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Clients in pajamas

Clients in pajamas

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Where I live (and as I understand it, nationwide) there is currently a growing backlash against people wearing pajamas in unsuitable circumstances (mostly while picking their kids up from school or while doing their weekly shop), specifically people refusing to serve them or asking them to leave the premises.

Obviously(?) none of us would meet with clients in our pjs as even the most relaxed accountant would at least wear smart casual for a client meeting I'm sure, but what if a new client came to you for their initial meeting in their pjs, would you refuse to act for them?

For the sake of discussion, assume they are fully clothed in bottoms and tops, not in negligie or short nightdresses.

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24th May 2011 09:23

Depends

A number of thoughts spring to mind:

How do you, personally, actually feel about it?  For instance, I probably wouldn't care.Is there anyone else (other employees, other clients, etc) who might see said client and be offended?Could it reflect badly on your business if, e.g. your neighbours saw said client?How attractive is said clientHow valuable is said clientIs there an opportunity to increase the fees?

Are you sure that said client doesn't have any romantic interest in you personally? :-)

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24th May 2011 09:35

Made me think

Interesting one and loaded with potential, if you know what I mean.

My gut reaction was no but then given I would protest at a French style ban on Burkas in the UK and I impose my shorts & flip-flops on clients during the summer (but never my negilgee!), what's the difference? So on second thought no I would't turn them away I'd keep my prejudice to myself and judge them, without clothes on....that came out wrong didn't it?

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24th May 2011 09:41

I can beat that .... how about swim wear?!

 Yes, I have sat through a meeting with a hairdresser who was quite comfortable in her two piece swimming cossie. It was her house and she had been sunbathing before I turned up to our (pre-arranged) meeting. I have also seen every shade of licra / football kit and sat through a telephone conversation with a client who was clearly using a public restroom!

I suspect it is all part of being a sole practitioner, so PJ's = no problems !

 

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24th May 2011 09:45

I don't think I would like it

I would wonder if (s)he thought meeting me wasn't worth the effort of getting dressed. I would then go on to wonder if (s)he had the same attitude to everything and how this would affect our relationship.

EDIT: I should maybe point out that I do not do home visits. All meetings take place at my office and I have never had anyone turn up in pyjamas or swimsuit ... yet :)

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24th May 2011 10:11

Ah, but I am competing against people like you Shirley ...

 so if I can offer to seamlessly fit in with their working (or sunbathing) day then that could be a small edge for me. Actually, you might be surprised that one of the most frequent complaints I have had over the years is from clients who say they felt like school kids sitting outside the headmasters office when they went to see their previous-accountants! Moving the relationship to their base/home seems to suit those type of people as they feel more in control. I have had offices at different times over the 10 years but mainly they were used by me to eat my sandwiches in!! 

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24th May 2011 10:16

.

 

Some years ago I arrived for a pre-arranged meetingsonly to find the (very attractive) client fresh out of the shower with just a bath robe on.  Throughout the meeting she made little attempt to stop it gaping open at the top, so I kept strictly to business, made my excuses, and left.  I assumed this to be merely a matter of unfortunate timing (perhaps she always showers in a morning), but, a couple of months later upon returning the accounts (this time in the afternoon) I was faced with exactly the same scenario. On this occasion it was made very obvious what was on offer, so I remembered an urgent further appointment and again left.

The next time we needed to see this client I made sure that a female went to see her. Rather strangely she then moved to another accountants.  One client I was actually rather relieved to see the back of (not literally).

[Moderated: Could be perceived as offensive to other members]

 

 

 

 

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24th May 2011 10:22

Scrubs!

I've never seen a client in PJs - but I don't think it would bother me. But, when I was with the BMA and used to meet clients at their place of work, I did have a meeting with a doctor in bloodstained scrubs - he apologised for being late for our meeting because he'd had a 'bleeder' on the table! A little disconcerting but I coped. As I did with my very first BMA client metting when the doctor at Moorfields had to move the jar with the preserved human eye in off his desk it to make room for my papers!

And then there was the meeting at Ipswich Hospital where I sat in the waiting room of the clinic for some time before going in to see the doctor about his tax affairs. Half way through the meeting he took a call from a patient - and it was only when he started discussing, in detail, the symptoms of the patient's gonorrhea that I realised what sort of clinic it was - and (given that I lived not that far away) hoped that no one I knew had seen me go in!

