Intern Fired for Dress Code Petition Is the Case Against Social Justice Education

Coddling has consequences.

|

Tears
Dreamstime

Does a university education really prepare students to succeed in the workplace? The testimony of one recent undergraduate, who was fired from his internship after fomenting organized opposition to the company's dress code, should give pause.

The anonymous millennial wrote to advice blogger Alison Green for guidance. (I am presuming he is male, based on his specific complaints about the dress code—wearing a suit, for example.) He said that he felt "the dress code was overly strict," but wasn't going to complain until his sense of injustice was triggered:

"I noticed one of the workers 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.

I spoke with my manager about being allowed some leeway under the dress code and was told this was not possible, despite the other person being allowed to do it. I soon found out that many of the other interns felt the same way, and the ones who asked their managers about it were told the same thing as me."

The intern decided his best course of action was to create a petition requesting a relaxation of the dress code. "It was mostly about the footwear, but we also incorporated a request that we not have to wear suits and/or blazers in favor of a more casual, but still professional dress code," he wrote. Most of the other interns signed it.

Needless to say, management did not take kindly to the petition. The interns who signed it were called into a meeting and fired en masse. It turned out the worker who had been excused from following the dress code was a veteran who had lost his leg and was permitted to wear whatever footwear was most comfortable.

The fired intern writes that he was "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.

I have never had a job before (I've always focused on school) and I was hoping to gain some experience before I graduate next year. I feel my dismissal was unfair and would like to ask them to reconsider but I'm not sure the best way to go about it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I don't want to make too much of a single anecdote—it doesn't actually tell us whether millennial workers are more likely than other workers to act entitled. But the intern's justification of his actions is illustrative. This is what he learned in school: if you don't like your company's policies, create a petition or organize against management. As if that's how professional people in the private sector handle disagreements.

Perhaps an education in social justice activism is not as valuable as university planners want their students to believe it is.

It's also quite funny that these socially conscious interns didn't immediately recognize the one actually marginalized person in the situation: the disabled veteran.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

225 responses to “Intern Fired for Dress Code Petition Is the Case Against Social Justice Education

      1. Uh… talking to yourself?

        1. Don’t other his othering of himself.

      2. A.K.A.: “Here endeth the lesson.”

    1. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job Ive had. Last Monday I got a new Alfa Romeo from bringing in $7778. I started this 6 months ago and practically straight away started making more than $95 per hour.

      I work through this website____________ http://www.earnmore9.com

  1. Hahahaha sniveling little shit. Damn it I’m only 29. I have at least 5-10 more years of having to deal with these people before I die in a horrible wood chipper accident.

    1. I used to worry about my post-college prospects, having spent several years working first… but I’m starting to think I may have a leg up.

    2. yeah I’m only 30 and I can’t wait until an indoctinated snowflake tries to get their way becuase they think they are special.

      And the first thing I thought of was: Ok maybe this person has a disability that lets him wear different footwear (I have Cerebral Palsy and can relate, although I don’t need to wear special inserts anymore, only as a kid).

      It’s ironic that after all that indoctrination, they still don’t ask a question or try to understand the situation before trying to make it all about them. Instead of asking why that coworker had an exemption, they try to force their wishes on everyone else becuase they think they know what’s best for everyone

      1. I would have also thought – maybe this guy doesn’t give a fuck but is so good at what he does that the company let’s him get away with this minor violation and that maybe I, being a fucking brand-new intern, might not be close to that.

        But then again, I’m too old to expect ‘fair’ or to ever again use the phrase ‘that’s not fair!’ in an unironic manner.

  2. “I have never had a job before (I’ve always focused on school) and I was hoping to gain some experience before I graduate next year. I feel my dismissal was unfair and would like to ask them to reconsider but I’m not sure the best way to go about it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.”

    He gained experience, but learned nothing.

    1. During my conversation with Mrs. Dean about this , I pointed out that the internship had achieved its purpose(s) precisely:

      (a) The company got a look at some potential employees. Not liking what you see is perfectly acceptable outcome. The company got what it signed up for.

      (b) The interns learned (well, were shown, anyway) what its like to work in a real working environment. They got what they signed up for, too. Good and hard.

      1. Everybody’s a winner!

  3. I am presuming he is male, based on his specific complaints about the dress code?wearing a suit, for example.

    Really? I presumed she was female, based on the fact that it sounded like a whiny bitch wrote it.

    1. You haven’t spent much time around the typical entitled millennial college-aged man, have you?

      1. I try not to

      2. my male prog friends are far more whiny and bitchy. My women friends are much more calm and reasoned.

      3. my male prog friends are far more whiny and bitchy. My women friends are much more calm and reasoned.

        1. How about your squirrel friends?

          1. They’re nuts.

    2. TRIGGERED!!!!!

    3. I assumed female because she spoke of wearing flats. I haven’t known any men to call shoes flats or men’s shoes to be called flats.

