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Avatars To Have Business Dress Codes By 2013

samzenpus posted about 5 years ago | from the no-flaming-hair-at-pretend-work dept.

Businesses 221

nk497 writes "With businesses increasingly using digital tech like virtual worlds and Twitter, their staff will have to be given guidelines on how they 'dress' their avatars, according to analysts. 'As the use of virtual environments for business purposes grows, enterprises need to understand how employees are using avatars in ways that might affect the enterprise or the enterprise's reputation,' said James Lundy, managing vice president at Gartner, in a statement. 'We advise establishing codes of behavior that apply in any circumstance when an employee is acting as a company representative, whether in a real or virtual environment.'"

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What about ethnicity codes? (0, Troll)

Redfearn (1645459) | about 5 years ago | (#29677591)

*Dress* codes for avatars? Keepin' it socially acceptable? Let's go one step further, folks. Let's have our avatars be a friggin' socially acceptable *ethnicity* while you're at it. I mean, if your boss is dictatin' things, that is. Just be a zombie clone Geek Squad member!

Re:What about ethnicity codes? (5, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | about 5 years ago | (#29677743)

My avatar is a grey squirrel, you insensitive clod.

Re:What about ethnicity codes? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29677897)

my avatar is an african american nigger. not to be confused with black people from africa, who unlike american blacks are not irritating assholes with shitty attitudes.

Re:What about ethnicity codes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29678927)

Not met many Africans, have you?

Re:What about ethnicity codes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29678955)

Want to bet?

Re:What about ethnicity codes? (1)

stefwolf (1617551) | about 5 years ago | (#29678659)

Furry much?

Re:What about ethnicity codes? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 5 years ago | (#29678675)

Probably context. [illwillpress.com]

Re:What about ethnicity codes? (4, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#29678849)

My avatar is a grey squirrel, you insensitive clod.

ASL?

Resigning Issue... (3, Insightful)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | about 5 years ago | (#29677599)

I'd resign if anyone tried to tell me what to wear in the real world, never mind the virtual. I've never worked at a company with a dress code and I never will. Not because I have an aversion to looking smart, but because that kind of control is normally just the tip of the iceberg.

Re:Resigning Issue... (3, Insightful)

rubies (962985) | about 5 years ago | (#29677613)

This is why you should use social networking services with a pseudonym - otherwise the company thinks you're on their clock, all the time.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

shelly.green (1631649) | about 5 years ago | (#29677725)

yes , i sopport your views , i had never wear a formal dress to the working place , whether it' s a design or advertising company , i won't , beacuse , it makes me feel restrict . the course of life needs happiness . http://www.igolfyoo.com/ [igolfyoo.com]

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

delvsional (745684) | about 5 years ago | (#29679031)

yes , i sopport your views , i had never wear a formal dress to the working place , whether it' s a design or advertising company , i won't , beacuse , it makes me feel restrict . the course of life needs happiness .

Are you my uncle? From Nigeria? That wants to give me a million dollars?

Already have this in IBM (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29677763)

And it is pretty much a no brainer.

If you use the avatar for anything that may be business related then it should be an avatar that shows some level of professionalism. If your talking about a product you sell while your avatar looks like a refugee from a Doug Winger collection then yea it is out of order.

If it is your own personal avatar on your personal time not work related then its ok. However the work/real life/virtual life are blurring.

Re:Already have this in IBM (4, Insightful)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | about 5 years ago | (#29678057)

You should probably not google doug winger if your in work (and what is seen cannot be unseen) O_O

And yet---! (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | about 5 years ago | (#29678153)

...and yet, one of the pioneers, most active and certainly most visible IBM'ers is using an avatar which is a 2.5m tall Predator. Nobody's told him off (maybe because they know what a shoulder gun can do).

Those IBM'ers who are already hopeless "penguins" do of course have Suit avatars. Natch.

Me, I dress in my fave tee, jeans, converses, and five o'clock shadow.

Re:Already have this in IBM (4, Informative)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 5 years ago | (#29678177)

the work/real life/virtual life are blurring.

People are allowing their work and social life to blur but it's a real problem. I think it's very important to keep them separate, but that most people don't yet understand the technology or it's implications. I'm allowed to use my work computer and email for limited personal reasons (before you tell me that that's stupid; it's only stupid if your company lacks competent lawyers; or possibly if you live in the USA), however I keep clear tagging; personal stuff is generally under one userID; work another. At the very least I use clearly labelled folders. I have music I can listen to on my company phone, but I use a separate memory card which I paid for; which is clearly labelled as personal and where I keep the receipt. Keeping this boundary intact is critical.

It's very simple to apply this to the virtual world. You should have two separate avatars. One you use from work; one you use from home. Do not link them in any way. Make it clear to people which one they should interact with depending on circumstances (e.g. your friend's avatar wants to have sex with your work avatar; if you even admit who you are you then you say "sorry I'm working. I'll be off later"); if it's the suit which is turning them on, then get another avatar dressed in a sharp suit too.

