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I Hate My Work Uniform

Jan 11, 2008
Some wearers of uniforms hate them with a passion. They despise all aspects of the uniform including the intangible values that it tries to instill in the wearer. "Forget solidarity, I hate this cheap piece of fabric and its ghastly colors and logo!" are some of the lines of thought that are followed. What prompts this unabashed hatred to an institution that exists to promote a positive purpose in the workplace? Why do some people hate their work uniform? This article will tackle some of the reasons that people hate their uniforms. The focus is to understand their reasons and to lay out the real reasons a uniform is chosen.

The consensus among the uniform haters can be broadly segregated into different core categories: quality, design and symbolism. Lets look at these categories in detail.

Quality

The primary complaint among this group of uniform haters is simple. They dislike the quality of the materials used to make the uniform. The work uniform may give the wearer a level of discomfort that makes his job far more difficult. This could be due to selection of fabric. Perhaps the quality of the fabric is so low that it rips or tears with little or no force applied to it.

As is apparent, the chief complaint is due to a physical aspect: the fabric. Work uniforms of bad quality will be hated unanimously by all wearers. It is a basic reasoning process: "Why am I forced to wear something of such bad quality? I won't even pay for clothes of this quality!" This is a very valid argument. Consider this wisely when choosing to outfit your staff with their uniforms.

Design

This group of uniform haters chief complaint is the aesthetics of the uniform itself. It may be hideously ill fitting no matter what the sizing is, it can have grotesque colors or logos. At the basic level, it makes a wearer look and feel ridiculous. It may take away his sense of pride or self worth. Again looking at the human element, no one likes to look stupid in front of anyone, let alone paying customers. Another fact to consider when designing the work uniform.

Symbolism

This one is a lot more tricky. It does not deal with the physical aspect of the work uniform itself. This complaint deals with the perceived worth of the job and the requirements of wearing the uniform. The individuals who complain about this will focus on the reasons why wearing a uniform will demean them. It takes away from their sense of self or their identity. This complaint cannot be fixed by making the uniform more comfortable to wear or more stylish. Members of this part of the spectrum are more concerned about their loss of individuality.

Dealing with this type of complaint requires more skill. It requires adequately providing positive reasons on why the uniform is chosen. Outline basic purposes of the decision to adopt an organizational dress. Cite reasons: solidarity, team spirit, identity as a whole, etc. The way to deal with this complaint is to educate the dissatisfied member of staff on the positive reasons for wearing a uniform. It may be that a uniform is intimately intertwined with the corporate culture or business model and perhaps the individual is unaware of this reason. State clear guidelines and reasoning as part of your employee handbook on the reasons why the work uniform is chosen.
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