      1. Wh. I wear king fu shoes, and they are definitely flat compared to almost any other shoe.

      2. I call some women “flats”, is that still acceptably honest?

  4. “I have never had a job before (I’ve always focused on school) and I was hoping to gain some experience before I graduate next year. I feel my dismissal was unfair and would like to ask them to reconsider but I’m not sure the best way to go about it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.”

    Maybe an online petition.

  5. I laughed and laughed when I first heard about this.

    If we had interns, or employees, who presented us with a petition blah blah, I’d put in a quick call to my labor lawyers to make sure we could fire them without violating the NLRA, and then I would strongly recommend firing them all, on the basis that we don’t this kind of trouble under our roof.

    1. “Try before you buy” becomes “Holy shit who poisoned the labor pool?”

    2. Yeah, you certainly want to avoid internal dissension.

      1. I have no problem with internal dissension.

        What I don’t need is people who think that organizing protests and petitions in the workplace is the way to go about it.

        1. What irritated me was them thinking that everyone should be treated the same just because.

          When Bud Grant was coaching the Vikes back in the ’70s, any player who missed a practice would have to write the reason on the trainer’s door. Jim Marshall would often write “Too tired” and skip practices.

          Some other player bitched at Bud about how Marshall (and Page, Eller and other stars) were treated differently and that he could never get away with a stunt like that. Bud allegedly told the scrub that all he had to do to get the same treatment was play like they did.

    3. It’s possible that *this guy* violated the NLRA (if his story is true), because I presume the NLRB didn’t recognize him and his SJW buddies as representatives as the workforce

      1. I don’t think its even possible (at least under our current NLRB) for an employee, intern, or union to violate the NLRA.

        1. Sorry, I forgot.

          Gosh, I hope the contents of this bag of spikes don’t end up stuck in the tires of scabs’ cars in a series of totally spontaneous acts unconnected to the union leadership!

        2. Actually there would be an NLRA issue but for the fact that as interns, they may not qualify as employees. But then again, under the Obama NLRB, anything is possible

          1. Yay! American jobs! [nervous laughter gives way to uncontrollable sobbing]

        3. No, there are rules vs. wildcat actions.

  6. I left my office-job and now I am getting paid 98 usd hourly. How? I work over internet! My old work was making me miserable, so I was forced to try something different, 2 years after…I can say my life is changed-completely for the better! Check it out what i do…

    Follow Here =======> http://www.CashPay60.Com

    1. And best of all, no dress code!

      1. “Work naked on the internetz!”

        1. I suspect that *is* the dress code.

          1. It is for me and I’m at a Starbucks!

      2. What good does clicking on the “report spam” link do?

        1. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, like voting.

        2. It’s a direct line to Preet.

        3. Well yesterday at 355 when I left work the spam post was there; now it’s gone.

        4. It’s like peeing yourself while wearing black pants. It gives you a warm feeling, but nobody takes any notice.

  7. Perhaps an education in social justice activism is not as valuable as university planners want their students to believe it is.

    Perhaps?!?!?

  8. We weren’t even given a chance to discuss it.

    It seem that the whole “No one cares what you think“-thing has still not sunk in.

    1. Guy with backpack came too soon.

      1. So it was a threesome?

  9. It’s also quite funny that these socially conscious interns didn’t immediately recognize the one actually marginalized person in the situation: the disabled veteran.

    I don’t see how the disabled veteran was marginalized. He has a job, and he has reasonable accommodations for his disability.

    1. I think in this case marginalized was referring to the able-ist mindsets of the interns. It’s difficult as hell to speak Purme, so that might not be an accurate translation.

      1. Oh no, the writer specifically mentioned that if they had *known* that person was disabled, they would have ‘rethought’ their approach.

        Intersectionality FTW!

        1. So, we must publicly list everyone’s “categories” (gay, disabled, etc) even if that means divulging sensitive medical or otherwise personal information so that whiny social justice warriors know how and where to air their petty grievances?

    2. It sounds like at least a part of him got pretty marginalized.

    3. *She

  10. Holy shit. What kind of nerve do these idiots have to think that a petition from a bunch of interns is going to result in major changes to a company dress code.

    Even if they didn’t know the other guy was disabled, it’s pretty intuitive to think that maybe he, as a more senior, experienced employee, might have some privileges not available to fucking interns.

    1. And I didn’t read the actual letter. Apparently, the disabled veteran is a woman.

      1. Someone else was doing something they wanted, NO FAIR ME TOO.

        It didn’t even occur to them to ask why.

        1. To be fair, he might have been the very first veteran any of these interns had ever met.

      2. “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.”

        Factored it into, not, you know, shut the fuck up. They really didn’t like their shoes.

    2. We are all equal! So the interns should get their leg(s) blown off and then they can enjoy the same benefits.

      1. +1 Lt Dan

        1. +1 Intern Gump

  11. “Does a university education really prepare students to succeed in the workplace?”

    Maybe, but perhaps his parents allowed the kid to be an entitled little shit.