Actually, PJs sound pretty tame, come to think of it!

Cathy

[email protected]

 

 

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24th May 2011 10:53

CD

Honest I don't approve or disapprove, it's up to you what you wear. 

I would imagine blind accountants having a laugh at your viiews though?

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24th May 2011 10:55

.

I would imagine blind accountants having a laugh at your viiews though?

Posted by Paul Scholes on Tue, 24/05/2011 - 10:53

 

If you cant see it you cant be offended by it - I can see it and I am offended by it.

I'm sure there are sections of society you wont work for, given your "green" views could you honestly take a race team as clients?  Would you represent a "massage parlour" against HMRC ? 

 

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24th May 2011 10:56

Home visits

Steve - some clients do want, or need, home visits, but it isn't part of my offering and I am happy for them to go to another accountant if this is a requirement. There are plenty of home-based accountants that offer this service so I don't feel guilty about my refusal.

I did home visits when I first started my practice, and they became a pain in the neck, and occasionally, a little scary. I was also messed about a lot by some clients, and some of the journeys were quite long, so I decided to charge these particular clients extra. When faced with extra charges they decided they could come into the office after all! After that I decided to charge all clients extra for the 'personal' service of home visits, and one-by-one they decided they could drop their records in after all, or telephone me instead of having a face-to-face meeting at their home.

It's a personal choice. I will occasionally go out to business premises during normal working hours, but never in the evenings or weekends and never to someones' home .... whether they are wearing pyjamas, or not :)

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24th May 2011 10:56

Doctors

Hehe, you have reminded me, we used to act for a few doctors and they were some of the most inattentively dressed people ever.  It was like they used to dress in the dark!

I assume they were genuinly too busy to match their clothes though :)

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24th May 2011 11:33

Dear CD

In an earlier thread you put the following question:

With accountants, everyone should be entitled to professional representation against the might of "the state" in the form of HMRC.  However, accountants are allowed to deny that representation and pick & choose who they will and wont represent, even basing that decision of purely personal prejudices.

I am merely questioning whether that is really fair, or indeed whether it is how professionals should behave.  If your doctor refused to treat you because he didnt approve of you being overweight, or smoking, or having red hair, or whatever, I#m certain you would not think he was behaving professionally.  Why should accountants be so different ?

Can we now take it that you think it is professional to refuse to represent, based on personal prejudices?

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24th May 2011 11:44

.

Can we now take it that you think it is professional to refuse to represent, based on personal prejudices?

 

Posted by WhichTyler on Tue, 24/05/2011 - 11:33

 

No - you can take it that I am prepared to represent anyone, [Moderated: Could be offensive to some of our members]

You may also take it that as someone who still has close connections with the armed forces I am not about to represent anyone who [Moderated: Could be offensive to some of our members] demonstrates their support for the enemies of this country who continue to murder our troops. 

You can also take it that if you were accused of murder I would happily represent you,  even if you were guilty, but that regardless of professional requirements I would not represent a murdering terrorist. 

Does that make my position clear ? 

[Moderated: Could be offensive to some of our members]

 

I'm flattered to see that you are such a fan that you keep a note of my postings going back many months.

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24th May 2011 11:47

...people to cover their face, particularly as it actually has nothing to do with their religion and is certainly not a requirement of their religion.

 

This is actually factually incorrect.

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24th May 2011 11:59

Assumptions

An awful lot of assumptions are being made here.

I cannot provide the proof (I can't be bothered trawling the net for articles), but isn't one of the criticism of the burkha being that the parents (or husband) insist on their wife/offspring wearing the burkha so as to remove the male 'temptation', and that girls are being forced into wearing it rather being allowed their freedom of choice? I am sure these are 'genuine' muslims and think they are just following tradition, whether we agree with it or not.

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24th May 2011 12:10

Quite a leap...

...to assume that [removed by mod - to reflect earlier moderation]

I fail to see the necessary connection

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24th May 2011 12:14

CD is correct ....

 being required by tradition is not the same as being required by ones religion. The Quaran requires only modesty and for 99% of muslim women this means the hijab (headscarf). The remaining 1% are either co-erced or are making a (poilitical) point not required by their religion. 