There are very clear legal differences between these different things. If I have my (legally copied) music on my card I can use privacy laws to limit the companies access to them during an audit (you still have to allow access if you want to demonstrate that you haven't been stealing company secrets, but you can make an agreement that they can't have any personal material). If I have the same stuff on a company computer I may actually have indulged in unlicensed copying because the act of putting it on the company computer from my personal media is copying/distribution (even if the music is CC-SA or some such, I may not in a position to agree to the CC-SA for the company). If you have material on your personal computer at home you have much more protection still. In the context of Avatars, as long as you do your best to maintain the separation, the very fact that your HR researched what other avatar you have in private life should already be a breach of privacy laws in any civilised country.

In that context, what's the difficulty with a dress policy for your work avatar? You should treat your work avatar as company property. Let them dispose of it as they wish. Do not share anything personal with a company unless you are a contractor with your own company (in which case nothing will save you from liability).

Re:Already have this in IBM (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | about 5 years ago | (#29678367)

I think what you say is fine if your just a normal run of the mill job that isn't going to go anywhere.

But what if you want to become a speaker on the technology you sell? To some extent your personal life will impact your business life.

Btw, in relation to your example on your mobile phone. Some companies just bringing your mobile phone into work constitutes it falling under the business.

Now this avatar business I don't see it as extreme as the old days where IBM had employees who measured your clothing to ensure you followed the strict dress code.

But just thinking that what you do in your private life should have no impact is wrong.

Re:Already have this in IBM (1)

digitig (1056110) | about 5 years ago | (#29678481)

It's very simple to apply this to the virtual world. You should have two separate avatars.

That would be a breach of the T&Cs of many (most?) virtual worlds. Arguably less professional than wandering around the virtual world as a naked furry.

Re:Already have this in IBM (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 5 years ago | (#29679119)

> People are allowing
> their work and social
> life to blur but it's a
> real problem. I think
> it's very important to
> keep them separate

Indeed.

A couple of years ago I had a boss who was really into the whole social networking thing ("Library 2.0"; believe me, you don't want to know; it's MUCH more inane than it sounds), and at some point he got this idea that it'd be cool if we were to link to employees' personal blogs from the library website. He thought it would be a cool way to add a personal touch and let patrons get to feeling like they "know" the staff. Which sounds good, I suppose, if you have no sense.

So, since I'm the computer guy, he asked me, "Hey, Nathan, do you have a blog?"

Fortunately at this point he'd already mentioned a couple of times his idea to link to personal blogs from the website, so I had the good sense to be vague, and then after a moment I waived a metaphorical arm around for a minute and redirected his attention to the discussion forum I'd set up on the library website, intended for people to discuss books and library issues and stuff.

Yeah, I have a personal blog, but it really wasn't any of his business and wouldn't be appropriate to link to from the library website. I express views on there that I would *not* be allowed to express while representing the library. (A public library can be a very ideologically oppressive work environment for a conservative.) Under no circumstances would I allow the library to dictate what I can say when I'm NOT at work. If it ever comes around to that, they can jolly well go find another IT guy.

Re:Already have this in IBM (1)

Jurily (900488) | about 5 years ago | (#29678919)

If you use the avatar for anything that may be business related then it should be an avatar that shows some level of professionalism

No. It's what they *do* that should be important, not what they look like.

Re:Resigning Issue... (3, Insightful)

Telephone Sanitizer (989116) | about 5 years ago | (#29677775)

I have the feeling that if you showed up in a Speedo and refused to put on pants, you wouldn't have to resign.

They'd cut you loose pretty quickly.

'Point is, you conform to a dress code even if you don't know it. The only way around it is to work out of your home... with the drapes closed. (Please.)

Re:Resigning Issue... (3, Interesting)

mikael_j (106439) | about 5 years ago | (#29677823)

I actually have a habit of wearing clothes that get me dirty looks from people who see me on the street (my dreadlocks probably don't help this (and most people who look at me like I'm worthless scum are the typical "gray suit and tie" Volvo drivers)) and I wear the same clothes to work. But yeah, a speedo may be a hard sell in an office environment.

That said, unless the job requires special clothing (either for identification purposes such as with police officers or firemen or for safety or hygiene reasons) I see no reason for people not to wear whatever they feel like but then I tend to cringe when I enter a store and notice all the employees wearing identical clothing...

/Mikael

Re:Resigning Issue... (2, Interesting)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 5 years ago | (#29677877)

...dirty looks from people who see me on the street (my dreadlocks probably don't help this...

Fair enough. I work in the dairy food industry, and our hygiene policy has a total ban on the use of scotch-brite pads, because no matter how much you wash and rinse them with industrial bleach, they continue to harbour large colonies of bacteria. Since you can't subject your head to that kind of agressive cleansing, one can only imagine what kind of wildlife will be festering in your dreadlocks. There is just no way you can convince me those damn things are clean.

Re:Resigning Issue... (2, Informative)

k8to (9046) | about 5 years ago | (#29677941)

They're clean.
They're just not sterile.

