Non-IT WTFs: Safety First


  • SockDev

    So, typical office. Naturally, that means shirt and tie for the men and a surprisingly lax-by-comparison dress code for women. I didn't really care too much about that, but in hindsight it should have annoyed me since it would have been the ideal follow up to HR hypocrisy.

    Anyway, the dress code for everyone when I started was shirt and tie with casual Friday, which basically meant 'no tie'. Then after I'd been there a couple of years, I ended up on a secondment to the Facilities department. Facilities is one of those funky departments - it included the mail room (so I knew everyone and was on good terms with the whole crew), but also any general maintenance and whatnot.

    One of the interesting matters in this office was whose responsibility it was to refill printers and copiers with toner and paper.

    In the end it was decided that Facilities would have the job of refilling toner in copiers and would make cartridges for all printers and fax machines available, and the ground troops would have to fit them themselves. Training courses were specifically made available to ensure minimal downtime. That's kind of a WTF in itself really, given that the cartridges were about as easy to replace as it gets. I know I spent time in the mail-monkey position doing the replacements for my department, and I was fairly sure my non-technical workers could do it without any help... but training was available anyway. Apparently the troops couldn't be trusted to fix paper jams by themselves or something.

    Anyway, around the time of this secondment, I pointed out something. I was handling the movement of files to and from long term storage, in big heavy crates, and I thought it was a health and safety issue in case it got caught.

    This went up to the head of Facilities who took it to HR and agreed an exception for me for what I was doing. I was happy enough since it meant I didn't have to wear a tie (I'm quite capable of being careful with H&S myself, thankyouverymuch, it's my health and safety after all!)

    The hilarity was what happened next. The facilities crowd decided they didn't like wearing ties either. And so the argument went up again to HR, because they did all kinds of general maintenance and whatnot and it was a health and safety risk.

    The last part, and it's a WTF that I managed to convince them of this, but no-one complained afterwards. I pointed out to the head of Facilities that the regular ground troops were doing their own printer refills and paper refills and that they're just as likely to get their ties caught in those as the Facilities guys were.

    On the basis of that, three weeks later the policy came from HR that men were no longer required to wear ties in the office. Obviously, those meeting clients and whatnot would still be expected to carry out standard business attire duties but the rest of us could safely go tie-free.

    I still, to this day, do not understand how that got accepted as an argument. Then again I don't understand how 'wearing ties in an office when you're not actually meeting clients' is actually a requirement anyway. It's like an extended WTF of sorts. But fortunately some common sense prevailed even if the argument for it was a WTF.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Arantor said:

    Then again I don't understand how 'wearing ties in an office when you're not actually meeting clients' is actually a requirement anyway.

    Some people believe in them as a way of instilling a common corporate ethos, largely on the grounds that that's how loyalty to their house was encouraged at school (way back in the mists of time). Probably the sort of people that hadn't realised that all the women about weren't wearing ties at all.

    But if you're going to wear a suit properly, you need a tie or you look very sloppy; you might as well wear you shirt outside your trousers if you avoid the tie. (Suits are only for when I do trade shows, external reviews and shit like that.)


  • SockDev

    Oh, no, it wasn't a suit environment. The meet-and-greet sales people, sure, they did the suit thing.

    But us office folks didn't do suits unless we wanted to, which invariably meant some of the managers did and anyone who had an interview did, and no-one else bothered.

    And that's kind of the point - the dress code was fairly lax for women even though the workforce was pretty evenly split, which meant it wasn't working on some level.



  • @Arantor said:

    In the end it was decided that Facilities would have the job of refilling toner in copiers and would make cartridges for all printers and fax machines available, and the ground troops would have to fit them themselves. Training courses were specifically made available to ensure minimal downtime. That's kind of a WTF in itself really, given that the cartridges were about as easy to replace as it gets. I know I spent time in the mail-monkey position doing the replacements for my department, and I was fairly sure my non-technical workers could do it without any help... but training was available anyway. Apparently the troops couldn't be trusted to fix paper jams by themselves or something.

    That reminds me of improper encapsulation in methods. You have a GetUserIDByGUID(GUID g) method, which returns a DataSet, and then you have to get the UserID from its first DataTable/DataRow, instead of the method returning an integer. So you end up seeing that logic in every place that calls it, instead of just the one place, inside of the method.


    Filed under: typed that here at work in my XKCD t-shirt


  • SockDev

    Pretty much.

    I mean, it was a bit unreasonable to drag the 3 Facilities guys (that was their entire time) across the multiple floors of the building any time a printer needed a new cartridge or needed more paper, especially since these were pretty decently built HP beasts that if filled properly almost never jammed or anything anyway.

    I always thought it was quite reasonable for people to refill their own damn printers, I'd just do it in the downtime between faxes coming in (at the time, later on I got the people doing the mail-monkey job to do it for me... power is awesome :smiling_imp:)



  • @Arantor said:

    I don't understand how 'wearing ties in an office when you're not actually meeting clients' is actually a requirement anyway

    I find this funny since at my current job I'm the only man coming in with a suit-and-tie every day despite the fact that:

    1. I'm in the least client facing role in the company (apart from once or twice a month, when my client(s) come in)
    2. suit-and-tie aside, I'm easily the most 'abnormal' person in the firm, what with my long hair, ear-ring, no tats yet, but only a question of time
    3. I don't normally wear anything of the sort when outside work
    4. there's no requirement for me to wear a suit or tie
    5. I guess I'm treating work as an excuse, which makes me TRWTF.


  • SockDev

    That's just it. If you make a choice to take pride in yourself and your appearance, that's not a WTF. The fact you have higher standards for yourself should not be a WTF.

    To me, being held to a standard of 'smart' when you're not required to do so seems to be a WTF.



  • Trying to compensate? :squirrel:


  • SockDev

    Maybe he's trying to make a statement about his cow-orkers' lack of standards at the same time? Point is, whatever it is, it's not a WTF.





  • Chicks dig it, yo!


  • SockDev

    Then it's definitely not a WTF and 'doing it right'.

    As for the 'chicks dig it', I think that depends on your body shape as well. I'm the shortish-and-roundish shape so squeezing me into a suit doesn't look good. I think the nicest compliment I ever had in a suit was on a field trip with one of the sales guys to meet one of the brokers and he asked the sales guy if he'd brought his minder (me)



  • The question therefore is: "You hard?"


  • SockDev

    I can't rock the hard nut look. The long hair does not help in that regard.



  • You can always go for: "Looks the quiet type, but he's a real nutter"


    Filed under: always worked for me



  • What have we here? DC update when I wasn't looking?



  • That message only pops up if you're not navigating the forum IIRC. If you are, it just secretly reloads the page when you click a link.


  • BINNED

    @Arantor said:

    Then again I don't understand how 'wearing ties in an office when you're not actually meeting clients' is actually a requirement anyway.

    As a descendant of people who brought this curse upon the world... I'm sorry.



  • I thought this topic was about the comedy show with the same name.

    Uh yes, the dude's asking his female co-worker if his dong is showing in his shorts. But he is warring his tie so I guess it appropriate.


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