  12. Oh the intern was a he? Man, that whole story sounded like it was a she.

    1. Xe, you goddamn micro-agressor!

    2. I think Robby is guessing, as are we all. Article doesn’t say one way or the other.

  13. I wouldn’t blame the whole generation. I work with kids this age range all the time and haven’t found one anywhere near this stupid.

    1. True. We get a raft of new nurses every year, and I don’t think any of them are entitled or stupid enough to do this.

      Of course, they aren’t going to schools or majors that indoctrinate them in progademic SJWism, either.

    2. My law firm gets a fresh set of summer associates every year, many of whom are around 24-25 and, given its law school, are at risk of permanent derpy SJWism. But most are fine, especially the slightly older ones – they work hard and know their place. But every summer has a few that clearly lack any real world experience whatsoever, so their judgment sucks. Nothing like this has happened though; over-sharing is the most common problem.

  14. The veteran thing is so perfect that I was wondering if this is like those New Haven postmarked letters Ann Landers kept getting.

    1. That occurred to me, too. This is a little too perfect. Makes me wonder whether it’s real.

  15. Oh my! The poor dear was expected to wear leather shoes? The horror!

    I’ll bet those cruel bastards wouldn’t even let him wear the shoes with the velcro straps, so exposing his inability to tie them by himself.

    1. Well, that’s why you get loafers.

  16. My favorite part:

    You can’t even tell, and if we had known about this we would have factored it into our argument.

    The author, deep down, STILL thinks that the petition would have worked if they had just tweaked the wording.

    The blogger (and it’s something that occurred to me too) mentions that *just maybe* there were some other incidents with the interns that caused this extreme backlash.

  17. They got what they deserved but I still feel bad for them. What a rough way to learn a lesson.

    1. Learn a lesson?

      I see no evidence that they learned a damn thing. You can lead an intern to the watercooler…

      1. I see no evidence that they learned a damn thing. You can lead an intern to the woodchipper………

      2. I wonder if these ex-interns are gonna take this company to court. If they’re in an “at-will” state, they’ll be wasting their time (but I wouldn’t be surprised if they still pressed ahead)… but for the company’s sake, I hope there wasn’t an “open door policy” at that place. Those terminations didn’t seem like good “open door policy” to me.

        1. I’d give them triple their lost wages.

          Let’s see, three times zero…carry the zero…

          1. Is that you, Jane?

  18. Mostly sane comments on the original page, too… which was refreshing to see.

    1. It surprised me too. I was expecting coddling.

  19. Maybe college is preparing them to change the workplace.

    Didn’t we get a fist-in-the-air editorial in the NYT from a millennial who demanded high pay, shorter hours (I believe by ‘shorter hours’ she meant ‘no overtime’) and longer vacations, and then went on to indicate that these demands were particularly relevant for the new Millennial workforce?

    1. Yeah it stands to reason that training hundreds of thousands of millennials in Bullshido, which translates as The Way of the Social Justice Warrior, is going to do more to change what is considered acceptable at workplaces than it will to make these students unprepared. The Bolsheviks were unprepared to engage with markets and economic science, but that didn’t stop them from centrally planning the market and spreading their economic ignorance.

      1. Lysenkoism is alive and well in the twenty first century?!?!

        It’s 2016 already! Don’t these people study history?

        1. Don’t these people study history?

          History is just too damn full of white cisgendered heterosexual males. I assume the ones who studied history are now in counseling to treat their PTSD.

  20. This kind of thing causes me to get an itch down in the mental storeroom where I keep my discarded ideas…

    Maybe there should be a draft. But we draft kids when they’re 13 and send them off to a year-long boot camp type thing where the pedagogy is designed to burn out all this weak-minded bullshit before it takes hold.

    Then another year at 16 to reinforce it all.

    /itch

    Of course there are numerous problems with this approach.

    1. Make it completely voluntary, and attach the franchise to it.

      1. Service guarantees citizenship! Would you like to know more?

        In all seriousness I wouldn’t be terribly against limiting the franchise with something like this.

  21. The shocking thing about this story is that he got other interns to sign his petition. Not one of them told this guy he was an idiot and maybe there was a reason this one guy could wear sneakers instead of leather shoes. Is seeing someone else do something that you are not allowed to do that much of a burden? Is that a micro-aggession?

    1. Not one of them told this guy he was an idiot

      Maybe. One intern apparently declined to sign the petition, and was the only one to NOT be fired.

    1. “And they parted his butt cheeks,
      And threw in rocks.”

  22. It’s also quite funny that these socially conscious interns didn’t immediately recognize the one actually marginalized person in the situation: the disabled veteran.

    What did I miss here, how the disabled veteran “marginalized”? It sounds like the company went out of its way to accommodate xer.

    1. I think it means that these youngsters are taught to believe that people with disabilities are a marginalized class in society not necessarily that this particular person was marginalized.

  23. This is the feel good story of the week.

    I wonder what line of work they were in. You would think the dress code is pretty non-negotiable at a place that still does suits/blazers.

    1. You’d think that as an intern, that would be the one time in your career that you’d keep your fucking mouth shut and your brain on “receive”.