And they are probably inappropriate in your industry.
But that doesn't make them unsanitary.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 5 years ago | (#29679001)

They are unsanitary in the context of working in a food processing factory. Likewise, they would be unsanitary in an operating room. Some definitions of things change depending on where you are, "unsanitary" is among them.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 5 years ago | (#29678009)

Fair enough. I work in the dairy food industry, and our hygiene policy has a total ban on the use of scotch-brite pads, because no matter how much you wash and rinse them with industrial bleach, they continue to harbour large colonies of bacteria.

I think bleaching them would kill most of the bacteria in the pad, it just wouldn't remove the food so new bacteria could repopulate the pad in a short time.

Since you can't subject your head to that kind of agressive cleansing, one can only imagine what kind of wildlife will be festering in your dreadlocks. There is just no way you can convince me those damn things are clean.

You rinse YOUR hair with industrial bleach? No matter what type of hairdo you have, or how you clean it, your head is coated in bacteria. The only thing it should take to convince you that dreadlocks are "clean" are 1: is the wearer's head infected and 2: do the locks smell. If not, they're within normal parameters of hair cleanliness.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 5 years ago | (#29679011)

Apparently you've never been to a food factory. No, the people there don't rinse with industrial bleach but they do wear sterile bonnets. Unfortunately those come in limited size and the usual set of dreadlocks would simply not fit in them.

Re:Resigning Issue... (4, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | about 5 years ago | (#29677933)

> I tend to cringe when I enter a store and notice all the employees wearing identical clothing...

Why? It's for one of the reasons you stated. Identification purposes.

It makes it easier for you to find them when you want to, or avoid them if you don't.

Similarly in a restaurant, proper uniforms reduce the odds of you trying to get other customers to fetch you a menu. Or vice versa.

That said, I find ties uncomfortable and a rather stupid idea in warm environments/climates.

I'd be glad if someone can come up with a fashion that looks decently "business like", is practical and doesn't involve ties and zillions of buttons.

Probably easier for menswear. Women's wear tend to have somewhat insane stuff like jacket/coat "pockets" that aren't pockets, or real pockets that are actually sewn shut.

Re:Resigning Issue... (3, Insightful)

Walkingshark (711886) | about 5 years ago | (#29677959)

Well, the way I see it, if a jewish person has a constitutional right to wear one of those hats to work, and muslim women have a right to their hijab, then I have a right to not wear a tie. Discrimination extends to "creed," which is a pretty open term.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#29678521)

You have free will over whether to wear a tie or not. But people who wear yid lids and ninja suits do it because a nonexistent man with a beard told them they have to.

See the difference now?

Re:Resigning Issue... (2, Funny)

nizo (81281) | about 5 years ago | (#29678831)

What if my religion believes that all forms of torture are wrong? Heck mine could even be clothing optional, so just be glad my tie is the only article of clothing I left at home.

Re:Resigning Issue... (2, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 5 years ago | (#29679061)

Wearing a specific type of clothing is a constitutional right? So if I create a religion that dictates I be naked, can I do that at work? (It would certainly stop most peopl efrom bothering me while I work)

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

mikael_j (106439) | about 5 years ago | (#29678041)

Why? It's for one of the reasons you stated. Identification purposes.

True, it's definitely an advantage to be able to tell store employees apart from customers. I suppose I should have clarified that I was talking more about those places where everyone wears identical shirts, shoes, pants and possibly hats as well as name tags with the company logo. This just seems a bit excessive to me, at least when dealing with stores that may only have three or four employees working at one time, IMHO they should be able to work with "shirt in this color and always wear your name tag", if anything it makes the employees seem less like robots and is less likely to make the employer come off as a giant corporation that demands total conformity.

Not to mention stores that disallow all piercings and tattoos that could possibly be visible in any way, this may reflect what the general public felt about piercings and tattoos decades ago but these days you'd think people (including those dreaming up corporate dress codes) would be a bit more accustomed to seeing the occasional tattoo or piercing (no, I don't have any tattoos or piercings myself).

/Mikael

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

unitron (5733) | about 5 years ago | (#29678083)

The chances of a (potential) customer being put off by someone *not* having piercings or tattoos are much less than of them being put off by someone who does, so the employee without them is going to be acceptable to a much larger set of (potential) customers.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 5 years ago | (#29678061)

That said, I find ties uncomfortable and a rather stupid idea in warm environments/climates.

Engineers should even consider them as death hazards!

I don't think it's to unusual in that field to rapidly switch between office work or a meeting with customers, where a tie might be appropriate, and five minutes later standing next to some f**ing big machine trying to strange you with your own tie.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

nizo (81281) | about 5 years ago | (#29678823)

If you really want to know, the real reason I live in the Southwest is so I don't have to wear a tie, but can get away with a bolo tie instead. Seriously, these need to catch on, because they suck so much less than a regular tie.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolo_tie [wikipedia.org]

Re:Resigning Issue... (5, Insightful)

kklein (900361) | about 5 years ago | (#29678011)

Good luck moving up in your company, then (unless you're in design or something).

Looking the part is an important part of playing the part. I'm sorry, but it's true. The higher you go, the more likely it will be that you will need to represent the company at some time, and your appearance may not present an image that is good for the company.

