UBS Dress Code: Someone up there has Control Issues

Friday, December 17, 2010

It looks like if your boss has control issues, he gets to decide when you should apply perfume as well. According to the WSJ, UBS has issued a very draconian set of regulations on what you can and cannot wear. I work in a client-facing organization, and my work involves managing company accounts and attending meetings with my client's management, so I am totally sympathetic to having some sort of a dress code at work, and I believe in projecting a professional image through your dressing. But when a company decides to tell you when the ideal time to spray perfume is (after a hot shower, apparently), that's overstepping the boundaries and going a little too far. And apparently the entire dress code is 44 pages long. Micromanaging much?

Here are some gems, as highlighted by the WSJ, the Vancouver Sun, and the Huffington Post.

Let's start with the ladies:

"The ideal time to wear perfume is directly after taking a hot shower when your pores are still open."

"You will extend the life of your stockings and your tights if your toe nails are well-trimmed and filed."

"In general, a blouse is worn with a jacket. When it very hot, and after validation of your superior, you can wear the shirt without a jacket."

Now the guys:

"At the neck, the shirt must be of sufficient magnitude to leave a space of at least one finger... The neck shirts must exceed approximately about 1 to 1.5 centimeter above the jacket collar.."

"Do not wash, nor ever iron your ties yourself."

"Schedule barber appointments every four weeks to maintain your haircut shape."

And for both:

"Hands - do not have:
• Dirty and badly maintained nails
• False nails and fancy colored nails
• rough or cracked skin"

"Not adpated to the morphology of the face" - what on earth is that supposed to mean? And now I have to seek my bosses' permission to not wear a jacket with a blouse on a hot day. And when I buy my shirts, obviously I need to bring a ruler with me so I can measure the 1 to 1.5cm spacing my collar is supposed to have. Geez, obviously someone up there in UBS has control issues.

Thank goodness I don't work for UBS, because it would make me miserable to know that my boss is scrutinizing my nails and hands to ensure that I don't have rough skin or coloured nails.

Hey UBS - if you're losing money and want to earn back some of those millions, why not think about actually improving your business strategy and reviewing loss-making operations? I'm sure that's easy for me to say because I'm not a banker, but you know, it seems to me that getting better business sense might just earn you more money than micromanaging what your employees can and can't wear (while you're at it - don't forget to bring a ruler the next time you go shopping for clothes).


  1. "In general, a blouse is worn with a jacket. When it very hot, and after validation of your superior, you can wear the shirt without a jacket."

    /mind in gutter

  2. "Not adpated to the morphology of the face" How mean! LOl, seriously these rules are OTT. :/

  3. Reading this make me want to punch someone in the face. I'm really a strong advocate of the facts that looks and professional skills are 2 different things and people should be judged on their skills only when it comes to their job.
    Now I have a cousin who's currently writing a thesis on the stereotypes going on about certain customer service related jobs and how people react when the stereotypes don't match the reality e.g. would we take a bank clerk seriously if they were dressed in goth or a beautician if she weren't wearing any makeup... I guess we're all guilty of having some of these useless expectations but this company is taking it a bit too far!

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  5. Ok, we all understand that appearances can sometimes cause us to draw conclusions about one another, but most of us I'd like to think know there's more to a book than it's cover.

    For me I don't judge a business based solely off of it's appearance, but also off of things like it appearing organized, the company actually does as it says and practices good customer service, and that they aren't ripping me off or harassing me. Too many times I find businesses cutting corners on everything and then claiming stupid things like the above are the reasons for why they have a loss in customer retention.

    Or my favorite is the company I used to work for who swears by their old addage of saving and slashing prices compared to competition when in fact they are not given our current economy. You're lucky if you're saving a penny per item in the store, but we have lower prices then everywhere else. It's deceitful, lying, and in all honesty you seem to be calling your customers idiots in thinking we are unaware of the lack in savings. It's time you come with a new advertising campaign and slogan morons!!


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