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Dress Codes

Here is a nomenclature oddity (at least in my mind). In Major League Baseball, the head coach of a team is called a Manager (I think this is the only sport that the coach is called a manager), however he is supposed to wear a team uniform. In the other sports, the Coach wears a suit and tie!

Some MLB Managers wear jackets or overshirts instead of the regulation uniform. MLB has started to mandate that the Manager wear a regular uniform to "Build respect for the game". Yesterday in the middle of the Yankee RedSox game Terry Francona, the RedSox manager, was asked by a Security Person if he was wearing a uniform top under his shirt and he had to show him. He had been told earlier that this was OK, but now it is possible that he won't be able to even do this. He may be fined! He claims that due to his circulation problems he doesn't want to wear tight clothing. He could just wear a loose baggy shirt like some of the other players do (so people can't see their butts?).

Many years ago when I worked on the Multics project for GE, but we were housed in the MIT building and most of us dressed informally. One day our Lab Manager said we should wear jackets and ties so that we would look professional! We started to comply and then one day he came to work wearing the most god-awful combination of plaid pants, a different plaid jacket, and a yet-different plaid tie. That was the last time I ever wore a tie and jacket to that job (with two exceptions). This lab manager left a few months later (not because of his clothing choice or policy).

The first exception was a bunch of years later when an important customer was coming in. We decided as a concession to the salesman we would wear suits and ties. I normally wore jeans or shorts and a tee shirt (I was a manager at the time). When the customers arrived they were wearing jeans and sports shirts and said - we knew that you all dressed informally.

The second exception was a time when we were having a formal project review with invited managers and senior technicians and the Program Manager was very concerned about a million issues including how we would be dressed. Having recently been to a Halloween party wearing a turkish robe and turban, I told her that is what I was going to wear to the review and she was genuinely worried. That day I wore a suit and tie and everyone was shocked.

Once I was interviewing a person for a managers position. I was wearing jeans and tshirt and he wore a suit and tie (we already knew each other professionally since he worked for one of our customers). He said "I hope you won't use the fact that I am dressed like this against me". I didn't and did hire him. I think he continued to wear a tie to when he worked in our office.

In a job prior to that at Honeywell they had a rule that you had to wear a tie and jacket in the machine room (programmers had to go into machine rooms in those days). The reason was that customers came into the machine room. I wasn't normally wearing a tie or jacket in those days but kept them in the office when I had to go to the machine room. At that time I was the project leader of the project and one of the programmers never wore a tie of jacket. I'd get a call from the head operator every day about his infraction and would always promise to talk to him about it (a mostly unkept promise since it would definitely be fruitless for his case).

Once in ~1958 I went to a bar in the Village (Greenwich) and the doorman said - you can't come in without a tie. I was wearing a boat neck sweater and for some odd reason had a tie on underneath it. I flipped down the collar to show him and said: "I am wearing a tie", and he let me in.

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What a odd entry for me to read as just this morning I was thinking about the IBM dress code and it may yet turn up as an entry. Strange timing.

By all means, an entry.

I remember at Honeywell you could always tell who the IBM repairman was by how he was dressed - we rented their key punch machines.

In the other sports, the Coach wears a suit and tie!

Not in the NFL. All NFL personnel, whether coaches, players, etc., are required to wear officially licensed NFL Gear made by Reebok. Recently Mike Nolan, coach of the San Francisco 49ers, made a stink about this: he wants to honor his father, formerly also a coach of the 49ers back in the day (25-30+ years ago) when most coaches did wear suits. The NFL finally relented a bit last season and allowed Nolan and Jacksonville Jaguars' coach Jack del Rio to wear specially designed (by Reebok) suits with their teams' logos. Nolan will continue to do so this season.

Yesterday in the middle of the Yankee RedSox game Terry Francona, the RedSox manager, was asked by a Security Person if he was wearing a uniform top under his shirt

Not only in the middle of the game, but during an inning. I suspect we'll never find out whose bonehead idea that was.

peter gammons (sp?) was on espn radio this morning and said that whoever was responsible for that should be fired. hell yes--in the middle of an inning, that's the most important thing a manager should be thinking about--whether he wore the right belt to work that day..... and that's the way to build respect for the game, boy howdy. talk about slapping a bandaid on.

The Red Sox broadcasters were pretty pissed, too. I see on the ESPN web page today that an MLB spokesman has issued a kind of half-hearted apology for the timing, and that Bob Watson's only published reaction is to be annoyed at Francona for discussing the incident.

On the subject of dress codes: next weekend is the 40th reunion of my college chorus's Asian tour, and included in a recent email with some details about the event is the following:

I was asked to make a pronouncement on dress code. If we all dress like a bunch of 60 year-olds it should be fine.

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