Monday, April 28, 2008

Dressing, On how to use as a torture device

All librarians are notoriously bad dressers (even the ones who think they look ok) so suddenly dressing and grooming yourself in a professional and appealing manner will serve as one hell of a tool for terrorizing your boss. Most library managers are massively insecure and seeing an old employee suddenly look good will make them think that you are looking for another job or even possibly in the process of interviewing. That will create work down the line for your boss as he/she scrambles to start their own interviewing process thereby making it impossible for them to take a 3-hour 'lunch.' Note: possible consequences might include the boss taking time out from his/her incredibly busy day to talk to you more often than usual in an effort to find out what the hell is going on with you and all your fancy suits. Play your cards right and never deny (or admit) anything. This should make up for the pathetic raise you got last year.

Men, bonus points for wearing hats like the gents in the pic.


Anonymous said...

How timely!

For whatever reason, I wore a suit to work today (kind of like the one in the illustration). One of our library supervisors (actually one of the good guys) rides the same train. He looked at my brown wool suit and said "Interview??"

[P.S. Being a librarian and not having read your etiquette post yet, I was also wearing a baseball cap.]

Monster Librarian said...

Ha ha was so funny to read this. I am in the process of doing this right now. I wore a "interview outfit" today to work and my boss asked me why I was so "snazzily dressed!" Yeah, people still say things like this.

WDL said...

I do dress like this every single day. Down to the camel colored overcoat, circa 1950. And true to your word, every day someone asks me if I have an interview. I don't. And I think I might be one of those librarians that THINKS they dress this way, but I'm also one of them that knows I do. ha.


Anonymous said...

Gentlemen never properly wear a hat inside (unless required by religion). Ladies do, unless they are at their own home.

I used to work with a reference librarian who wore vintage hats as her commentary on the (hat-banning) employee dress code. Our older patrons loved her hats. So did the library board member who wrote the (obsolete) dress code.

Kevin Musgrove said...

A few years back I started going to work in a suit and tie (Graham Greene-style linen in summer; good solid wool in winter and only silk ties). This strikes terror in the heart of library managers.

Colleagues quickly picked up on this and have taken to wearing suits or twin-sets (ladies only)(mostly) on days when they're expecting a bollocking. Seems to work a treat.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed, though, that many female librarians make up for their unfortunate clothing choices with lots and of lots of jewelry - big necklaces with big beads or stones, big earrings, lots of bracelets, rings that probably came out of gum ball machines.

If I dress up more than usual, and someone comments on it, I tell them what is usually the truth. "This was clean."

Anonymous said...

I am a retired civil service librarian and in my last position before I retired, I was a manager. I am now a 20 hour a week reference librarian who had to supplement my retirement pay. There are some days that I outshine my manager as I still wear my managerial clothes to work. I think it gets to her.
P.S. I do not wear big clunky jewelry.

Anonymous said...

When I first began my career as a Reference Librarian, I dressed to the nines. I was was horrified to discover the other Reference Librarians either dressed like hookers or bag ladies. (No offense to these fine people). Bright purple paisley tights with a green mini-skirt and stilleto-heeled boots. Hand-knitted head coverings with open toed sandles worn without socks exposed filthy distorted feet. Now I just dress in a kind of "uniform". Polyester pant suits. Ugh. I look the most professional of the entire staff.

Lindsey said...

I have a co-worker who seems to be obsessed with matching. Some days, her outfits are actually monochromatic, right down to her shoes, jewelry etc.

Anonymous said...

Monochromatic is good. I dress that way because whenever I attempt to accessorise/dress myself according to my individual tastes, I am immediately a target of unwanted attention. Also, because I am depressed.

Anonymous said...

The opposite of terrorizing your manager is giving her/him hope that you are not only interviewing, but are on your second or third interview and are therefore on your way out the door. To dash that hope by continuing to dress decently once in awhile is very satisfying.

Heather said...

I would really like to see the hosts of the TLC show, What Not To Wear, at the ALA Annual Conference. That would be awesome funny!

Beth Gallaway said...

MALA hosted an awesome session on Dressing for Success. Best piece of advice? Skip the Turtlenecks!

What Not to Wear would be an AWESOME conference program.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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