    2. >I wonder what line of work they were in.

      If back office employees are still wearing suits, I’m betting either finance, big five accounting firm, or a corporate law.

      1. Not law – even the New York firms do not require it. Has to be finance – someone in the comments mentioned the similarity to UBS’s dress code. Morgan Stanley’s pretty strict too. Or maybe management consulting.

        1. IT staff in law firms and banks here in LA wear suits/blazers.

          1. I pity them. Jeans okay any day here, just south of there. Lawyers and staff.

  24. Yeah….I’m suspicious of the whole story.

  25. It’s also quite funny that these socially conscious interns didn’t immediately recognize the one actually marginalized person in the situation: the disabled veteran.

    How was this person marginalized?

    1. Ha! beat you to it.

      Presuming an answer won’t come, I’m guessing Robby may be suggesting he’s been marginalized by Physics and its effect on the biology of someone with one leg.

      1. Honestly, I think its just another proggy reflex: anyone who is disabled must be marginalized.

        1. I think Mr Dean has the right of it. To expand a little further, I think Robby has an inner progressive and every so often, his thoughtless reflexes shine through in his writing.

        2. I saw it as him using their terminology to mock them. They’re whining about how unfair it is they don’t get to wear running shoes like she does, when she’s missing a leg. It’s pretty funny.

      2. I read it as being just that SJW-training should have had their knees jerking straight to recognizing the disabled veteran and doing that calculus that puts that person higher on the “marginalized victim” chain than themselves.

        Of course, the fundamental error of SJW-training is assuming that these students would be interested in people other than themselves who are “marginalized victims.”

        1. They aren’t being trained to recognize marginalized groups, they are being conditioned to withhold scrutiny of marginalized groups as a concept, and the “activist informant” as a speaker.

  26. Haha, sucker!

    I guess you missed the “This is not a Democracy” part of the employee handbook.

  27. As I said yesterday, the petition thing was a silly move on the part of the interns, but unless there’s more to the story than we’re getting from the one sided account of what went on, the mass firing response seems over the top to me. Makes the company sound like a terrible place to work.

    1. Either way, the interns learned a valuable lesson.

      1. Not necessarily.

    2. Just to add, it’s been my very limited experience that places with strict dress codes tend to be worse places to work, and largely populated with very uptight disagreeable people.

      But I’m not anti-dress code. For instance, if I were a lawyer, I’m pretty sure suit and tie are minimum, possibly 3 piece, and even certain color/pattern combos will be acceptable.

      But if you’re in IT (my area) suit and tie is over the top– and I say that as someone who generally dresses better than most IT people, what with their dockers and Izods.

      I can also understand a dress code if you’re at the executive level.

      1. with their Dockers and Izods

        *runs out of room crying*

      2. If your IT folks are wearing dockers and izods, they are better dressed than most.

        1. I fondly recall the scene in the Matrix where Neo goes into work in a black tie and white shirt…as a developer…Ahh the 90s. I am now the only guy NOT wearing flipflops to work. But its ok.

          1. That was the least believable part of the movie. No one in silicon valley was wearing a tie in the 90s.

          2. Flip flops should never be worn by men and occasionally only by women. Exceptions may include the trip from the hotel room to the pool- and back.

            Maybe in your own backyard if the fence is high and no one can see in.

        2. Seriously, I worked at a .com in Chicago and wore shorts and sandals all summer.

    3. the mass firing response seems over the top to me

      I do suspect that there were some precursors, but, as far as I’m concerned, its not over the top even on this one incident.

      No company needs a group of people roaming the halls thinking that they are their to change the corporate culture with petitions and protests.

      1. It’s good business to banish troublemakers early on, before you have a mutiny. If my employees tried to unionize and if the feds weren’t holding a gun against my head forcing me to accept their union and deal with it, the likelihood that I’d immediately fire every one of them would be proportional to how replaceable they are in the near term. You don’t just give extortionists what they want if you can avoid it or they just get emboldened.

      2. Agreed that the firing, even if it was the only incident, was correct.

        When people openly agitate others about things such as the dress code, they are signaling an inability to focus on this relevant to the business actually making money. They have proven an inability to correctly understand the irrelevance of their opinion on dress code, an inability to directly analyze the importance of their complaint and the negative impact of bringing it, an inability to understand their place, and an inability to focus such energies to those things actually relevant to the success of the business.

        So if you wouldn’t hire someone who has proven themselves this stupid, it seems rational that if you have hired a new group of people, for an internship, and they prove these things while there, that you would indeed fire them.

        The cost in time and energy constantly fighting battles irrelevant to success is too great. Any manager who wouldn’t fire them isn’t doing their job.

        Though I could see firing ringleaders as a strong warning and putting others on notice, but they’re interns and they aren’t generally integral to a company’s success…combine large unnecessary risk with non-critical employees and firing makes the most sense.

        It also has the added bonus that this story will float around the colleges they recruit from making it less likely future interns do the same and causing SJW types to self select not to apply to this company.

