A friend of mine on Facebook recently posted this article regarding flip flops in the workplace.
I have mixed feelings on this. I certainly don’t feel as strongly about flip flops as the writer of this article – maybe this is because I, personally, have never liked flip flops. I’m the only person on the planet (except, perhaps, for my mother) who thinks they’re not comfortable. They bother my toes, the plastic material makes my feet sweat in an unattractive way, and they are impossible to walk properly in. I’d rather take pair of strappy sandals or better yet, Tevas or Birkinstocks, any day of the week.
So, let’s say I substitute flip flops for Birkinstocks. Are Birks appropriate for the workplace? Probably not.
I work in a building that does not have a dress code, but in an office that does – a relatively strict one, at that. However, by nature of The Way Things Are, the men have it tougher than the women.
Okay, so the men can wear khakis, and the women really can’t get away with that – however, women don’t wear ties. Tie, shirt, nice pants. Sport jacket gets extra points. Simple, to the point, but unforgiving. Women, on the other hand, have a lot more latitude, especially in the summer. And, in the summer, flip flops grace the office. I’m not sure if my boss really is not bothered by flip flops, or he simply doesn’t notice footwear – but I do know that the men are a little put off by it.
“Oh, you women in the summer. You’re so lucky. You can come into the office with a sundress and flip flops.” The men, on the other hand – shirt, tie, pants. No wavering. No “Polo shirt Friday.” Not even a “No tie Friday.” So, this bodes the question: If flip flops are okay, should the absence of a tie be okay? Should a polo shirt be okay? When I think about it in that context, I have to say that flip flops are more egregious. But, I’m not the boss (not even close!), therefore it is not my place to say, “Polos for everyone!” I suppose it is all relative.
I am, however, in control of my own actions. Therefore, this summer, I’ll put the Birks away … at least until AFTER 4:30 pm.