It’s not uncommon for companies to maintain an employee handbook outlining procedures for its staff to follow. In fact, it’s typical protocol. But when the Swiss bank UBS sent its Swiss retail banking staff a manual outlining the guidelines, there must have been quite a collective guffaw. The 43-page code book includes specifics on proper dress and mannerisms geared to engage their customers. Sounds normal enough, right?
The code book offers rules, such as women should “make sure to touch up hair regrowth regularly if you color your hair”. It helps to enhance your popularity. They should wear light make-up only, thin foundation, discreet lipstick, and light mascara because that will enhance your personality. For men, “Store your suit on a large hanger with rounded shoulders to preserve the shape of the garment.” Underwear needs to not only be of good quality, but be easily washable. I’m wondering how this rule will be enforced and reviewed.
In general, listed under the Don’ts:
Eat garlic or onions
Touch up perfume during or after lunch break
Use tie knots that don’t match your face shape and/or body shape
When outlining the color of suits allowed (dark grey, black or navy blue) it says these colors “symbolize competence, formalism and sobriety. Sobriety, really? So say, a brown suit might signal you spent the night partying and showed up to work hung over?
Regardless of the absurdity of the rules, I just honestly can’t see how working parents will be able to logistically pull this off. While getting kids up, breakfast and lunch made, off to school, then commuting to the office, I’m not sure one has the time to ponder if his tie knot matches his face shape. I’m fairly sure most men couldn’t tell you their face and body shape, let alone what it should match with. I’m also reasonably certain I couldn’t help my husband match up the shapes either.
I’m all for putting your best foot forward, and maintaining decent grooming habits for professional reasons as well as personal, but this is extreme. For most parents, it’s simply unrealistic.
In response to the intense nature of the dress code, UBS spokesman Jean-Raphael Fontannaz said the code was “in line with Swiss precision.”
I don’t know about most, but I certainly don’t live according to Swiss precision. I’m not sure we even own round shouldered hangers, so following this dress code would be a job in itself for us and I think it would be for many parents who already have jam-packed days.
What about you? Do you think you could pull off this dress code on a daily basis?