      3. Plus, in all the intern situations I have experienced, interns cost the company money. Any reason to shitcan them would be more than enough for me.

    4. Or awesome depending on your point of view.

    5. I disagree for 2 reasons:

      1) Several of these kids had already asked about the dress code and had all been told that it wasn’t going to change. Creating a petition after that just makes them seem insubordinate and disrespectful. And it shows that it’s not just about this one thing.

      2) Companies hire interns (usually) not because they’re profitable, but because they want to use the intern program as a way to recruit and identify top talent to bring on long-term. I don’t blame them for concluding that anyone who signed that petition was not worthy of making the cut, and cutting their losses at that point.

    6. The author of the original blog post noted that it seemed a bit harsh to fire them all. However, the interns were way out of line- they had no standing whatsoever to assume they knew better what the company’s dress code ought to be or to attempt to pressure the management to make sartorial changes more to their liking. Given the general level of cluelessness in the letter, I’d be surprised if these interns hadn’t already pissed off the company and this incident was the last straw.

      1. I think they had it coming even if it was the first straw. As you mention, they had no standing to demand any changes to company policy. They occupy the lowest rung of the ladder, below that of janitorial staff with a year or two of seniority and yet they took it upon themselves to organize a crusade against a relatively reasonable company policy. As a manager, I’d see them as nothing more than a liability.

  28. I was hoping to gain some experience

    MISSION

    ACCOMPLISHED

    1. Beat me to it.

    2. I do not think this person is capable of integrating this experience into his weltanschauung.

  29. Incidentally, this is example #344 of the connection between “social issues” and “economic issues.”

    Next up…companies try to assimilate employees who grew up without fathers.

    1. If by “without fathers” you mean “with daddy issues”, I, umm, know somebody who might assimilate them.

    2. I haven’t read this, but I hear it is relevant.

  30. Why didn’t the first manager explain that the person who was being excused from the footwear dress code was disabled? That might have avoided a lot of misunderstanding.

    1. I’m guessing, but I’m guessing the manager didn’t want to be in the position of having to defend company policies to an intern.

      1. Once you get on the defensive, once you’ve conceded to some young SJW punk the power to call you to account for your supposed sins, then you’re playing on their turf.

        1. “I’ll just sit here patiently while this oblivious moron provides enough rope to hang himself.”

    2. Perhaps the manager had more important things to worry about than some intern wanting to change the company dress code.

    3. Or, perhaps the company has a very rational policy against discussing its employees’ disabilities and the accommodations it makes for them to people who have no need to know such things to do their fucking jobs.

      1. None of it really matters. Once the manager said no that should have been the end of it.

        1. But what of democracy and process?

    4. Because interns are supposed to shut up and be grateful for the opportunity they’ve been given.

    5. HIPAA violation.

      1. No, it wouldn’t be.

    6. Why the fuck should they advertise someones disability/loss of a limb to a bunch of fucking interns? No, the issue is these pieces of shit are entitled. Even after learning that piece of information, the idiots could only say they would have factored it into their arguments. For people well-versed in victimese/social justice, they don’t seem very sensitive to the fact that one person has a legitimate reason for an exemption.

      Bottom line is that they are interns. And they don’t have enough value to dictate anything. They are detached from reality.

    7. Probably because explaining the physical disabilities of your employees to an intern is generally frowned upon.

    8. I think Robby’s comment on ‘marginalizing’ the disabled veteran are spot on. Once the manager exposes that the veteran is disabled and allowed an exception will expose private information about an employee that really should only be allowed to be shared by the individual. Also, demanding a change because ‘she’ isn’t following it shows that they have already marginalized the vet because she is allowed to be different without actually being able to tell she was disabled.

    9. Maybe one employee’s disability and any relevant accommodations given by said employer isn’t the business of every single other employee who wishes to inquire only because the visible accommodations are viewed as unequal enforcement in company rules.

      IE – The accommodation needs and the accommodations given are between the disabled employee and their employer only.

  31. Speaking dress code, George F Will, who left the GOP last week, is a stickler for dress code. I generally like him, but he has written several think-pieces about blue jeans that have left me baffled. He hates American Football too.

    He thinks Donald Trump is crazy.

    1. It should surprise no one that a guy who chooses to be a political pundit (and does it seriously, unlike, say, Ann Coulter, who does it for attention and money) for a career is a bit off.

    2. Yeah, that freak likes baseball.

      1. I like baseball too. It’s an excellent skiil-set game: throw, catch, hit, and situational awareness. I coach LL baseball. My opinion of AYSO soccer is different.

  32. I can remember some jobs I’ve had where the shoes you wore were mandated for safety. My second summer job, not counting my entrepreneurial efforts at lawn cutting and snow shoveling, was at a McDonalds. In the 1970s they made us wear leather (or imitation) black shoes. Nothing “sneaker-like” was allowed. I didn’t want to wear my nice leather Sunday-go-to-meeting shoes, so I picked up some black safety shoes at an Army/Navy store, complete with steel toes. I freaked out one asst mgr when moving a stack of hamburger buns from one trolley to another by lifting them with my steel-shod toes. Of course, these had a neoprene “no slip” sole, good for working on wet floors. And, you never mow lawns wearing sandals or flip-flops (aka thongs.) Any contact with the job mkt for this n00b would have taught him you don’t always get to wear what you want. Get him a paper hat, stat!