Take your appearance, as you've described yourself here, for example. You would have to knock my socks on their asses before I bought anything from you. Why? Because I have a very negative reaction to dreadlocks. I think they're disgusting. And if you're not black, those are best not described as dreadlocks, but "matted, filthy, homeless hair." You might be the nicest guy in the world. I might want to hang out with you (you'd endure endless shit for the dreadlocks, though), but I don't want to have anything to do with your company because I don't know of any good companies that would let you out of the basement, let alone hire you. It reflects poorly on the company.

I don't want you to think I'm just coming down on you like "the Man," man. This is, in fact, all new to me. I'm 35 now, but I was a goth until I was about 29. I wasn't dirty (very few goths are); I dressed well (just all black), and I'm a pretty smart cookie. But it just seemed like I couldn't make anything happen. No one would hire me for anything worthwhile, despite my solid academic record and recommendations from previous employers. I blamed all sorts of things--the economy (okay, that had a hand in it), stupid HR people (is there any other kind?), the time I got diarrhea from eating the expired food in my fridge (all I had left) during the interview--but once the (tasteful--not tribal) earrings were removed, hair was returned to natural brown, and I threw some more colors into my wardrobe, things picked up almost immediately.

I'm not saying that appearance is really a good indication of your abilities. It isn't; we all know that. What I'm saying is that it's like proper spelling: We value it not for what it is, but what it implies: This person gives a shit. This person has gone through some of the same shaping experiences as I have, and which I have found to be important in my own life.

So, to be honest, as a former adherent to the "looks don't matter, man; it's all about self-expression, man" school of thought, I'm probably more likely to write you off as a petulant child, because I sure as hell was one myself when I thought I was too good to put on a pair of slacks and a dress shirt.

No one likes wearing business wear. You're not special because you want to look like a freak. Everyone wants that. But they don't so as to create a more coherent social community with tribal markings that facilitate a feeling of belonging and fraternity. It's not about the suppression of savage customs; it's about being polite to one another and making people feel at ease.

It would be no different if the business community standardized on strap-on dildos and horse-tail butt-plugs. We'd still wear them to create a community. (Un?)Fortunately, business attire has not taken such a fashion direction, so it's slacks and collared shirts for all.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 5 years ago | (#29678295)

No one likes wearing business wear. [.....] and making people feel at ease.

Your sentence reminds me of a dilbert cartoon in which the PHB forgets to insert a "United way update" between telling of the great company success and then telling that there can be no pay rises since the company has financial difficulties.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

digitig (1056110) | about 5 years ago | (#29678511)

Why is that modded troll? The guy who worked on the till at my local filling station presented himself in such a way that I had to struggle to suppress my gag reflex. So I tanked up elsewhere. Presentation matters to business.

Re:Resigning Issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29678401)

I actually have a habit of wearing clothes that get me dirty looks from people who see me on the street (my dreadlocks probably don't help this)

Are you sure it is the clothes, and not the smell? It can be difficult for dreadlocks to avoid the "homeless guy" smell if you are not careful. If you smoke, that would be even harder.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

mikael_j (106439) | about 5 years ago | (#29678457)

Seeing as how I actually shower and wash my hair I sincerely doubt there's some weird smell I'm not noticing, at least nothing that compares to the smell of a lot of the suit-claden folk I run into on a daily basis (seriously, there are a lot of people who seem to pay a lot of attention to what they wear but not how they smell).

Also, even if I did smell that wouldn't explain why people shoot me the same looks from across the street...

/Mikael

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 5 years ago | (#29678749)

I actually have a habit of wearing clothes that get me dirty looks from people who see me on the street (my dreadlocks probably don't help this (and most people who look at me like I'm worthless scum are the typical "gray suit and tie" Volvo drivers)) and I wear the same clothes to work. But yeah, a speedo may be a hard sell in an office environment.

That said, unless the job requires special clothing (either for identification purposes such as with police officers or firemen or for safety or hygiene reasons) I see no reason for people not to wear whatever they feel like but then I tend to cringe when I enter a store and notice all the employees wearing identical clothing...

/Mikael

You cringe when you see identical clothing? How about the 40-year old office manager you never knew wore tiger-striped t-backs peeking out from her love humps saddled on her 300-pound frame? What, you didn't know that Bob liked to wear a wife beater that showed off his man-boobs? Not being old-fashioned, but walk the mall lately? Half the shit girls wear these days to push-up/pull-out/enlarge/tighten to show off at a club is begging for a sexual harassment lawsuit with just a few glances from horny old men at the office. Have fun with that, HR.

"wear whatever they feel like" leaves a lot to the imagination, most likely a lot of shit you didn't really want to see. Thanks, but no thanks. It's not that hard for me to put on jeans and a collared shirt.

Re:Resigning Issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29679073)

Hey, don't diss Volvo! I wear "goth" clothes and keep my hair in a black (dyed) ponytail with shaved sides... and I drive a 2009 Volvo V50! :-P

Re:Resigning Issue... (3, Interesting)

foobsr (693224) | about 5 years ago | (#29677861)

Point is, you conform to a dress code even if you don't know it.

