Category Archives: 5. Miscellaneous

Work Dress Codes Continue to Evolve—or Devolve

 

It started decades ago with casual Fridays. Off came the ties and suits, on came the chinos and polos. Slowly, formal dress codes eased, but since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the metamorphosis has been dramatic. Remote workers don loungewear bottoms unseen during Zoom meetings. Even employees who are back in the office are eroding the once stringent rules about how to dress for success, leaving the workplace a maelstrom of undefined rules about what to wear to work.

Certainly, some industries have remained constant—lawyers still don’t wear aloha shirts in court—but even bankers have eased up on their once-standard conservative wardrobe requirements. Young employees anxious to dissolve the status quo are leading the way in this remaking of the American workplace wardrobe. The New York Times recently published an article about a 21-year-old woman considering herself a “career adult” who refuses to give up crop tops at the office. Her rationale is that she doesn’t think she should have to have buy a separate work wardrobe or wear clothing that does not mesh with her personal style.

Such flagrant disregard for a workplace dress code once would have resulted in accusations of lacking professionalism. But employers fear to lose employees in today’s tight job market and are bending to the trend of dressing down. Still, a casual attitude toward office norms can have negative repercussions, especially for ambitious workers who want to climb the success ladder.

As an example, an Austin man who received a major promotion wondered about how (or if) he should alter his wardrobe. Those advising him suggested he consider several factors.

  • Remember that clothes communicate values, and dressing up has long been a way for individuals to demonstrate achievement and taste.
  • Consider that although the casual workplace and changing attitudes have minimized how much value is put on work wardrobes, they have not abolished such judgments entirely. People still “read” outfits. Rumpled, ill-fitting, stained, or fraying clothes will not help subordinates respect a new boss or young employees impress their managers.
  • Opt for a wardrobe made of quality items over quantity and have a consistent look appropriate to the job description. For example, workers in creative fields need to show they are creative, including in their choice of clothing. People working in the environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) arena ought to be certain their wardrobe comes from sustainable manufacturing and supply chains if they wish to be credible.

The bottom line is that workers need to pay attention and be mindful of what they wear to work.

Discussion

  1. Do you think managers should dress more formally than their subordinates? Why?
  2. What should you consider when deciding on what to wear for an office job?
  3. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was famous for his signature look, a designer black turtleneck and blue jeans. How and why did this combination fit his position as the leader of Apple?
  4. Do you agree that employees should be able to show personal style fashion choices in the workplace?

Source: Friedman, V. (2022, September 19.) I just got a big promotion. Do I need a fancier wardrobe too? The New York Times. https://www.nyt.com

 

 

 

 

 

Embarrassing Usage Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

[ Instructors: Download the exercise and its key at the end of this post.]

Sometimes, even the most intelligent people make mistakes when using common phrases, leading to some embarrassing moments. Can you identify what’s wrong with the phrases below? Check your responses against the solution key.

  1. Baited breath
  2. Boldface lie
  3. Chalk full
  4. Do diligence
  5. First-come, first-serve
  6. Given free reign
  7. Honed in
  8. I could care less
  9. Irregardless
  10. Must of/should of/would of/could of
  11. Mute point
  12. Peaked my interest
  13. Per say
  14. Piece of mind
  15. Shoe-in
  16. Slight of hand
  17. Through the ringer
  18. Tie me over
  19. Tow the line
  20. Wet your appetite

Embarrassing Usage Mistakes Exercise

Solutions-Embarrassing Usage Mistakes

Adapted from 43 Embarrassing Grammar Mistakes Even Smart People Make, Inc.com

 

Which One Is It? Me, Myself, and I

[Instructors: Download PDFs of the exercise and key at the end of this post.]

The misuse of me, myself, and I is generally caused by not understanding when to use the pronoun me. You’ve probably learned that I is always the subject of sentences–never me. Because people sometimes do not remember that fact, they overcorrect and avoid using me even when it is correct to do so. People also seem to feel more comfortable saying myself instead of me when me is actually correct. To clarify the use of the pronouns me, myself, and I, let’s review the grammatical rules for each:

The pronoun I functions as the subject of sentences.