    1. “you don’t always get to wear what you want.”

      But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you wear what you need.

    2. Spilling hot fry oil on a pair of nylon mesh sneakers ain’t no fun.

  33. I am in my 30s, and I want this kid to get the fuck off my lawn. Fuck.

  34. “…I have never had a job before (I’ve always focused on school) and I was hoping to gain some experience before I graduate next year…”

    Now you’ve had a job and gained some experience! See how that works?

  35. Tip: buy a pair of these and wear them only to work.

    If you wear them with dress slacks, no one is ever going to notice you’re wearing sneakers instead of dress shoes.

    1. Somebody tell Gary J!

      I’ve done this trick myself, with Dr Scholls from Wal*Mart, for a lot less.

      1. I’m willing to pay more to avoid being around Walmart’s customers.

    2. Good God. No one outside of a retirement home should be wearing those.

    3. Once you start looking for these it’s actually surprising how often you see these out in the wild.

      These shores + dress slacks + a white short sleeved dress shirt is a sure fire sign that a person has just given up.

    4. If you wear them with dress slacks, no one is ever going to notice you’re wearing sneakers instead of dress shoes

      Yes, they will.

    5. Are the owner of a multi-billion dollar technology business, Stormy? If not, you have no right to ever wear New Balance sneakers. Ever.

      1. Who’s going to make me stop? You?

  36. “Umm, look, Mort. I just got a copy of some sort of a, I don’t know what, from your interns… a petition? Is that what we’re going to call it? A fucking petition? What the fuck is going on down there? I’m not paying you to run a goddam day care center. Those retards of yours obviously have entirely too much time on their hands. If you can’t keep those little jackoffs busy, get them the fuck off my property.”

  37. Please, stop humoring Robby.

    The anonymous millennial wrote to advice blogger Alison Greene for guidance. (I am presuming he is male, based on his specific complaints about the dress code?wearing a suit, for example.) He said that he felt “the dress code was overly strict,” but wasn’t going to complain until his sense of injustice was triggered:

    She.

    Not ‘he’.

    She started this over wanting to wear flats and sandals. The suit and blazer thing was part of the petition. ‘Flats’ is the giveaway though. Men’s shoes aren’t referred to as ‘flats’.

    Unless there’s some transgendering going on here, the intern is a woman.

    1. Robby’s just projecting because he was mulling over starting a dress code petition at Reason HQ. (I kid!)

      1. He should start a hair-code first.

    2. And Robby is showing some weirdly serious issues with his odd gendering–

      Why would you write this–

      Needless to say, management did not take kindly to the petition. The interns who signed it were called into a meeting and fired en masse. It turned out the worker who had been excused from following the dress code was a veteran who had lost his leg and was permitted to wear whatever footwear was most comfortable.

      After you’d linked to this–

      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..

      It’s almost like Robby didn’t even want to insinuate that a woman could be this stupid.

    3. Maybe xe wanted to wear xir apartment to work.

  38. Meanwhile, the immigrant interns are competing for the chance to polish the boss’s boots.

    1. (exaggerated for effect)

      1. I read “kiss the boss’s ass”.

        1. I wanted to keep the shoe theme going.

          1. Back when boot-polishing was a Big Thing, the polisher was frequently cleaning horse manure off the footwear, or chamberpot contents that were flung into the streets before paving and sewers became common in cities. So shoes and shite go together well.

            1. To be clear, I was actually trying to be positive toward immigrants, I’m not sure if that came through, what with all the snark.

  39. I’m kinda torn. Part of me wants to say to the fired interns “Hey, that’s how it goes in the at-will employment world.”

    And part of me wants to say to the management “Dude… that was a bit harsh. You could’ve just reiterated that the dress code is not changing and outlined the reasons why… and THEN invited anyone who still disagreed to quit.”

  40. Why are you illustrating this with a picture of my son? And where did you get that?

  41. I’m not sure what the least self-aware portion is. My top two are:

    We weren’t even given a chance to discuss it.

    But he was given the chance. He already spoke to the manager about it who told him it wasn’t possible. Instead of accepting it, he rallied all of the interns together to complain about it. I hope someone explains to him why that probably doesn’t look good.

    I feel my dismissal was unfair and would like to ask them to reconsider but I’m not sure the best way to go about it.

    What, no mention of the other interns who were fired from signing onto your foolish petition?

    I’m dying to know what kind of company this was and what the role of the interns are.

    1. How about: “I’m going to ask the boss if I can wear running shoes in a professional office environment. Surely that isn’t objectionable.”

    2. See, hasn’t learned anything. Still complaining, still thinks the demand to change the dress code was appropriate, still thinks the termination was unfair, trying to figure out the best way to request/demand reinstatement.

