Tuesday, January 27, 2004

It pays to read your professional literature. About six months after I started working at this systemI was reading an article in Library Journal about different dress codes in libraries throughout the country. There in the article I made a wondrous discovery: this system doesn't have a dress code. As long as you're wearing shoes and a shirt, the same standards that apply to patrons, you're OK. That was joyful news to me, since I had been spending a lot money to look really bad in unattractive 'business casual' outfits. (This is definitely not the job where you want to broadcast your allure - urban camouflage is the only sensible way to go, but business casual is just ugly). Now I wear jeans to work each day, and sometimes if I'm rotating branches I'll wear the same outfit for several days in a row. I feel so happy and carefree, like when I was a schoolgirl and got to wear a uniform every day. It's heaven, although I'll have to say that I wish that a certain fellow employee would extend her colleagues the courtesy of wearing a bra.
Dress code policies vary greatly from system to system. The librarians in Queens, NY went on strike because of its formal and outdated one. The men had to wear ties, no denim, and no visible tattoos or piercings allowed. At the library system in Des Moines all women must wear pantyhose and closed toe shoes for 'safety purposes,' even on casual Fridays. That is really a lot to ask, from a financial and comfort standpoint. I'm sure they're paid a pittance, like most librarians, and a daily hose requirement can be as expensive as a heavy cigarette habit.

I have some good news to report. My manager told me that Mr. Plastic (see Sunday, Jan 11's entry) has been banned from all branch libraries for exposing himself to some poor woman near the magazines. Smelling abominable and covering the newspaper with his pestilent saliva are not his only unpleasant personal habits it seems. This is not the first time he's been banned for exposing himself. I guess that's why we didn't see or smell him on Sunday, and I won't anytime soon in the library since he's been banned for one full year. Yay!

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