wouldn’t start a fucking petition. But that’s exactly what some spoiled brat intern did at his office during his summer internship, where he lobbied to have the dress code completely overhauled.
This guy saw a coworker that “always wore flat shoes that were made from a fabric other than leather, or running shoes, even though both of these things were contrary to the dress code.” Boo frickin’ hoo dude. You’re harping on the shoes? THE FUCKING SHOES? They go under the desk! Why don’t you start your battles by trying to get jeans approved, or short sleeve shirts?
So, modeling his behavior on the protest culture pervasive across American college campuses, he started a petition. I will say this, the kid’s got some heavy stones.
The next day, all of us who signed the petition were called into a meeting where we thought our proposal would be discussed. Instead, we were informed that due to our “unprofessional” behavior, we were being let go from our internships. We were told to hand in our ID badges and to gather our things and leave the property ASAP. We were shocked. The proposal was written professionally like examples I have learned about in school, and our arguments were thought out and well-reasoned. We weren’t even given a chance to discuss it. The worst part is that just before the meeting ended, one of the managers told us that the worker who was allowed to disobey the dress code was a former soldier who lost her leg and was therefore given permission to wear whatever kind of shoes she could walk in. You can’t even tell, and if we had known about this we would have factored it into our argument.
This guy should feel like the biggest schmuck on the planet right now. He was getting angry that a war hero, a fucking WAR HERO, who had a prosthetic leg, wasn’t wearing high heels? What a dickhead. The fact that he thought this was something he could discuss, as an intern, is bananas.
I’d say this was a better lessen than any he could have learned from actually doing the internship. Some real school of hard knocks type stuff. The office is not a place for social justice and activism. It’s where you go to be miserable and uncomfortable for ten hours a day, and the sooner this guy learns it the better. As soon as one petition actually works in an office, we’ll dematerialize into a lawless civilization. We’re not animals, we’re living in a society. Leave your petitions at college, there’s no room for them in the office..
[via Ask A Manager]