      1. Exactly. One of the perks of growing up is the ability to recognize that you’ve just done something stupid, and to learn from it. And recognizing it is the easy part.

  42. And the first thing I thought of was: Ok maybe this person has a disability that lets him wear different footwear

    I just assumed that like most places, the dress code normally isn’t enforced unless A Problem occurs. The person was able to get away with wearing unapproved shoes because they weren’t causing A Problem. The real sad thing about these interns is not that they wanted to wear different shoes, but that they were so conformist that the only way they could imagine doing so was with official approval from an authority figure.

    1. There is an element of truth to this.

      Unfortunately, to bend those rules you have to develop a reputation. You don’t walk into a company on day one and finger-snap to your own beat. And definitely not as an intern.

      Yes, if you develop a stellar reputation as being top-shelf at your job, and you’re easy on the eyes, you may get away with wearing open-toed shoes in the ER.

  43. I have never had a job before (I’ve always focused on school) and I was hoping to gain some experience before I graduate next year… Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Well, I’d say he definitely got some experience, though I doubt the fragile little snowflake learned anything from it. And here’s some advice: GROW THE FUCK UP, SHITHEAD!

  44. “I feel my dismissal was unfair and would like to ask them to reconsider but I’m not sure the best way to go about it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.”

    I think what you should do is go on television with your real name to talk about your situation and your former employer.

    Even if heaping negative (but well-intended) publicity on the employer who dismissed you doesn’t get you back your former internship, other employers will see it and you, and, more importantly, the kinds of employers who want the sort of employees who organize their coworkers against management over issues like the dress code will see it and you. That way, with a simple Google search, all your potential employers will know what kind of person you are and what you can bring to their organization before you even get an interview!

    That way you’ll be sure to get the internship you deserve.

    1. Sound advice, Ken. If that doesn’t work, THEN hold the drum circle and protest march outside the office.

  45. It’s also quite funny that these socially conscious interns didn’t immediately recognize the one actually marginalized person in the situation: the disabled veteran.

    Either we’re ALL victims or nobody is a victim.

    /sjwspeak

  46. I’m surprised the schmuck didn’t claim that working with veterans is triggering.

    But the behavior is typical of a person who has spent far too much time outside of reality. He could have just gone up the the woman and introduced himself. And then said “I’m not going to rat on you or anything, but I’m just curious as to how you are able to violate the dress code.”

    “I shot my leg off in Iraq so that I could wear sneakers in the private sector. Please don’t tell anyone.”

  47. I would hope that there is more to the story. While the interns were naive, should it be good policy to fire them en mass.

  48. I would advise them to hold a drum circle outside the office and demand their jobs back.
    Maybe start another petition.

    1. Not being a lady (or interested in dressing up like one) could one of our (two?) resident women weigh in on the difficulty (or not) of wearing 2 in heels.

      It may be because I’m a tall guy (6/1) but – 2 inches doesn’t seem like it would be a problem. I have a 1in heel on my current workboots – and a half-inch thick sole. Why not wear 2 in heel with a 1 in front?

      I think the requirement is stupid here – again it may just be me, but I’m not put off if a business’ female staff aren’t dressed up to be eye-candy – but it is their requirement and I don’t see how its a huge imposition. At least not enough to scream for change rather than simply saying ‘no thanks, I don’t want to work here under those conditions’.

      1. I would find two inch heel barely tolerable. Four inches would be murder.
        Also, many women develop serious foot problems after years of wearing heels. There’s a reason why older ladies tend to wear tennis shoes. It’s because their feet are too fucked up to wear heels anymore.

      2. I can run in two inch heels. Four becomes uncomfortable after more than a couple hours, but I’ve regularly worn 6-9 inch heels as well (but not for more than hour). It’s all about the individual and how well the arch fits and how heavy the woman wearing the shoe is. On an overweight woman, any thing that significantly decreases the area of foot doing load bearing increases the discomfort factor, so even a 1 inch heel could be unpleasant.

        1. Oh and just as an aside, 9 inch heels are VERY hard to walk in because you are basically standing on the tips of your toes and the thing that hurts most is not your feet but your knees.

          1. My youngest daughter is 4’11”. She regularly wears these godawful Spice Girls-type platform shoes with big heels that bump her up to about 5’6″. I don’t know how the hell she even walks in them.

  49. I would have to say I also am torn both ways.

    As an intern, yeah I would say they could probably stick it out for a bit. It’s not like they’ll be there forever, and who doesn’t want to look fly in a suit? Plus, it’s the company’s rules and they can enforce then however they please, cause it’s their rules.

    At the same time, does everything have to be so black and white? I hope no one thinks im advocating some form of democratic socialism in corporate management (that would be awful). But does anyone not feel as though individuals should be able to organize just slightly (in a not organized labor union way) and request, in a reasonable fashion, certain changes to policies that directly affect them? I mean, if a company said that women have to absolutely wear high-heels under all circumstances, even pregnant women who may have difficulties, would we be saying that the women petitioning for a slightly nore relaxed code are entitled? Is our only way to voice our opinions with a company to either blindly do what they say or quit? I just feel as if that’s a bit much. Of course, again, a company can do whatever they want. I’m simply saying, is the idea really all that ridiculous?

