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In trouble at work, need help, EDC in jepardy.

Discussion in 'EDC Clothing' started by Mr BadWrench, Apr 5, 2012.

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  1. Mr BadWrench

    Mr BadWrench Loaded Pockets

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    Ive been working at a certain auto parts store for about 2 years now. After about 3 months I decided I liked working in retail (20 yrs in construction before) and started to buy nicer looking more expensive clothes. I started out with Duluth Trading everyday work pants because they were on sale, they did not last because of all the sharp pokey stuff all over my store and occasional having to work on a car in the parking lot. They are comfortable as hell so I upgraded to the firehose work pants. They are super durable and just as comfortable. I asked several superiors including my district manager about them to make sure they did not violate the rules and everyone said "as long as they are black, not tight fitting and clean" they are fine.. I bought 5 pairs. Now they tell me that they are "cargo pants" and against company policy.
    Duluth sells cargo pants and the work pants are different. not only that but I have not found any "cargo pants" on the internet that did not have those 10 quart pockets on them and giant buttons... my work pants have flat pockets and they do not puff out... they fit well and they look nice. Considering the original investment could have bought me :censored: near any toy ive wanted Im highly annoyed... also annoyed at the fact that now i will have to buy more cloths and its going to get torn up.

    Any advice? I intend to continue to wear them until I get a written warning and Im going to force them define cargo pants 100%... If I wear my last pairs of everyday work pants and get written up I swear im gonna wear a dress....
     
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  2. Logrus9

    Logrus9 Loaded Pockets

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    Unfortunately, you're probably not going to get anywhere with this. If the person that warned you about the pants has the power to write you up, forcing them to do it will be one strike against you. You will never force them to define something and they can always change the definition if they choose.

    It does suck since they originally gave the OK, but as I was once told, "you can be 100% right and it doesn't matter."
     
  3. MedusaOblongata

    MedusaOblongata Loaded Pockets

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    Can you remove the cargo pockets with a stitch ripper?
     
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  4. temujin

    temujin Uber Prepared

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    I agree. You are up against the proverbial 800-pound gorilla. Even if you prevail on the rules, it's nearly guaranteed that some other infraction will be coming down the pike.

    If you cannot come to some amicable agreement with management, you have two choices:

    1. Suck it up and live with their fungible rules.
    2. Find another job.
     
  5. Gnarly
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gnarly Loaded Pockets

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    If post #3 doesn't work, then you're stuck with post #2.

    I feel yer pain. Had basically the same thing happen, over a year ago. No cargo pants.

    Not a mountain worth dying on; not worth losing your job. And if you push it, you lose.
     
  6. neutrontech
    • In Omnia Paratus

    neutrontech Loaded Pockets

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    If management calls your pants, "cargo pants", then unfortunately they are cargo pants in the eyes of the company. Any further effort on your part to change their mind is futile and will likely just step on toes and create an uncomfortable working environment for you.

    Also, If there are pockets on the sides of your pant legs, they are in fact cargo pants. It doesn't matter if they have big buttons, velcro, or zippers. It doesn't matter if they are flat or puffy either. Just because the manufactures them doesn't label them as cargo pants, doesn't change the fact that they are.

    Still, it's pretty crummy for them to give you the okay, only to deny them later. It's more likely an issue of a middle management power trip than an actual "rule" violation. At-Will employment, so you have to just go with it.
     
  7. Synaptic Misfire
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Synaptic Misfire Loaded Pockets

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    Try Carhartt, they make a carpenter jean that is nearly bombproof.
     
  8. Delkancott

    Delkancott Loaded Pockets

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    This. I love my Carhartts. I manage a farm and it takes at least 365 to wear their work pants out. Great product.
     
  9. tower
    • In Omnia Paratus

    tower Loaded Pockets

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    See if you can get a printed copy of the dress code to make certain that you are not being subjected to some moron's interpretation of the rules.

    And next time you type "jeopardy", don't forget the "O"!
     
  10. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    "I asked several superiors including my district manager about them to make sure they did not violate the rules..."
    It is unfortunate that you have been unduly singled-out.

    Did you actually show those individuals a photograph of the garment in conjunction with your question before you made the decision to purchase them? If not, you have learned a hard lesson. Your management is clearly seeking to curtail the casualness in today's modern work attire and upgrade to that which they deem to be more professional-looking to improve the image of your organization to the general public.

    Any trouser that has external pockets is likely to be considered "cargo pants" because of the informality of the lines created by that feature. If you like the heavy firehose material, the Duluth Chino model with internal pockets is a viable alternative. If you insist on wearing those firehose work pants until given a written warning, you may invariably be the subject of further disciplinary action that could undermine your performance review and consideration for promotion.