I saw an interview the other morning where as Muslim said ' why do we (non muslims) have no problem telling the difference between Ian Paisley and the Pope (both Christians) but we lump all muslims together. Well said that man.

 

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24th May 2011 12:20

Moderation

I've just moderated some of the points above so the last few postings are now out of context.

Whilst we do not mind a polite discussion about this, we are getting some complaints, just because of the very personal topic matter.

Please bear in mind the feelings of other members. We have members with wide ranging beliefs and religions. We also have members from other countries who use the site regularly.

Please stick to the topic or take the discussion elsewhere.

Many thanks

Jenny

 

 

 

 

 

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24th May 2011 12:25

.

The remaining 1% are either co-erced or are making a (political) point not required by their religion. 

 

Again, factually incorrect. There is a significant amount of evidence from religious sources to support those women who choose to wear the veil.

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24th May 2011 13:03

This has actually happened, however it was a specific insult whi

The founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg turned up to a meeting with a Hedge Fund in pyjamas as a specific insult courtesy of his childish business partner Sean Parker.

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=166963450010496

Did Mark really go to a meeting wearing pajamas?
Yes, but he wishes he hadn’t. Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital had been on Plaxo’s board (one of Sean Parker’s former companies) when Sean worked there, and Sean considered him a primary reason he was ousted from his own company. To get back at them, he convinced Zuckerberg to essentially throw a meeting. Aside from showing up late and in pajamas, he proceeded to give a presentation on why Sequoia should not invest in their venture. Needless to say, they never did. Now Zuckerberg states, “I assume we really offended them and now I feel really bad about that because they’re serious people trying to do good stuff and we wasted their time. It’s not a story I’m very proud of.” - The Facebook Effect book

I'm a bit more relaxed than a multi billion dollar hedge fund manager, but even I would be concerned about the mental state of anyone who thought it was okay to turn up to a meeting in nightware. I'd rather they just made their apologies and rescheduled.

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24th May 2011 13:33

Problems

When a wage-slave, I used to be very amused by some of the meetings I had with clients.  My employers had a fairly formal dress code with which I complied but I still looked like a scruffbag wearing a suit (some people look good in a suit, I do not).  I would welcome clients from all walks of life including musicians (subsequently convicted of drug possession), who felt that because they were coming to see their accountant, they should a suit.

So there we sat, neither of us comfortable with our attire, him thinking he has to deal with these boring 'suits' and me thinking "well you ain't very rock'n'roll, are you?" 

The issue's one of self-image and preconception.  If your client is wearing PJ's because he's eccentric then fine (and do mention it).  If he's wearing them deliberately to shock then ignore and bill him extra if you're mortified. 

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By zebaa
24th May 2011 13:33

Pension

I have helped pick pension fund managers, some of who dress formally and some of who dress informally. What sways matters is how they comunicate, but sometimes the informal ones are so 'laid back' as to seem disinterested.

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24th May 2011 14:16

.

Again, factually incorrect. There is a significant amount of evidence from religious sources to support those women who choose to wear the veil.

Posted by DazedByTheLight on Tue, 24/05/2011 - 12:25

 

I suggest you speak to muslim scholars (not self appointed rabble rousers but REAL schollars). They will tell you that it most defiunitely is NOT a requirement of their religion, nor is it even mentioned as an "optional extra".

The Quran merely urges men and women to dress and behave modestly in society (so if this means women must wear a burka - why not the men also as the same requirement is made of both sexes?). The Quran does not specifically mention the Burqa or tells women to wear such extremely confining clothes. The Ulema or the Scholars do agree that the Quran says women should not wear extremely revealing clothes.

[removed by mod - incorrect and offensive assumption]

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24th May 2011 14:20

Prejudice does what it says on the can

Did I say this thread had potential or did I say this thread had potential?  It's certainly an antidote to set of accounts I'm trying to prepare.  

There is a difference here between prejudice & discrimination.

