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Uniforms For the Help Desk? 837

An anonymous reader writes "I am an IT worker in a mid sized company with approximately 500 employees. There are 30 people on the IT staff, 6 of whom are on the help desk. Our help desk does have significant visibility in the company, and most people know us by face (some by name). Recently the idea has been floated up the management chain to have these help desk workers wear IT department branded shirts. The idea is to promote visibility and unity. Wearing of these shirts would be mandatory Monday through Thursday. The shirts would not be identical (there would be several styles offered). We would be the only department with specific garments outside of the normal business casual dress code. Is management out of line with the industry in promoting this sort of policy change? Is the singling out of 6 employees as 'the IT guys' a step in the right direction, or does it detract from the professionalism that we are trying to display as a department?"
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Uniforms For the Help Desk?

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  • by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:11PM (#30587428)

    Chaps are, by definition, assless. It's like saying "a vest without arms" or "mittens without individual fingers"

  • Not just fast food (Score:3, Informative)

    by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:18PM (#30587540) Journal

    When I worked in technical marketing, making low six figures, we wore polo shirts provided by the company that had the product names for which one was responsible stitched above the pocket. If your area of responsibility included several products, you could end up with a closet full of free polo shirts. I wouldn't consider that "fast food-ish". Of course, they were nice, cotton shirts that fit well. I would perhaps feel different if they were 100% polyester or vinyl one-size-fits-all monstrosities like I had to wear as a busboy in college.

  • by ( 919185 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @06:57PM (#30588136)
    This is why I buy security uniform ties. One swift yank and the Velcro(TM) closure opens.
  • Doing uniforms right (Score:3, Informative)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday December 29, 2009 @10:56PM (#30590048) Homepage

    If you're going to do it, do it right. Check out VF Imagewear [], the leading supplier of business uniforms. They even have a downloadable design tool.

    There are several ways to go. One is a lab coat, [] like the ones doctors wear. Aerospace companies have used those for decades. Another is auto-company style uniforms. [] Avoid ball caps unless you get the entire SWAT-team ensemble, which they offer.

  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Informative)

    by pnuema ( 523776 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @02:39AM (#30591076)
    Don't* go out of your way to mention your salary (unless asked), and if you do mention it, make sure they know that you consider your current salary inadequate.

    NO. Never disclose your salary. The proper response is "I won't tell you what I make, but I'll tell you what I want." Your salary is none of their business. If they insist they must know your salary, express dismay that they do not have confidence in their interviewing process, and walk away. They should know how much they are willing to pay to have a particular job done, and their interview process should be good enough to determine if you are capable of doing it. Alternatively, tell them you'd be happy to disclose your salary if the hiring manager discloses his.

    Always remember - the first person to throw out a number in a negotiation loses. Walk away before it happens to you (and if you didn't already know that you've lost any negotiation you aren't willing to walk away from, consider yourself informed).

  • by FictionPimp ( 712802 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @09:10AM (#30592388) Homepage

    Damn it! I used the wrong your (you're)!

    There goes my argument....

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Vindicator9000 ( 672761 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @09:45AM (#30592586)
    Healthcare. I work desktop support in healthcare.

    I've talked to other people who work desktop in this industry, and it seems to be the same all over the place. Most of the managers of IT are clinical people rather than IT people. They regard IT as an unnecessary evil, and would rather it be gone completely. The organization is setup so that no one can tell anyone no, least of all us. They don't care about job descriptions; here Desktop Support is a catchall, but they tell us that we're being paid the industry standard for Desktop, so we should be happy.

    So, when someone puts in a helpdesk ticket asking me to write them an access database, or fix one that they broke I have to do it. When someone puts in a helpdesk ticket ordering 100 computers, I have to do that. When someone wants an app written, I have to do that. When someone picks out some damned vendor package against our objections, I have to install it on the desktops, install it on the servers, and maintain both.

    Yes, it is in a flyover state, but my pay is still low for the area if they would pay me based on what I do rather than my job description.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @10:06AM (#30592772)

    500 users here, in a Public Company. Large infrastructure. Multiple locals spanning from Idaho to Indiana. We've got three staff members. Me for severs, network, and comps. Another for ERP, and finally a director.... So srsly.... what do you guys do all day?

    Beyond that, the "IT Guys" do get away with alot here. I daily wear jeans, sneakers and polo shirts, and have been known to wear jeans with holes and t-shirts with random IT sayings on them. (My favorite is the "No I will not fix your computer" shirt.)

    We get that slack from management because we know our job and do it well. No help desk, I run over 35 Servers, hundreds of computers, Cisco VOIP, Time Clocks, Wireless, Switches, Routers, Edge, etc. etc. etc.

    If they told me "uniform or bust." I'd say, "Uptime or Uniforms?" IT people don't "make" money for most companies, but what we need to do as a whole is realize where our place actually is in an organization. I've been playing this game too long for someone to make me look like a drive thru attendant. Here's the deal, you have to earn respect, and then you can say no to things. If you haven't earned that respect yet, then you will just have to go along with it or quit. That's always been my rule.

  • by DrSkwid ( 118965 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2009 @11:14AM (#30593692) Homepage Journal

    Croatian battle dress made popular by Louis XIV. []

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson