Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bent Out of Shape...

Anybody that knows me knows that I am pretty dang laid back and I roll with the punches.  I am pretty flexible and open minded.  Basically, I think I'm pretty easy to be around and work with.  It takes A LOT to get my feathers ruffled.  Usually...

This past week we received our employee dress code.  It changed a little, but at first I was okay with it because I didn't think that what I owned would be affected by it.  Little did I know....

On Friday, we were in a meeting and had a couple items on the dress code "clarified" for us.  By the time my principals were finished, I was completely bent out of shape.  I was angry/upset for the entire day and I just could not change my attitude about it.  This is very unusual for me.  Please note that I was not upset with my principals.  They were just the messengers.  Not their fault at all....

Our dress code states that we may not wear shower shoes/beach shoes/flip flops.  In my mind I am thinking we are talking about the rubber flip flops that you pay $2 for at Old Navy.  I agree that those are completely inappropriate at school.  The flops that I own are thicker soled and "blinged out" in some way.  Definitely not shoes I'd wear in either the shower or at the beach.  They are either covered in some sort of animal print "fur" material or they are covered in crystals.  Shoes I wear to church.  They are super comfy and they have enough "sparkly junk" on them that I could wear them with a formal.  Should be good for school if they're good for church or a formal, right?  Apparently not...  :(  We were informed that if we had flip flops we could not wear them if they floated or had a foam or rubber sole.  Well, people, that is all I OWN!  All my "blinged out" flops have such a sole.   I have spent lots of money on these flips! All I could think of is that now I had NO shoes to wear to school.  :(

The other item that really got me was that teachers could no longer wear leggings.  Seriously???  Our student dress code became more lenient on leggings this year (Outer garments can be as much as 5 inches above the knee instead of 3 inches as long as leggings were worn underneath.)  Teachers are banned completely.  Somebody really did not think this through.  I am a "big girl" that does like to wear cute dresses from time to time.  I have a couple knee length dresses that completely meet dress code.  It is acceptable for me to wear them to school.  However, being a big girl I feel a bit exposed in those knee length dresses so I like to wear leggings under them.  I am sure some of my coworkers appreciate me covering them up too.  lol   I am covered up with them and feel less self-conscience when I wear them.  Plus I don't have to worry about some 5th or 6th grade boy looking up my dress as I walk up the stairs at school.  Has anybody thought about these things???  I think NOT!!!

So I stewed all day long yesterday.  These two things completely ruined my day.  Now, I know that I let them ruin my day, but I was really frustrated for a few reasons:

#1 - I work my butt off at my job.  I give my heart and soul to those kids while I am there, and sometimes, when I am not there.  I dress professionally and act professionally.  I have a good relationship with my colleagues, admin, students, and parents.  Why, then, do certain people feel the need to take away a couple of my "creature comforts"?  Is it really that important?  Will it seriously change the way I conduct my business from day to day?

#2 - We received the dress code approximately a week before school started but only clarification on such items on Friday.  That left me the weekend to correct my wardrobe.  On tax free weekend no less.  I really did NOT want to fight the crowds.

#3 - I have issues with my feet.  In the past few years it has become increasingly difficult for me to find school shoes that don't make my feet hurt so bad it feels like that are being gnawed off.  For some reason the flips work for me.  Dress shoes are stiff, have a hard sole, and are just plain uncomfortable. Plus, they are expensive.  Flips have a cushy sole, are not binding, and while I do spend up to $50 on a pair, they are still less expensive than dress shoes.  Have you priced good dress shoes lately?

#4 - We were given the dress code just a few days before school started.  Had they told us earlier in the summer I (and other people I have talked to) would not have spent good money on shoes I/we couldn't wear.  Why weren't we given this information earlier?  When we were buying school clothes  throughout the summer we were following the dress code that had always been acceptable.  Now, it is too late to take back those items and most people probably don't have the money to go shopping again.

If I could write a letter to the people who made the dress code, it might say something like this:

Dear Dress Code Makers,

In order to comply with your wishes I spent $239 out of my savings account today on 3 pairs of dress shoes. Because I am on my feet all day I was not able to get "cheap" shoes.  I MUST have shoes with some level of comfort in them.  Apparently, if you want/need comfort, you must pay for it.  I thank you for that.

My dresses will no longer be worn to school.  Without my leggings under them, I feel very exposed and unprofessional.  But, mostly, I do not want to give 5th and 6th grade boys the opportunity to look up my dress as I walk up the stairs.  I will retire those items to my closet only to be worn to church on Sundays.

I have no problem following your dress code.  I think it is important  But, please consider your teachers' reasons for changing these things back to the way they were in the past.  I believe you are asking us to be professional.  LOOK professional.  Your request is not out of line.  But, I can honestly say that on my campus, there isn't a day that goes by that my colleagues don't look and act professional.  Knowing the type of people that are employed by my district, I am sure that the same can be said for the other campuses as well.  We employ great people and in turn have a great district.

Thank you for your time.


Friends, thanks for letting me vent.  I am not a complainer, and I rarely ask for anything.  I am actually pretty open-minded and have a ton of patience.  Sometimes, though, things just rub a girl the wrong way and she's got to let it out.  Thanks for being my sounding board and know that while I am upset now, I will be back to the "good ol' me" by Monday.

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