And, even worse, people won't learn that. You even conform if you are not working, and it is really hard to evade that. Example:

"The Mothers Of Invention : The Little House I Used To Live In
Lyrics
FZ: Thank you, good night . . . Thank you, if you'll . . . if you sit down and be quiet, we'll make an attempt to, ah, perform Brown Shoes Don't Make It.
Man In Uniform: Back on your seats, come on, we'll help you back to your seats, come on . . .
Guy In The Audience: Take that man out of here! Oh! Go away! Take that uniform off man! Take that bloody uniform before it's fuckin' too late, man!
FZ: Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, and don't kid yourself.
Guy In The Audience: . . . man!
FZ: You'll hurt your throat, stop it!"

About 4 decades ago.

CC.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

node 3 (115640) | about 5 years ago | (#29677991)

'Point is, you conform to a dress code even if you don't know it. The only way around it is to work out of your home... with the drapes closed. (Please.)

Not really. A "dress code" is a *code*. It has to be codified in some sense. Being fired for being "indecent" isn't really a dress code.

Even if it were codified that you couldn't be indecent, it's still below the threshold most people would have for calling something a dress code. The general distinction here is probably something like, "you have to wear clothes a normal person wouldn't generally chose to wear, or face disciplinary action", or inversely, "there are perfectly socially acceptable clothes that you *can't* wear to work". In either case, I'm sure there are exceptions, but such exceptions don't change the overall dynamic here.

Re:Resigning Issue... (3, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 5 years ago | (#29677777)

I'd resign if anyone tried to tell me what to wear in the real world, never mind the virtual. I've never worked at a company with a dress code and I never will. Not because I have an aversion to looking smart, but because that kind of control is normally just the tip of the iceberg.

The golden rule: Those who have the gold, make the rules.

There's nothing in that where it says the rules have to make sense. Often, they don't. But the majority of jobs out there want it. You can skirt around it, but it'll cost you opportunities you'd otherwise have if you'd just get with the program. No, what you wear has no bearing on what's between your ears. Yet, curiously, it does have a bearing on the size of your paycheck.

It's like this: I could choose to dress in a provocative manner, but I'd be attracting a kind of attention I don't want. Likewise, how you dress says something about you as well. What message do you want to convey? Contrary to popular geek belief, clothes do more than just cover your body.

Re:Resigning Issue... (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 years ago | (#29678139)

It's not about 'looking good' its about trust.....do you trust your employees to dress appropriately for the occasion or not? Dictating dress code shows a lack of trust and respect.

There are enough companies out there that I am willing to leave a company in order to find one that is respectful of me as a professional. I don't need to sell myself for gold, and I believe the GP feels the same way.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | about 5 years ago | (#29678195)

I don't need to sell myself for gold, and I believe the GP feels the same way.

In fact I feel the other way around. I'm the one with the gold. I have the skills and if the company wants my services then they get them on my terms.

I'll admit that at the start of my career I probably spent more time looking for a job than most, but I found that the jobs I did get were more "rounded" (i.e. not cubicle drudgery) and therefore that led me to be more rounded in terms of skills. I now firmly believe that I'm better off than I would have been had I not had this stance.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

codeButcher (223668) | about 5 years ago | (#29678717)

Contrary to popular geek belief, clothes do more than just cover your body.

True. They also keep appendages from freezing off or sticking together.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 5 years ago | (#29677819)

I once thought as you do now, especially when I was still in my twenties. However, two things occurred to me eventually which caused me to change my mind. First, unless you are Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg (i.e. you have founded the company) then wearing t-shirts and jeans will never get you into the executive suite. You will find that your income runs into a glass ceiling if you choose jeans and t-shirts because you are too intelligent to be caught wearing a suit. Second, as one gets older it becomes harder and harder to pretend that one is still under age thirty and wearing the clothes of the twenty something crowd begins to look ever more ridiculous. For the more inept among us, Nordstrom recently published a fairly decent basic field guide to men's style [amazon.com] which covers good wardrobe choices for everything from casual to formal wear. Slashed jeans, worn t-shirt, and body piercing works for the baristas at Starbucks or the employees at your local book chain store, but for the rest of us knowing what to wear and what NOT to wear can be important. Why put yourself at a disadvantage, even if you are very intelligent, by wearing the wrong clothing?

Re:Resigning Issue... (3, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | about 5 years ago | (#29677869)

You're assuming someone wants to get into the executive suite. Personally, I can't think of anything less attractive. The odds of it are low, you have to work hard for years, you have to put up with politics for years to do it, and lets face it the most sure way to get there are to throw all your morals out the window and backstab your way there. On top of that all those years you're doing shit that just isn't fun. No thanks. Give me career options of that or dropping out and flipping burgers, I'll take burgers.

As for aging and whether people think you look funny- why the hell do you care what other people think? If you enjoy it, fuck everyone else.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 5 years ago | (#29677953)

> why the hell do you care what other people think? If you enjoy it, fuck everyone else.

That's what the rapists and CxOs said.

Re:Resigning Issue... (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | about 5 years ago | (#29677989)

Oops I meant that's what they do, they don't often say it...

You may be closer to the "executive suite" and suits than you think ;).

Re:Resigning Issue... (4, Insightful)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 5 years ago | (#29678103)

You're right.