    It's occasionally difficult to acclimate to work conditions one deems unacceptable because it conflicts with personal preference. One must decide if the sacrifice to abide by the edicts of the employer is greater than the remuneration provided to you in exchange for your labor.
     
  11. Mr BadWrench

    Mr BadWrench Loaded Pockets

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    I emailed Duluth BTW, I figure :censored:? right?? I asked them for a detailed description of the difference between their work pants and cargo pants. Im also sorta hoping that they might take pitty on me and let me return them in trade for something else and Im going to make the :censored: Regional manager choose.
    Unfortunatly the pockets are riveted on.... BUT they are "tuckable" so im going to wear them tucked and see what happens.
    I was wearing a pair when we had the discussion. Altogether I have 6 pairs of pants that do not have holes in them or stains on them. And Im putting them in the trunk of my car when I go to work today. I have bought goodwill stuff before and so far I have not found anything of reasonable quality that fits, There are either a lot of people who wear my size buying or very few people donating anything but dress pants. I wore one pair of nice and not too cheap black dress pants to work, they lasted till lunch break and I had to drive home and change.

    This is one of those "New Manager" situations 5 people have lost their jobs since he started. Some of them snapped to attention and did what they were told and some didn't. BUT no one has forced them to actually write them up. 4 guys just walked out when they were threatened with their jobs and the other guy was fired for something completely unrelated to what he was originally warned about. I'm going to assume I have been singled out for my average ticket/KPI performance (like the rest IMO) and that I'm on the same list as the others. The last guy it took them 3 months to fire him and I think the reason they were finally able to fire him is that when it came down to their word against his he did not have any proof of the "harassment" because he did not make them document a single complaint. My best friend works for HR at a different place and told me to force them to document at least one violation.

    I wish the economy wasn't so tough Id much rather be building houses.

    Don
     
  12. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    Don,
    You may have a case if you were wearing them and the manager approved them. Contact HR and ask for some sort of arbitration and work it out. Do what you feel is right, but be courteous and diplomatic. These are tough times. Good luck man.
     
  13. kertap75

    kertap75 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    That sucks. I had a similar problem where I work, but thankfully concerned a lot less money. We were told that we could use blue or black ink for our paperwork, then after I bought a bunch of blue pens our department manager insisted on black only:mad:. Since your pants are a lot more expensive then a few pens I would say to write a formal letter to the managers above the one giving you a problem and explain the situation. Remind him/her of the incident when they "aproved" the pants. Acknowledge that you might have been told the pants were acceptable in error, and that you understand the company is trying to ensure that everyone dresses profesionally for their job. Explain how you were not trying to abuse company dress code, but only trying to find pants that meet their requirements and will hold up to the abuse they recieve as part of your job. Explain how expensive they are and what kind of hardship it would be to replace all of your work pants. Then ask if you can be "grandfatherd in" or if you can be given more time to find acceptable pants since they are expensive etc etc. Just make sure you stay respectful and as un emotional as possible the whole letter. Don't point any fingers or make accusations. Give them an out that gets you as close to what you want as you can get without them losing face. And make sure the jerk boss gets a copy so he can't say you bypassed him and went over his head.

    You will probably going to have problems with this boss if you do this, but if he has already singled you out, what can it hurt? Good luck.
    Edit: I would NOT wear the pants again until you get some kind of resolution. It would be the worst thing you can do for your case for a variety of reasons
     
  14. Mitty

    Mitty Loaded Pockets

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    After some thought, I'll offer a little. I spent most of my career as supervisor, manager, director, or CEO. So I guess that makes me "them" in this context. Here's how the situation would appear to me.

    First, understand that every employee (including the CEO!) is a package, a combination of strengths and weaknesses. Some employees have small strengths and small weaknesses, some have great strengths and infuriating weaknesses. As long as the the strengths outweigh the weaknesses by a reasonable amount, the employee has a job. Some managers tolerate great weaknesses better than others, however.

    Bad idea. You are saying you are a game-player. That is a great weaknesses because a game-player is someone who can't be trusted.

    You did the right thing, as long as there was no clear prohibition against cargo pants in a written dress code policy that you were or should have been aware of. So, I suggest you try to get the DM on your side. Put on your sales hat and approach him face-to-face. Not in writing and not on the phone. It is harder to say "no" when face-to-face with a good argument. Remind him of the conversation and his approval and try to get him to buy the idea that you've been blindsided here after spending a significant amount of money. Try to develop other allies in management. If I were the decision-maker I'd be receptive to a proposal that the company pay half of what you spent. After all, you can still wear the pants -- just not a work.

