What Not to Wear

Uniforms are a pain in my ass. For most of my illustrious food service career, I have had to wear one. I suppose I don’t mind, because it makes it easy to decide what to wear each day. Hmmm, this stained black polo or that stained black polo? These ripped up khakis or the khakis with the hole in the back pocket? What really irks me is when the restaurant decides what you have to wear, but they don’t provide it. They will give you a list of approved stores to buy your pants from; The Gap or Old Navy usually. Or they will say to get some (totally lame ass) Dockers or (stiff as board) Dickies workpants. They will tell you which style to get and how much they will cost but what they won’t do is pay for it. I don’t get that. I feel like if they are going to decide what I have to wear, then they should dole out some dollars for that shit. I don’t wear khakis in my real life so why do I want to pay for them to wear to work? And who the fuck wears Dickies anywhere except at a job where you are required to wear them? Seriously, they are horrible And the shirts? They are always the same thing. A black or white polo or a blue oxford. And they never pay for that either. Sometimes they will give you a t-shirt or something to wear and they will give you the first one for free. Wow. Thanks. But if you want two or three so you don’t have to wash a load of fucking clothes after every shift, you gotta pay for it. Or what is even shittier is when they do provide the uniform but they take it out of your paycheck. Excuse me? You’re gonna give me two ugly ass shirts and two pairs of pants that don’t fit and it will come out of my paycheck for the next zillion weeks because they are overpriced and I only make $3.00 an hour? Fuck you.

Then I got a job where I could wear whatever I wanted. “Oh how it will make my day so much better to wear my own clothes,” I thought. That lasted about a day. You quickly realize you don’t want to wear your good clothes to work because they just get covered in honey mustard, coffee and shame. The Dickies may suck, but if you spill anything on them it doesn’t matter. I don’t know what those bitches are made of, but nothing sticks to them. Food and liquid just bounces right off like the fabric is Teflon. So even though my last job allowed me to wear my own clothes, within a few weeks that too had become a uniform: one pair of jeans (stained, ripped at the bottom) and three different t-shirts that I didn’t care how much honey mustard or coffee got on. As for the shame part? Whatever. I have been serving food for so long the shame has permanently attached itself to my epidermis.

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5 thoughts on “What Not to Wear

  1. Nicole

    I could not agree with you more about the fact that 98% of all restaurants iv working at make the server pay out of pocket for the uniform. One of my current restaurants switched our uniforms from black long sleeve, collared, button down shirt and black Dickie’s to Levis 501 dark blue jeans and a VERY specific, long sleeve collared button-down Oxford style white shirt when everybody was changing over to the new uniform management would have to look you over each day at the beginning of your shift to determine if it was appropriate or not and I kid you not almost every single employee was told the shirt did not meet the requirements and you’d have to buy another one before your next shift and if you did come in on your next shift they would threaten that they would send you home. Well after buying THREE stupid ass shirts and being told for the 3rd time that yet again the latest shirt did not meet the new standards, I got really pissed. I am in California an we have a very employee friendly mindset regarding the labor laws. I printed out the code an information on the labor laws regarding what constitutes a uniformand who is required to pay for the said uniforms.. basically, if the employer requires something so specific as the white collared button-down Oxford style shirt Mimi’s Cafe was requiring of us then the employer either needed to reimburse us for the cost or provide the shirts to us. One night when I was off I went to work an wrote on the ” Communications board” that everyone needs to save an turn in their receipts for the new shirts and I left the labor codes I had printed out. Needless to say, everyone still had to pay for their stupid shirts and I got a ass kicking sit down with the regional manager.

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    1. hostess

      Lmao I was reading your comment and I was like hey that sounds like Mimi’s! And then you said it and I was like yep… Me too lol.

      Reply
  2. David Cowling

    When I worked at Hillstone, the best thing our GM did was change from blk pants/WHT shirt to blk pants/blk shirt. We still had to wear a blk tie, it was Hillstone after all (Hill Hillstone!) But at least my shirt didn’t look like a Jackson Pollack painting.

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