I guess thats why so often upper managment makes terrible, right out stupid management decissions - besides when it's about what "clothes to wear". If that is the key skill to get into managment in any buissness (outside the fashion industry), you're doing it *wrong*.

No wonder economy got driven into a crises when you put it into the hands of the best dressed people instead of the best people.

Re:Resigning Issue... (2, Interesting)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | about 5 years ago | (#29678221)

then wearing t-shirts and jeans will never get you into the executive suite. You will find that your income runs into a glass ceiling

I have no intention of going near the executive suite. And my income is more than enough for anyone. I don't need any more.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

selven (1556643) | about 5 years ago | (#29678595)

One word: Google.

Re:Resigning Issue... (0, Troll)

zwei2stein (782480) | about 5 years ago | (#29677845)

... that kind of control is normally just the tip of the iceberg.

Yeah, I heard they even dare to dictate you what you are going to do eight hours a day, five days a week. The horror!

Really, if dress code is what makes you quit, it is win/win for both sides. Company lost troublemaker and "pointless issues" guy and did not have to fire him and pay severance. "Epic win" :-)

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | about 5 years ago | (#29678213)

You need to up your self-confidence a bit I suspect. A job should never be a one way street where you are dictated at what to do. It should be inclusive with ideas being bounced backwards and forwards between everyone in the team, including management. If you've never been in a job like that, it's likely that it's because you're too willing to accept the "pointless issues".

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 5 years ago | (#29678871)

"It should be inclusive with ideas being bounced backwards and forwards between everyone in the team, including management"

Yeah right. Where do you work , some fluffy web company where everyone walks around in slacks and tiedyes , plays pool 3 hours a day with their managers and gets a vote on company policy? Sorry son, in real companies it doesn't work like that. They pay you money , you do what they tell you or you take a hike. If you don't accept those terms don't accept the job.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | about 5 years ago | (#29679135)

I'm currently working for one of the UKs largest high street retailers. It's most certainly a real company. And while it's not fluffy in the way you describe, it's definitely democratic in terms of the way it works. Everyone from junior staff up to the IT director works on the same floor and are on first name terms. Everyone has input into decisions. The length of the working day is strictly 7 hours only and it's frowned upon if you work longer. There are no code monkeys here.

I have high standards for myself and I would never accept any job that impinged upon those standards. Others have lower standards obviously and are happy to be code monkey wage slaves. Each to their own of course, but I know where I'd rather be.

Why is parent modded troll? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 5 years ago | (#29678881)

Parent poster obviously has a lot more experience of real life work than the teenage moderators around here!

Re:Resigning Issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29677919)

And if you're a doctor, your avatar must be in a white coat.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

CxDoo (918501) | about 5 years ago | (#29677921)

Man, it seems to me that your inflexibility to make a compromise on a minor issue (dress code) while pursuing a greater goal (career, paycheck) is just the tip of the iceberg...

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

Dest (207166) | about 5 years ago | (#29677923)

YEAH MAN!!!

Down with the system!!

You're so cool!!!

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 5 years ago | (#29678711)

I'd resign if anyone tried to tell me what to wear in the real world, never mind the virtual. I've never worked at a company with a dress code and I never will. Not because I have an aversion to looking smart, but because that kind of control is normally just the tip of the iceberg.

Jesus, ease back there just a tad and relax buddy. Not every dress code policy stems from Hitleresque-control, nor does it result in mind-control. I work in a manufacturing facility. While I rarely find myself venturing anywhere beyond the cube farm and my desk, I'd imagine that there's some level of concern for general safety and health wearing shorts and flip-flops around heavy machinery. In 95% of companies, your sales staff probably isn't going to be selling much coming to work dressed like they're heading to Disney for the day.

Then again, perhaps if we had more people finding a simple respect for even a casual dress code, we wouldn't be finding organizations needing to represent themselves virtually. If you think jeans and a collared shirt is bad, try wearing boots, a helmet and carry 75 pounds of shit on your back heading out in 100-degree heat armed for a "days" work.

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 5 years ago | (#29679003)

> I'd resign if anyone
> tried to tell me what
> to wear in the real
> world, never mind
> the virtual.

I assume you mean when you're off the clock, right?

Because, if you're talking about what you wear *at* work, I don't think I've ever *heard* of an employer that has no dress-code rules at all. The details vary, but pretty much every employer has *some* rules. Where do you work, at a lemonade stand on a French beach?

Re:Resigning Issue... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | about 5 years ago | (#29679131)

We have no rules... and I'm the one that would set them if any. You see we employ smart people not drones.. people that learned how to dress themselves when they were in school and don't need patronising.

I've never worked anywhere that had a dress code. I've seen a few places like that.. and such things always come from overbearing management that think they're slave masters not bosses.

Fuck off Gartner (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29677611)

Give me a fucking break... its a friggin avatar...

I just got a headache from the level of stupid (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 5 years ago | (#29677621)

It's a bad one too.

I suppose a naked android avatar should be prescribed, then no one's feelings can be hurt... except the android haters.

How about no avatar..? And no twitter while we're at it.