    They are probably not going to make an exception to the dress code for you. It's just too complicated to manage a bunch of exceptions to rules in an organization with any significant number of employees.

    That's unfortunate. It's necessary for his boss to leave the new manager on a long leash as he proves himself or fails. If he's a problem, that is very hard on the people that report to him. Sorry to say there's not much you can do about it either.

    Bad advice. It is not being "singled out" to be told you're not in compliance with a dress code. What can hurt is if you start playing games or running to HR if, after your reasonable attempts to negotiate the situation, you can't get it resolved in a way that satisfies you. If you decide to go that route, you better have some great strengths -- because behaving that way is a great weakness in any boss's eyes. They have better things to do, like getting enough money in the door to pay your salary, and don't need unnecessary hassles.

    Yes, that's the real world. But "management" is just people, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. You will do better thinking of them and working with them as people. If you do that, you may at least get partial compensation for your expense. If you choose to poke someone in the eye, you'll get the same reaction that you would have if someone poked you in the eye.

    If you are a low performer relative to your peers, none of this matters. Either improve and make sure your management chain knows you're working to do that, or start looking for another job.
     
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  15. Kilted1

    Kilted1 Loaded Pockets

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    If the person who told you the pants were okay is the same one who is now telling you they aren't, you're hosed. If they are different people then whichever one is senior is the one that matters but only if they've actually seen the pants, not a picture or verbal description. If you like your job, then you may just have to suck it up and find some new trousers regardless of who said the others were okay.

    I just read your post about the new manager. Maybe it's time to start looking for a new job but in the mean time, do what you must to keep the boss happy.
     
  16. TomWelch

    TomWelch Loaded Pockets

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    Today's work environment can be best described as brutal, best to follow the rules. Always have your resume updated!!
     
  17. CatherineM
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    CatherineM Loaded Pockets

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    You could have a seamstress take the cargo pockets off from the outside, and put them on the inside.
     
  18. shrap

    shrap Loaded Pockets

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    If you want to keep your job, you should do what they tell you to do, or appeal to who has the final say (generally your immediate manager). But don't continue to ignore the rules, since nothing makes authority figures madder than people ignoring their authority.

    No rules are set in stone; if you are a great employee, a good manager will excuse some rule-bending/breaking, maybe after you ask nicely. Bad employees will get written up for anything. The fact that they brought up the issue means that you're not in the former group, or your manager is a fool (but there's very little you can do about that).
     
  19. Mitty

    Mitty Loaded Pockets

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    Agreed, but the key word here is "some." An employee in a customer-contact position is not likely to get an exception to dress or grooming requirements. Projecting a consistent and pleasing company image is important and the appearance of employees is an important part of that. If the OP were not in a customer-contact position, he would be much more likely to get a little slack.
     
  20. Mr BadWrench

    Mr BadWrench Loaded Pockets

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    I found out some more info today, its not great news but its amusing..... It seems the rules about cargo pants were just added to the handbook a few weeks ago. No one knows who, how or why. Yesterday I was told that "You should have read the employee handbook before you bought them". That tone changed REALLY QUICK when an older employee that I work with has a copy of the handbook from another store and he brought it knowing there was going to be an argument. No rule in the old handbook, I'm having a light hearted debate about how long they have to give me to conform to the new rules. The DM argued (more like kidded around) with me most of the morning, he acts like a pretty reasonable guy and finally admitted the rule was new. The funny thing is that he never noticed I was wearing the pants in question until it was pointed out to him. I had copies of my invoices from ordering the clothes in hand and he allowed me to wear them without being reprimanded until the next store inspection when I was told if the higher ups don't notice they wont bother me about it.
    Im not the first person that was informed about it in my store, most of the other employees wear cargo pants occasionally. One delivery driver usually wears some pretty sketchy looking clothing and she was actually the main target, I'm assuming she ratted me out to them originally. If I can only convince all of them to not wear their obvious baggy pocket cargo pants when the store inspection comes around maybe I can get away with this. My mom had the best plan..... "sew the pockets shut, claim they are patches..... lol gotta love stubborn old ladies. Being that this is the first job Ive ever had where I usually come home clean and can occasionally just hang a shirt up and wear it again( I just got promoted and only have 2 shirts). I spent the first 20 years of my career coming home covered in a mixture of sawdust, dirt, metal filings and WD40 Ive been really proud of myself that I learned not to wipe my nose on my shirt and to clean my hands with water and soap instead of wiping them on my pants.
     
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