Folks at the office were very excited when we found out that we would get to observe “Casual Friday,” a dress-down day which, I suppose, was management’s way of providing a “perk” to improve moral and reward us for working all week. Somewhere someone probably learned in a management seminar that this was a good way to reward employees without spending money or straining the budget for real perks like raises and bonuses.
Apparently, there was some confusion about exactly what was meant by “casual.” This was quickly rectified by a classic memo, which I plan to frame some day after the person who wrote it retires or dies and can’t fire me. The memo said that the office would observe a casual day each Friday. Jeans should not be worn. Neither should sweats, shorts, tee-shirts, jogging, or bicycling attire – and, of course, tennis shoes would never be correct for the office. So, what’s left?
This reminds me of some other confusing terminology. “Dressy casual” seems to be the term in vogue at the present time. I overheard a woman who was shopping in a department store say that she was going on a cruise and needed some outfits that were “dressy casual.” Somehow this seems extremely ambiguous to me. What in the world is dressy casual?
The sales lady explained that it is skirts, blouses, dresses, shirts, pants, and sports jackets. That just sounds like regular daytime dress attire to me. Why call it such a confusing name? Sportswear is another thing I have never understood. Go in any department store and go to the Sportswear Department. Tell me if they have one thing there that you could play sports in.
I once saw an ingenious commercial on TV. The Secretary is at her desk in pink hair curlers and the boss in a bath towel. The voice-over says something to the effect of , “If we’re going to observe casual Friday, then let’s be casual.”
Do you suppose management really thought this is what could happen?