If I ask a potential client what line he's in and he say animals, I would be using prejudice to turn him out because I guessed he ran an abattoir rather than a duck rescue service (I am thinking he doesn't come in spattered in blood with a meat hook in one hand).  If however he says I run the local fox hunt then I have sufficient information to discriminate and decide whether I am able to act for such a business.

So when someone arrives in PJs perhaps we should consider that their alarm clock didn't go off and they were so keen not to miss the opportunity to meet the best accountant in town, they didn't have time to change?

CD can you now distinguish between what someone wears and what someone choses to do?  There can be a world of difference.   Had to say you threw me a bit with the Massage Parlour thing, I've checked through all my "green" resources and there's no mention of them so yes, only too happy to represent them, I'll even bring my own oil.

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24th May 2011 14:22

Getting back on topic -

we have no "dress code", so long as you are clean and decent. Certainly ties are virtually "banned" in the office.  There is nothing more stupid (in my opinion) than making people wear jacket, ties etc on a hot day.

I've always thought the actions of large firms to be sexist in that in summer the women can wear loose fitting thin summer dresses, but the men are expected to remain trussed up like turkeys.

 

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24th May 2011 14:34

Hot day? In Wales?!

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24th May 2011 14:41

In a past life

A formerly great British institution that had sadly been subject to a Merger with an American counterpart. As happens in these situations American style dress code prevailed and we ended up replacing Friday (previously known as POETS day) with a strange concept known as "Casual Day".

There was no specific dress code for "Casual Day", however the regime was described as "at a minimum smart casual - no jeans, shorts, tee-shirts or flip-flops".

In an effort to seem at least involved, if not committed, most of the British staff duly turned up on "Casual Day" without ties or their usual two-piece suits. Except for one rather excellent gentleman of senior years, who appeared in the full regalia of white shirt, dark blue tie and pin-striped suit and carnation.

When challenged by one of the new American managers on his attitude to "Casual Day", he explained (without any hint of patronization), that "there was no starch in his shirt today".

His spirit lives on to this day.

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24th May 2011 14:52

Paul

CD can you now distinguish between what someone wears and what someone choses to do?  Posted by Paul Scholes on Tue, 24/05/2011 - 14:20

 

You answer your own question by your reference to someone blood spatter with a meat hook in his hand.  As someone who served in Northern Ireland would you expect me to accept someone with IRA tattooed on their hand as a client ? Would you expect me to represent a poppy burner ?

Perhaps you find it difficult to understand, but some of us who have fought for our country are fiercly proud of OUR country. We were, and still are, prepared to die to protect our country. Many have and some still are dying. War doesnt end when politicians sign an armistice, it doesnt end when you leave the army. My own uncle died on VJ day, exactly 60 years after he was rescued from a Japanese POW camp - yet 60 years later it was what happened to him then that killed him, after 60 years of living with the effects of his ordeal.   

So no, I will not accept as a client anyone I perceive to be part of the very real current attempts to undermine and destroy my country.

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24th May 2011 14:58

.

I suggest you speak to muslim scholars (not self appointed rabble rousers but REAL schollars). They will tell you that it most defiunitely is NOT a requirement of their religion, nor is it even mentioned as an "optional extra".

 

I am really sorry but you are still wrong. I have actually done extensive research on the subject and although there is scholarly disagreement (which is why not all Muslims believe that wearing the veil is mandatory), there is still sufficient evidence to explain it being beneficial/desirable/recommended. I am also acquainted with Muslim women who choose to wear the veil and had to convince their parents/husbands.

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By pembo
24th May 2011 15:13

urban myth
Hot day? In Wales?! 

Posted by thisistibi on Tue, 24/05/2011 - 14:34

Slightly off topic however on point of clarity/correction:

1. CD does not live in wales I believe unless he recently moved back there.

2.When I went out for my lunchtime walk in Bute Park (Cardiff) it was actually quite hot sitting in the sun being a glorious day not a cloud in the sky. Unfortunately it'll probably chuck it down by the second over of the test on Thursday...

I never wear a tie these days in the office and Friday is offically dress down day (bit naff but the staff like it). Don't care what clients potential or otherwise wear or indeed do not wear as long as they pay up on time....

Incidentally Michael Moritz was head boy at Howardian High in upper sixth when I was in lower....wonder which of us made the right career move...