    1. Well yes – and no.

      No, things don’t *have* to be so black and white. But at the same time, people should have the right to demand that they are in the areas that they control.

      Right now you all have the freedom to experiment and see which set of policies work best for you.

      1. Plus, we’ve only got this one intern’s side of the story. For all we know this was simply the last straw and they were tired of dealing with a bunch of mediocre performers that required an excessive amount of supervision and constantly questioned everything. Or maybe exactly the opposite.

    2. It’s the way they went about it, and the fact that they’re freaking interns. It’s pretty presumptuous of an intern to act as if their preferences should affect company policies. They aren’t employees. They are essentially temps.

      And the petition thing is way too antagonistic a way to go about it. You’re setting up yourself in opposition to management, presuming that management is acting unreasonably without bothering to have a discussion, and then presenting a list of demands. Um, no.

  50. Yeah, but I’m talking more the whole idea and the concept in general. I feel as if I’ve seen people on here just say “oh what entitled brats how awful of them.” Yeah, maybe they are entitled. But maybe they also felt they had legitimate concersna and wanted to voice them? This specific intern also says they weren’t able to discuss the issue. Do Libertarians now apparently now oppose some kind of civil discussion? They were simply fired en masse. I’m not talking this specific situation. They very well could be just the absolute worst people to deal with. But even then, should people not be able to voice their opinions and have requests to management?

    “As if that’s how professionals etc.” Well, I would say: yes. That’s precisely how they make changes. What do labor unions do in the education industry among professionals? Basically everyone asks for something (or whines, depending on the union) and then the union pushes for it, and boom. Done.

    Again, I’m fully for the company making whatever decision they deem necessary. But is it so unreasonable to think that a legitimate way to request reasonable changes to policy is to organize a well written, thought out, petition with specific ideas? I’m very torn on thinking that they’re really that bad for just asking.

    1. I’m not “torn” on this at all…

      This specific intern also says they weren’t able to discuss the issue. Do Libertarians now apparently now oppose some kind of civil discussion?

      This is not true. The intern(s) asked their supervisors first, and were told no (so the civil discussion part was done).
      Then they decided to create their petition.

      I spose it could be argued that after being approached, management could have called a meeting and said, “The dress code is in place for a reason, there will be no changes to it… now shut up get back to work.”

      … but I don’t think that they should be obligated to entertain (or respond to) any and all policy objections from the employees. Especially not interns.

    2. I feel as if…

      Pro tip: Many people (myself included, often times) just stop reading/listening when you say “I feel” to introduce something that should be the result of thought.

      But maybe they also felt they had legitimate concersna and wanted to voice them?

      If so, they’d have been better served by relying on actually thinking about the matter rather than what the “felt” about it.

  51. Yeah, they probably got fired more for using company time to write up a fucking proposal about dress codes than for the proposal itself.

  52. He shouldn’t have petitioned his employer

  53. before I looked at the draft saying $9453 , I have faith that my mother in law woz like truley erning money part time at there computar. . there mums best friend haz done this 4 less than 14 months and just repayed the dept on their apartment and purchased a brand new Honda . read here …..

    Please click the link below
    ==========
    http://www.selfcash10.com

  54. Organizing “against” management? You mean, freely assembling and speaking in numbers?

    Organizing human beings to achieve a strength in numbers outcome is a totally legit and empowering way to handle a power imbalance. Of course the job is free to fire these people and they are free to find another bunch of mindless fashion slaves who wear what they’re told and shut up about it. And they are free to bear the cost of training them for memorized repetitious activity designed for people that never had an innovative thought in their lives.

    I am 100% in the long run that companies which fail to accommodate people who think outside rigid boxes are going to be less competitive than those that do. Their products will reflect their staff: boring, unimaginative, conformist, indistinguishable from all the other generic products on the same clearance shelf.

    Shame on the author for choosing authoritarian social control over independence of choice, and producing yet another tired example of conservatism masquerading as libertarianism.

    1. The point….you’ve missed it.

  55. I feel my dismissal was unfair

    The problem, found it I have.

  56. The company just needs to mandate that management view this training video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz0o9clVQu8

  57. I see great promise in the intern who declined to sign. I’m rather surprised everyone is assuming the intern is a man since I’d assumed it was a woman. The reason I assumed that is the exempt coworker is a woman and a woman is more likely to notice another woman’s footwear than a man is. Also the petition focused mostly on shoes which is something women tend to focus on more than men since there’s a wider variety of women’s shoes.

  58. You are right, often in the field of education there are strong dress code, but this is not the worst. Most annoying when someone give an exceptional indulgence in the dress code. My girl banned from wearing large jewelry, although the Professor wore quietly savage silver skull ring where’s the justice?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.