This is the shirt I'm required to wear at my job as a server. It is, as you can see, long-sleeved, dark-colored, masculine looking and ugly. I would never in a million, trillion, possibly billion, years wear a shirt such as this if it wasn't part of my uniform. This heavy, uncomfortable shirt is matched with a pair of black polyester pants and, of course, the long dreadful black apron. Flattering and comfortable, fun, was not the look the management was hoping for when they selected our uniforms and those in authority succeed in making us all look as if we should be working at a collection agency hounding people to pay credit card bills.
Making the uniform particularly uncomfortable is the tight sleeves and the fact that my buttons never close properly. Myself, and some other of the female servers, have had to use safety pins to keep our buttons from popping and revealing more than just our name tags. More than once I've walked away from a table and realized my bra had been showing. No one seems to care at the table which is a whole other subject for a later blog on aging.
The shirt is particularly uncomfortable now that temperatures have rising outside to more than 100 degrees with the kitchen often even hotter. A friend asked me recently, in a truly perplexed tone of voice, "doesn't management want you to be comfortable?" One look at this shirt gives you the answer. I thought maybe wearing tight, heavy clothes while carrying trays and working near big ovens might help me sweat off the pounds but no such luck yet.
I have had many dreadful uniforms throughout my server career. At a Mexican restaurant I wore a orange and white striped dress with puffed sleeves. I looked as if I should be in the cast of Sound of Music. One restaurant owner required us to wear starched white shirts and white aprons to serve pizzas and sloppy burgers. I itched at that job a lot. Like most every server in the world, I've had to wear tons of black and white and now when I wear black and white in my personal life I have to resist wanting to pick up a tray or bus a table. In my long-term waitress experience, I've found the person who selects the uniform is usually the manager who comes to work wearing a short sleeved blouse, pretty dress, or loose-fitting, light shirt and cotton pants. That's okay. I believe in karma.
Now here's a uniform that made me think that maybe I don't have it so bad, after all. The boots look sexy, but painful, the belt would cinch my waist and I think she's wearing, gasp, panty hose! However, she does look as if she's having a good time and she probably goes dancing after work because those boots look as if they are made for walking. So I guess I'll be grateful for my ugly brown shirt, at least it doesn't show the stains. And recently I was talking to a woman who was in Kenya and told me they don't even have toothbrushes there so, really, what do I have to complain about in my easy life.
My writer friend, Rita, always poses a question at the end of her blog so I'm going to copy her and ask, What was the ugliest uniform you ever had to wear at a job?