Anyway back to the clarified ISAs planning memo....

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24th May 2011 15:43

Keep it in your pyjamas

The question is about pyjamas and swimwear, not about religious get-up.  Any replies from this point forward which do not reply to the OP directly will be removed without question/contact.

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24th May 2011 15:44

Done it again

Apologies to all for starting it all off with the B word, G** knows how we end up again with the war, Northern Ireland and the destruction of the country (both if you have dual nationality).  What makes it even more Monty Python is that it started with Pyjamas!

My wife's in the Brecons at the moment, I'll report back on the weather when she calls later, other than that, think I'll retire from this one before we get onto HMRC.

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24th May 2011 16:02

Moderation - or censorship ?

Yet again a reply is removed - but the inflamatory, totally incorrect and grossly offensive post to which the reply was made remains. ???????????????????????????

 

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By Flash Gordon
24th May 2011 16:20

Not quite pyjamas

And luckily not swimwear but its reminded me of a former client whose employee I had the misfortune of dealing with on a regular basis. One day I went there and she was wearing a rather low cut top - unfortunately she was a not particularly attractive and rather chubby person and the low cut top didn't do her any favours. Moreover it didn't do me any favours and I was struggling to know where to look to avoid the sight. I was traumatised for hours afterwards! A nice pair of flannel pjs would have infinitely preferable :)

In fact I'd rather all my female clients wore thick woolly jumpers so I didn't risk getting distracted!

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24th May 2011 19:29

.

[entire comment removed by mod - original post quoted deleted by OP]

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By SteveOH
24th May 2011 20:15

I must have been living in the Batcave for the last year or so

Who are these people who go shopping in their pyjamas? The OP said that there is a growing backlash against them. I've never even seen a frontlash - or whatever the opposite is.

Do you mean they actually go shopping in their pyjamas? What do they do when they wake up in the morning? Do they wash and brush their teeth without putting outdoor clothes on? Do they put clean underwear on and then put their pjs back on?

I am being totally truthful when I say that I have not seen this before. Certainly, if they arrived at my office dressed that way, they would get short shrift from me. Followed by a phone call to the guys in white coats.

I think that it is rude and disrespectful and I am amazed at some of the laid back answers. I'm as tolerant as the next man or woman; probably even more so. But this takes the biscuit (sorry for mentioning biscuits, First Tab).

I must be getting old.

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By Flash Gordon
24th May 2011 20:24

Maybe it's me!

I do have a couple of t-shirts that are part of M&S mens' nightwear or loungewear (same difference in my opinion) but that I wear as normal t-shirts. Occasionally I run out of milk / chinese takeaways / cake and nip out in them and joggers so maybe folk think I'm in my jim jams?! To be fair I don't wear slippers as well so I have made an effort. Maybe I'll try the dressing gown look next time, just for effect :)

 

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24th May 2011 21:07

Flash

Yes, its hard to tell the difference sometimes between nightwear & daywear, but the slippers may give the game away :)

I haven't experienced it myself, but I think I would be looking for the hidden camera if someone came into my office wearing pyjamas.

 

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24th May 2011 22:28

youre busted
[entire comment removed by mod - quotes a comment which has been removed by OP]

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24th May 2011 23:15

.
[as above]

 

 

 

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25th May 2011 08:49

Oh dear

[entire comment removed by mod - continuation of above, not relevant to OP]

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25th May 2011 08:50

.

"Who are these people who go shopping in their pyjamas? The OP said that there is a growing backlash against them. I've never even seen a frontlash - or whatever the opposite is."

I would go with 'frontlash' too :)

We used to see people shopping at Morrisons in Mansfield when I visited my in laws; since then I have noticed a lot of articles in our local paper arguing as to whether they should be allowed to shop/pick up their kids in their PJs.  It could still be a local thing though (perhaps I live in a chavvy place :) )

The main excuse is 'I'm too busy to dress what with having kids'.  Putting my full suit on takes less than a minute, surely they can throw on some clothes?

I should confess, I once went to a ice cream place in my dressing gown.  However, I was 8 and had just watched 'The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy' so I blame the Arthur Dent influence...

