Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Is this offensive??


Last Friday I showed up at work wearing a short sleeved, black button front shirt with the Playboy bunny logo over the right pocket and the words "Talent Scout" over the left pocket. Fun shirt that gets great reaction.

Unfortunately, one of the reactions I got was being asked to go home and change my shirt because it was inappropriate and would send the wrong message to people about our company. While I am still trying to figure out what that inappropriate message might be, you should know that most of my clientele are young or youthful creatives - graphic designers, hip slick and cool ad execs and very casually dressed buyers who also deal with the designers and "look how cool I am" ad execs. (Okay, maybe I'm being a bit harsh on the ad execs, but I used to be in that role when suit and tie were the dress code of the day. I hope Goodwill is making a bundle off my old suits.)

Now mind you, I'm not so ticked off about being asked to change. After all, there are people out there who would no doubt fly into a sexual frenzy at the mere sight of the Playboy Bunny logo. That surely was Hugh Hefner's intent when creating it back in 1953. No, changing my shirt wasn't the issue. It was the fact that I was brought into someone's office and given the inappropriate attire speech in front of a coworker. What am I a five year old.

"Now, Monkey Man. The other children are getting very excited over the suggestive clothing you are wearing. We are all in agreement it is most harmful to us and we will soon begin effing each other in every possible orifice because we have no self control and are being whipped into distraction by the hypnotic effect of the logo on your shirt." WTF!?!??!! (Okay - I paraphrase).

So being a company man, I took this to human resources and expressed my dissatisfaction at being singled out for my clothing when we have no dress code other than "Don't wear open toed shoes in the plant", "Keep hair and jewelry out of the machinery" and "Don't stand in a bucket of water while operating electrical equipment"....you know....the usual. I especially pointed out being called to the carpet in front of someone else. I just want to make sure we do things by the book around here and that management manages people with respect.

Am I asking too much?

14 comments:

lakeviewer said...

Well, you do have your freedom of expression injured. But, your complaining may get you more injured in the future; not overtly; not directly; You will end up on sombody's shit list. Is it worth it to you at this time when jobs are being cut? Just a thought. Between you and me, I would have reacted as you did.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

Keep hair out of the machinery? That should be easy for you....no? ;) He he he!

Fuck them and their lack of sense of humor. And, your shirt did not require a sense of humor, IMO! What is wrong with the world?

I didn't see anything wrong with your shirt. Is that bad?

You ROCK!

:)

Green-Eyed Momster said...

I think you should sue them for lack of taste or descrimination. What do you think?

:)

Monkey Man said...

Lakeviewer - Retribution is not legal. I am not worried. Perhaps they shoudl clarify with dress code and include the morality factor.

GEM - Ouch on the hair comment...but I'm used to it and I have a sense of humor. I also need to stand up for my rights and will.

the walking man said...

It was moments like that (only not about clothes)where the knife fights began between my foremen and I. In Detroit the first question would have been "Am I being paid to go home?" Then the action would have been response appropriate.

Angelina said...

Hey Monkey Man,

Perhaps the message on your t-shirt may have been taken as an a front to woman because of what playboy represent. In that case, it could be seen as a form of sexual harassment.

However, I would stand my ground on being reprimanded in front of another co-worker. The Manager mishandled their authority in this instance.

PhilipH said...

I thought you lived in Oz? You do, don'tcha?

Here in the UK, Aussies are sort of stereotyped as laid back, 4XXXX lager buffs, and easy-going stuff like that.

You've ruined my image of Ozzies now.

Maybe you should have immediately reacted in the fashion of this squaddie in WWII.

He was strolling around the beach area near his camp, wearing just a pair of shorts. Some bombastic young whipper-snapper of a subaltern yelled out: "You know standing orders state that you must NOT wear shorts!"

The squaddie just took 'em off and carried on strolling.

Nessa said...

i'm sorry, what did you say? I was busy humping orifices like a bunny.

Deb said...

Hrmmm, tough call there, however, if you're in the position where you do not make contact or an appearance with clients, then I say, "WHY NOT??" But some people are very conservative and will take offense to it, and...and...will automatically judge you from here on out. Depends. I see no problem with it, but people are sometimes very uppity.

Monkey Man said...

TWM - I would choose to bring a gun to any knife fight.

Angelina - I do understand that some might find it offensive. It is the management style and state of our societal sense of humor that I question.

Phillip - love the story. However, I life in the Pacific Northwest of the good ol' US of A.

Deb - My clients are cool. They would want to know where I got the shirt. (Truth be known...it's Mrs. Monkey Man's. She let me wear it. It is a man's shirt afer all.)

Green-Eyed Momster said...

Sorry about the hair comment and the f-word. I was in quite a mood yesterday. I'll try not to let that happen again. I'm so glad you have a sense of humor!

:)

PhilipH said...

Oops... sorry MM.

Got my continents a tad muddled.

Alternative remedy: go and live in Sydney or Melbourne. You could wear what you liked there!
;-)

No, not practical. Withdraw suggestion.

pheromone girl said...

Hey - I used to wear that same shirt to work all the time. I get photos taken with firemen when I do. Hmmm...

jules said...

I enjoyed your paraphrase.