A common mistake occurs when the subject of a sentence includes a noun and a pronoun. To test for correctness, remove the noun and examine for correctness.

My friend and I tried the paleo diet. (Me is never the subject.)

The pronoun me functions as the object of verbs and prepositions.

The most common mistake occurs when the object includes another noun plus the pronoun. Ignore the extra noun and then check for correctness.

Please call Jason and me when you arrive. (The pronoun me functions as the object of the verb call).

Send the forms to Lea and me. (The pronoun me functions as the object of the

preposition to.)

The reflexive pronoun myself must reflect on another noun or pronoun in the sentence.

The most common mistake occurs when myself is substituted for me because it seems more polite or more correct. But it isn’t!

You may give your donation either to Jon or myself me. (Never substitute myself for me. Remember that myself is correct only when it refers to a previously mentioned noun or pronoun, such as I myself am collecting donations.)

In the following sentences, choose the correct pronoun.

  1. Because we had overpaid, the IRS sent a refund check to my wife and (I, me, myself).
  1. My friend and (I, me, myself) both rejected the lentil loaf for our evening meal.
  1. Please remove the picture of my boyfriend and (I, me, myself) that appeared on your Facebook page.
  1. The employment counselor said that networking would work better for (I, me, myself) than searching the Web for a job.
  1. I was told that LinkedIn was the No. 1 social media site for (I, me, myself) to use in establishing my online presence.

In the remaining sentences, correct any errors in pronouns. Mark C if the sentence is correct.

  1. Do you know whether any messages were left for Michelle or myself?
  1. Jade and me heard that working as a freelancer or as a temporary employee is becoming more common today.
  1. I told our customer that she could always call the manager or me if she had any questions.
  1. Many complaints that were sent to Sam and I should have gone to the manufacturer instead.
  1. Can you meet my partner and myself in the baggage area as soon as our plane arrives?
  1. Your competed application form must be sent to Dr. Rivera or I before March 15.
  1. The agreement between the boss and myself was reached after my performance review.
  1. To prepare for our study abroad trip, Amanda and me took a conversational Spanish class.
  1. If the manager had just called Mike or myself, the problem could have been solved immediately.
  1. Although we are adventuresome, Rachel and me did not care for the seaweed and kale

Key

  1. Because we had overpaid, the IRS sent a refund check to my wife and me. (The pronoun me functions as the object of the preposition Ignore my wife and.)
  1. My friend and I rejected the lentil loaf for our evening meal. (The pronoun I functions as the sentence subject. Ignore My friend and.)
  1. Please remove the picture of my boyfriend and me that appeared on your Facebook page. (The pronoun me functions as the object of the preposition of. Ignore my boyfriend and.)
  1. The employment counselor said that networking would work better for me than searching the Web for a job. (The pronoun me functions as the object of the preposition for. Do not choose myself because the sentence has no pronoun or noun that it would reflect on.)
  1. I was told that LinkedIn was the No. 1 social media site for me to use in establishing my online presence. (The pronoun me functions as the object of the preposition me.)
  1. Do you know whether any messages were left for Michelle or me?
  1. Jade and I heard that working as a freelancer or as a temporary employee is becoming more common today.
  2. C.
  1. Many complaints that were sent to Sam and me should have gone to the manufacturer instead.
  1. Can you meet my partner and me in the baggage area as soon as our plane arrives?
  1. Your competed application form must be sent to Rivera or me before March 15.
  1. The agreement between the boss and me was reached after my performance review. (The preposition between requires an objective pronoun )
  1. To prepare for our study abroad trip, Amanda and I took a conversational Italian class.
  1. If the manager had just called Mike or me, the problem could have been solved immediately.
  1. Although we are adventuresome, Rachel and I did not care for the seaweed and kale smoothie.

Me,Myself,I-Key

Me, Myself, I-exercise