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25th May 2011 09:08

Decency

I am quite liberal in my views. So long as they are doing something informal, such as dropping the kids off in the car, or popping next door, and are decently covered and don't have 'bits' hanging out that may get them confused with a flasher, then I would leave them be.

It's a bit different though to turn up to a meeting in PJ's. I would consider they intended to be disrespectful, wanted to shock or provoke a reaction, or were just lazy. Or maybe all three.

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25th May 2011 14:28

Getting Old
I can remember the days when the mothers would stand on the doorsteps in their slippers, dressing gown and curlers calling us wayward children to return home. Is this me showing my age or what?

I also remember being asked to leave a shop because I was wearing slippers. However as only 2 months before I had broken bones in both feet due to a very bad parachute landing, my swollen feet would not fit in anything else! Sadly the shopkeeper did not take any kindness on me and I had to get my partner to obtain the shopping when she got home.

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26th May 2011 09:13

Different on holiday

It's always struck me as odd that I would never visit my local (South London) co-op in my swimming gear but when I'm down in sunny & glorious Swanage I do it all the time and nobody bats an eyelid.  But then again they probably avoid anyone in flippers, mask & wetsuit!

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By Monsoon
26th May 2011 09:26

I have office slippers

Does that count?!

I've never seen this phenomenon, but I am told that there are people in the local town who will visit Tesco in their PJs. I don't think I'd have a problem with someone who turned up here in their PJs - but I might have to ask them why they did it!

I have been known to turn up here in jeans and a hoodie some days, but then I know PJs are in a totally different league.....! I don't really have an issue with what people wear and the image that projects - though I'll make sure I'm not in a hoodie for meetings ;)

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26th May 2011 12:55

Still think that prejudice is the subject

20 years ago someone wearing hooded clothing would not necessarily generate the same response as today.

The family across the street to us are North African and the men regularly appear in neck to floor plain thin cotton gowns (for want of a better word).  Yes, as has been the case on a number of occasions, if they stand in front of the sunlight it's clear that's all they are wearing but other than that, if they turned up at my office the initial (gut) reaction would be completely different to the white guy next door turning up in the same clothing (or night dress as it might be perceived).

I'm also used to seeing women in Hijabs but did a double take yesterday in sainsburys when the face was clearly white western.

So, as I said at the start, it's recognising whether the initial gut reaction, which tends to initiate prejudice, is valid or not and, if in doubt, to wait till you get all the facts.

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30th May 2011 20:17

Sometimes the client is underdressed for a reason

My VAT adviser once told me that the HMRC in Edinburgh turned up a a "gentlemen's" club in the city to discuss taxation issues ie were the "dancers" employed or self-employed?

Apparently, one of the aforementioned dancers had a rather excited look on her face as the lady and gentleman in business suits called her over.  A quick flash of HMRC ID cards later and the smile had vanished!

The subsequent interview was conducted wholly by the male member of the team while the female member was there simply to chaperone him and ensure that the dancer's clothing was not a distraction.  Whether HMRC had sent the chaperone or his wife had, I never found out.

 

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30th May 2011 23:41

.

 Whether HMRC had sent the chaperone or his wife had, I never found out.

 

 

Posted by taylorag on Mon, 30/05/2011 - 20:17

 

That reminds me of a "lady of the night" charged with soliciting. In the court a local police inspector gave evidence about the "scourge" of such ladies in the local town, how they were "clamping down" and making special patrols etcetera.

Unfortunately for the inspector, the lady concerned had a good memory for faces, and kept a note of the registration numbers of all her "customers".  The inspector's own car registration appeared in this book on several occasions :)

Needless to say the case fell apart after that revelation, the local press showed lots of interest, and I later heard that the inspector had been quietly transfered to a remote part of the county.

 

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By mwngiol
31st May 2011 12:54

PJ's

When I lived at my previous home and was nowhere near a supermarket, it wasn't rare for me to go into the local shop quite early and quite often there'd be women in there in PJs (never saw a man in PJs) who had just popped out quickly for some milk or some such. In that scenario I don't see a problem.

However to turn up for a meeting in PJs is entirely different and would suggest a certain level of eccentricity to say the least! I still wouldn't have a problem, but like Monsoon I wouldn't be able to resist asking why!

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