Keeping Me in Stitches

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Uniform Debacle

The company I work for (a health organization with several hospitals in the city) has decided to change its uniform policy. I didn't care at first. Scrubs are scrubs. I'm basically trading my sleeping pajamas for my working pajamas. Comfiness abounds!

As of now, we're allowed to wear pretty much anything we want. I've got a whole closet in my spare room that is full of print scrubs that my mom has sewn for me. Half could be worn year round and the other half is for specific holidays.

July 1 that will all change. As a nurse, I must wear navy blue pants, a navy blue jacket (if I choose) and either a navy blue or sandstone (think khaki) scrub top. Shoes must be either navy or white. And socks are supposed to be white socks or nude stockings (hah!).

I can see depression looming.

So Friday morning I finished working a shift and went downstairs at my hospital to one of the conference rooms where we could try on the different styles of uniforms. As I full-time employee I was given a voucher good for 4 pieces of clothing. Not four uniforms.....four pieces. Given that I work 3 12-hour shifts in a row when I work weekends, only having two uniforms just isn't going to work for me. So I was already expecting to spend money.

And I'll just pause here to state this. I'm tall. Ok...5'10". But I inherited my dad's 6'3" legs. I must must must have at least a 33" inseam on my pants and a 34-36" is preferable to allow for shrinkage in the wash.

So I tell this to the little "personal shopper" lady who is trying to help me find what I want. I told her what I needed with pants (plus that I wanted cargo pockets on the pants....that's where I carry my work phone) and with scrub tops (front hip pockets and I'm also pretty skinny so I didn't want to swim in it).

This lady hands me a pair of cargo flares (not one of the included free styles and not in talls since they don't come in talls) and a medium women's top that actually fit what I wanted. Go into the dressing room. Try to put the pants on. The crotch is all the way up and the cuff of the pant is ending 3-4" above my ankle. Duh! I knew they wouldn't work but this lady wouldn't listen! The top was actually okay, but a little bit on the sloppy side of big. So I stepped out, traded the medium top for a small one and asked if they had any men's pants that fit the bill.

Took my small top and men's pants (and the ladies looked scandalized that a girl wanted to wear men's pants!) back to try them on. The pants were great....aside from the fact that they have an elastic waist and a zippered fly on them. But the top....oh the top! It fit great around, but they must think that the difference between someone who wears a medium and someone who wears a small is about 8" in height.

I kid you not! The top ended at the top of my hips, the pockets rested on my belly, and in order to get into the pockets (which I have to do at work about every 2 seconds) I would have to feel myself up. Lovely. Back out to the ladies I go. Asked them if they had tall people in mind when they designed these stupid outfits. No answer. Asked for a small men's top with front pockets (also not a design included on the free voucher). They had to hunt for one for me to try on because they figured that no men would want to try on a small. Stupid people.

Finally!!! Halleluiah!!! A combo that fit!!! Now for that I was completely decked out in men's clothing I moved over to the warm-up jackets. Normally I wear a v-neck cardigan with snaps. They only have v-necks with buttons and the large was huge and the sleeves ended two inches above my wrists. Switched over to the snap-front round neck and it's sleeves were also too short, but not by as much. Then I noticed that the cuffs had been rolled up by the person before me. Yes!!! And the jackets count on my voucher!!!!

So I'll be ordering four free jackets and four of the men's small scrub tops. What's that? Why no pants? Because they didn't have any talls to try on. The regulars fit, but only just and I'm scared they'll shrink in the wash. I'm going to order from a Canadian scrub company that I've always bought my pants from because navy is navy right? My boss is continuing to wear her Cherokee pants, so I figure I'll be safe. I may order one of the "required" brand just in case one of the house supervisors decided to go all fashion police on us. But I've already stated that to them that if there are people coming up the floor at two in the morning and insisting that we show them we're wearing all Landau brand, then I'm leaving this company.

Oh!! Didn't tell you the best part. All tops and jackets are going to have my company's logo embroidered on them. So they're basically branding us. What's next? Barcode tattoos? GPS locator chips? And may I note that the uppity ups who made this clothing change decision don't have to wear the stuff. They get to merrily keep wearing their suits and dress clothes for the little office jobs.

I'm going to be kicking and dragging my feet all the way to July 1.

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  • At 2:02 PM, Blogger Redford Phyl said…

    I firmly believe that if you have to wear their logo, then they need to foot the entire bill. You wonder who's getting the kickback on this. You know that someone is.

  • At 4:22 PM, Blogger Cheryl said…

    I spent a couple of days in the hospital last year. I can honestly say I did not give a rat's ass what the help was wearing, as long as they kept ice in the pitcher and good drugs in the IV.

  • At 12:40 AM, Blogger Michael said…

    Fie. Fie on them! (And July 1st? I don't want to have Canada day and my birthday associated with such a horrid executive call!)

  • At 8:01 AM, Blogger Judith said…

    We aren't required to wear a uniform per se at my company, but if we're going to wear a polo shirt with an embroidered logo it has to be one of two designs. We are given two free shirts from the company (we choose them from a catalog) that come embroidered with the company logo. This is mainly for the classroom instructors who have to wear either a shirt and tie when they teach OR a shirt with the company logo embroidered on it.

    I'm sorry they couldn't take a better approach to the uniforms. I know I have a helluva time finding slacks that fit (try being fat AND tall, girl!) Have you tried JC Penney for slacks? I think there is a Docker's brand of trousers for women that will come with a 34" inseam.

    Good luck!


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