Makes Sense (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29677641)

were not talking personal avatars/twitters etc, thats a seperate, more difficult problem.

this is about representing a company, situations like gaming with developers, company islands in second life, twitter feeds for businesses. situations where an employee is representing their organisation on an official level in a digital context.

i think the same company office policy should simply extend to the online realm. in second life you avatars dress code should reflect the dress code of the business, same with behavior, etc.

for example i apply a simmilar policy to my work mobile. no custom tones or backgrounds, it uses a generic ringtone and the company logo as the background, no good sitting down to a meeting with a client and having the "crazy frog" or star wars theme start blaring out of my phone.

Re:Makes Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29677849)

Wonder how they'll handle non-employees rocking up in professional gear to hassles customers etc. Would be fun to try it :)

Re:Makes Sense (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 5 years ago | (#29677961)

this is about representing a company, situations like gaming with developers, company islands in second life, twitter feeds for businesses. situations where an employee is representing their organisation on an official level in a digital context.

I doubt that. Those are already depersonalized, white-washed, and boring as can be. Plus, most large tech companies already have policies for what employees can post on their own personal blogs, so this avatar policy just seems to be an extension of that.

for example i apply a simmilar policy to my work mobile. no custom tones or backgrounds, it uses a generic ringtone and the company logo as the background, no good sitting down to a meeting with a client and having the "crazy frog" or star wars theme start blaring out of my phone.

Not me, I'll mute my "crazy frog" phone before I even sit down for a meeting. Generic tones or not, I hate cell phones ringing in meetings.

Plus, the x-rated avatar of my fat naked male body is opt-in only, so if you see me naked -- it's your own damn fault anyway. Everyone else, assuming they don't change their settings, only sees the default PG-13 properly dressed version of me.

Re:Makes Sense (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 5 years ago | (#29678143)

Don't you dare sending any links, but where is the *viewer* able to decide what avatar he gets to see?

Re:Makes Sense (1)

loudmax (243935) | about 5 years ago | (#29678073)

I pretty much agree with everything you said, up till the "Crazy Frog" and Star Wars part. The Crazy Frog themes I've heard are Axel-F and Popcorn. I can understand not wanting the phone to ring when you sit down with a client, but in the technology world having 80's pop hits or science fiction themes as ring tones are about as innocuous as it gets.

But yeah, the overall point still stands as long as we're talking about company avatars, not private avatars. If you're being paid to represent a company, it makes sense for them to set the terms. Of course companies that set overly restrictive policies may hurt their own image if their image is perceived as too staid. It depends what kind of industry they're in. If I were to find that my bank had a presence in Second Life I'd count it against them no matter what the avatar looked like.

Luckily. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29677655)

No one uses these stupid 3d model type "avatars" outside of faggy online worlds such as second gay.

Give me a break (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29677661)

In a land that refuses things like bidets, but is beyond anal with outside appearance, this absolutely floors me.

It's OK for your butt to smell, but heaven forbid your friggin avatar is inappropriately dressed?!?!

Re:Give me a break (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29677679)

You forget.. We're Americans, our shit doesn't stink.

Re:Give me a break (1)

raftpeople (844215) | about 5 years ago | (#29677713)

Correction: Your nose smells, your butt stinks

heh, second life (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | about 5 years ago | (#29677693)

it would be amusing to be in a boring-ass meeting in a conference room with 20 other people and suddenly 8 million flying penises come in. heck i'd kinda like to see that in first life. for giggles, not for gayness. not that theres anything wrong with that.

WTF!?! (1, Flamebait)

warbeast (1652215) | about 5 years ago | (#29677703)

Don't you all think this is getting a bit ridiculous? The day I let an employer tell me what to do with my avatars or personal web space is the day hell freezes over. I don't think an employer has the right to tell me how to think, dress, or act when I am not at the office. They sure as hell don't have the right to tell my fake persona what to do either. You don't like it that I want to dress my Master Chief in hot pink high heels and a garter belt, well how bout you pick up that controller and get fragged in the face for a few hours. Seriously though, the bullshit that companies are getting away with such as firing people for blogging about inane crap on a web site that acts a virtual high school is kinda ridiculous. How bout you time wasting managers stop browsing social networking sites and get back to your doing your real job and get the products out the door so our company can make more money and higher better staff and maybe, just maybe turn the economy around. Or you can just act like note passing, tattle-tale sissies and see how far that gets you. /endrant

Re:WTF!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29677749)

Obviously, being a note passing, tattle-tale sissy got them far. They're your boss after all, and you're the one out on your ass looking for a job not them.

Re:WTF!?! (1)

warbeast (1652215) | about 5 years ago | (#29677765)

Which makes me want to play the game and as soon as I am in a position to rid myself of these leeches, I will do so.

Consider the source - Gartner == FAIL! (4, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | about 5 years ago | (#29677715)

Gartner gets so many things wrong, so much of the time, why should this be any different?

The day someone tells me how to dress is the day they find out that they can't tell me how to dress.

As long as it's clean, presentable, and isn't festooned with slogans promoting criminal acts or competitors' products, it's simply not their business.

