An entirely different situation….

Today was… Interesting.

We had a HUGE meeting at work, with tons of visitors and stuff. Everyone was instructed to “dress up” for the occasion. The e-mail went on to further define “no jeans, sweatshirts, T-shirts, or hoodies”

I wore my favorite shirt, nice pants and real, big girl heels. I’ve worn this shirt to work on multiple occasions, by the way.

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My super-fit, ultra-runner GM, and an extremely overweight co-worker “A” both arrived in similarly cut tops. About an hour before our visitors were due to arrive, A was asked to change, due to our “no tank top” rule. She was really upset. I could tell the minute I walked in that she was excited to be dressed up and felt pretty in her outfit. I could also tell that she was very upset about being asked to change.

So, I immediately e-mailed my supervisor and asked if I too needed to change, as A and I had similarly cut tops on. She wrote back “of course not. You are fine. That is an entirely different situation.”

My GM and I both frequently wear sleeveless dresses and non-tank top shirts without any comments.

The whole situation surprised me. And, quite honestly, made me kind of uncomfortable. I asked a couple of women and it seems that this is not exactly surprising.

We talk about messages from the media… But this is a closed office with a small staff doing the same thing. Within a few minutes the message was clearly passed around that lower cut shirts and tank tops are against dress code, unless you have tanned, toned arms, and visible ribs.

A few hours later, the new girl (like, really new, shes been there a week or so, and we’ve only talked twice) was walking around collecting orders for a fast food run. When she asked me, the whole room became dead silent, and everyone turned around to stare. I just said “no, thank you” because I really don’t eat where she was going. As i was answering she clearly became uncomfortable, then kind of backed away while stuttering, “oh, right. thats right. you don’t eat.” But, secretly I was ecstatic to be included, and probably would have said yes, just for fun if it was anywhere else.

Why do we care so much about each others weight? I wonder if friendships within groups if blind are less superficial. And I kind of wonder if blind people get anorexia…

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5 thoughts on “An entirely different situation….

  1. Oh, I feel so so so bad for A, my heart just breaks for her the way you describe how excited she was to be dressed up. 😦 It really sounds like you work in a pretty toxic environment….

    • Mine did too! I felt horrible! She’s got a lot going on outside if work, she’s completely awkward, but tries soooo hard. You can literally just sit there and watch her try to work out the most appropriate way to handle any situation. I get it. I’m completely awkward too. I walked in and though “whoa! Interesting choice, girlfriend!” Then she turned around and I saw she had her hair all fixed and was just beaming while almost skipping like she was walking on air…. And really, it just made me happy to see her so thrilled. She has newly diagnosed autistic twin toddlers at home. The dress and the hair and the shoes, it was all a diversion, a chance to focus on herself briefly. It’s so sad that we have come to a place where instead supporting each other and celebrating progress, we teardown and berate.

      Now, we do work in different departments, so the person who asked her to change is not the same person who said I did not. But still, I might reassess my wardrobe.

      … Actually, I just remembered, a long time and several GMs ago, I got popped for tank topping- but I’d also been called in, while at the beach, in July, on my day off and was told to hurry. Anyway, I got called in, and was told “now, really, you look adorable. You could show up in just about anything, and look like a little doll. So before getting dressed, look in the mirror and ask yourself “would I want to see A in this outfit?” And if not, change.” (Nice, professional advice)

  2. It’s a weird, weird world, Teenie. It’s also a very wonderful world where one heart breaks just because another heart breaks. Please keep doing what you’re doing.

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