And it's not like an avatar is going to have to abide by safety codes like "hard hats required beyond this point".

If your company is depending on avatars to try to hide the fact that "Bob" in customer support in Idaho is really "Bashir" in New Dehli, it ain't gonna work.

Re:Consider the source - Gartner == FAIL! (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 5 years ago | (#29678165)

As long as it's clean, presentable, and isn't festooned with slogans promoting criminal acts or competitors' products, it's simply not their business.

That IS a dresscode already.

A reasonable one. And I don't mind a reasonable dresscode. ("Reasonable" might vary from buissness to buissness)

I remember that guy from my last job. Company lore went that he is still proud of beeing the reason for dress code similar to the above was formaly introduced. The only company so far where I've seen the the rule to wash and shower from time to time in the employee handbook.

What? (1)

z_gringo (452163) | about 5 years ago | (#29677717)

WTF? Are companies paying people to represent them in a virtual environment?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29677837)

If that would be so, this measure would make sense.

It has to be that, since telling your employees how to think/act/dress in their free time, virtual or not, is just ridiculous.

Re:What? (2, Funny)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 years ago | (#29678315)

My company requires me to maintain a rank 8 on my warlock.

According To Analysts... (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | about 5 years ago | (#29677719)

... analysts will tell you all kinds of goofy stuff, particularly if they think they can get you to pay them to tell you more about how to do it, including why it works (miraculously, with no research having been done to support their reasons), as well as what you're doing wrong when it doesn't work ('listening to them' never seems to make the list). In this case they'll turn the long disused and discredited 'dress for success' construct and apply it to the cartoons they say are so important as replacements for people, but which most businesses would usually be embarrased to use when a real person is available.

Great. Here it comes... (4, Interesting)

Tracy Reed (3563) | about 5 years ago | (#29677761)

"casual friday" for avatars.

Bill Lumbergh: Oh, and remember: next Friday... is Hawaiian shirt day. So, you know, if you want to, go ahead and wear a Hawaiian shirt and jeans.

Derp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29677773)

Everytime I think Scott Adams has surely done something to ridiculous to happen...

Gartner again? (1)

NeuralAbyss (12335) | about 5 years ago | (#29677783)

Remind me again.. why do people listen to Gartner any more?

I can't think of a meaningful thing they've put out in the last 5 years.

Re:Gartner again? (2, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 years ago | (#29678307)

This was my first thought. I don't think they've ever done anything intelligent in 15 years. That whole "analyst" gig sounds like a scam.

At an old company I was at, Gartner gave us a huge boost in their ratings and ranked us top in the field, and the only thing we had done differently was start a new marketing campaign. The product hadn't changed at all, the customers hadn't changed their opinions. There was rumor that we also paid them off, but I suspect that someone was just doing their "analysis" by reading industry magazines and press releases.

Is anyone really using "virtutual worlds" at work? (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 5 years ago | (#29677817)

Wasn't that just so last year? (And an epic fail?)

Simply .... (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | about 5 years ago | (#29677863)

bullshit!
I would focus on the contents of electronic communication more than the appearance!
Provided that I had one other than the default gray outline.

3 words (2)

paimin (656338) | about 5 years ago | (#29677871)

totally fucking stupid

slashdot lies (1)

Necroloth (1512791) | about 5 years ago | (#29678125)

I've just been reading through a lot of the comments and with lots of people saying "fuck it, wear whatever you want and I'd quit if anyone told me what to wear" and I wanna call BS.

Do you guys really believe that people would wear whatever they want to work? Just prop up a mohawk, cargo pants and a pufffer jacket and go and work at a big software company, any engineering company, any food company ... actually, do you really believe that you could even pass an interview wearing that?

Get real. You could only do stuff like that if you run your own business and I damn hope you're not hypocritical if you have employees that dress like that. Employees represent the company and having eccentrically dressed people will deter the vast majority of the population... else you're just being an ass trying to make a point but in fact wear 'normal' clothing going to work and not necessarily a suit. Shirts and trousers will get you pretty far.

Do any businesses actually use virtual worlds? (1)

beavmetal (250116) | about 5 years ago | (#29678157)

I don't see the point of using a virtual world when a conference call, webex, or teleconference is just as effective.

I'm familiar with second life and the whole concept is cool, but kinda retarded at the same time.

Answer: Says who? (1, Redundant)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#29678643)

Seriously, business dress codes are the dumbest thing that ever got to that spineless "monkey see, monkey do" "culture" we call business employee.

Nobody needs it, nobody wants it, and everybody who wears it, looks like he's following the dress code of a Chinese communist movement where everybody has to dress the same.
The worst sign of despair is the "Please hang me right now! I'm just a slave in the big machine of bureaucracy. My life is completely meaningless!" tie. You're practically the walking dead when you wear it. You just don't know it yet.

I'd rather come nude than in a business suit.

Cost (1)

zaffir (546764) | about 5 years ago | (#29679065)

So these employees will be expected to dress their avatars in a certain way, and the only way to get the "clothes" for their avatars is from the company running the online world. $100 for a suit that doesn't really exist seems like a possibility, if only because companies demand it.
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