I am the boss ..... how would you feel if your boss did this

(35 Posts)

I have a dress code for work and whilst my dh ignores it and dresses as he pleases (smartly as it happens but, for example, he doesn't wear a tie) I have always adhered to what I expect the staff to wear.
But do I have to - or, as the boss, can I get away with wearing what I like? I would be setting a bad example wouldn't I?

Yes it is all very complicated. Marriage-wise it is also very complicated. But after decades of feeling trapped and totally unable to see a 'future' it is all beginning to fall into place.
I get to go 'out' to work - and earn money that will be in my control. (Dh is not good with money) We get to stay living in our big house. Dh would 'earn' an income from the lodgers and not have to go 'out to work'. The marriage is sustainable under those circumstances. My work could even lead to 'live-in' appointments which would suit me.

The business IS sale-able, so no need for staff redundancies/winding up. We have just gone through the redundancy procedure with one role in the business and it was unbelievable stressful!!! Not helped by dh being carted off to hospital and diagnosed with epilepsy the day before one of the crucial meetings.

Even if dh continued to run the business, he would constantly expect me to still 'fill in'. That is what I am fed up with - no recognition/reward and constant undermining from dh. I do understand why people say I should LTB - but that is really not an option.

MaryBateman Sat 27-Jul-13 00:18:56

No I know. Sorry I've had wine so probably didn't word my post brilliantly. He does indeed sound like a total loser. Perhaps the OP could sack him - if he was doing that bad a job - and appoint someone else to cover their roles whilst she does the new job?

AnnabelleLee Sat 27-Jul-13 00:13:09

Well of course, I wasn't suggesting it was simple, I was more focusing on the personal relationship than the professional. but he ran the business before with minimal effort from her, so maybe he can go back to that?

MaryBateman Sat 27-Jul-13 00:11:44

It's a lot more complicated than that AnnabelleLee as a partner/director in the business the OP will be liable for any debts that the business owes and could potentially be made bankrupt if the business/she/her DH cannot cover them.

She needs specialist legal/accountancy advice before agreeing to wind down the business as to what her liabilties are. There's a number of staff members who will be at least expecting the minimum redundancy payments they are entitled to. It sounds horribly messy. Please get proper advice op.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 27-Jul-13 00:07:29

Well, I'd demote your DH to 'lowly worker' and employ a manager. It would cost but probably repay you before long.

Otherwise yes, take the other job, sell the business and he can do the landlord jobs.

I would not be able to put up with him undermining me, while contributing less and taking less responsibility. One of you needs to be the boss at work and it sounds very much like it's you.

AnnabelleLee Fri 26-Jul-13 23:58:00

You could get the job and kick him out. Seriously, what does he add to your life? He comes across as a total loser, tbh.

MaryBateman Fri 26-Jul-13 23:29:54

Have you taken any advice from an accountant as to how much it would cost to wind up the business? If you make your employees redundant they would be legally entitled to a certain amount. Walking away could cost you a great deal more than trying to keep it going.

And your Dh sounds like a liability or to use another word I've learnt on here - a cocklodger. He dislikes work of any sort? Don't we all if we're honest. But in the real world we all have to work to reap the benefits don't we and we know it and do it. I think your business is the least of your problems to be honest.

If only I could get my dh to step back a bit - but no, I 've tried that.
Dh has on more than one occasion told the staff to ignore what I say - but he is so rarely there, it is not surprising they sometimes turn to me for a decision. And I totally agree that the dress code thing is such a tiny, tiny detail in the whole scheme of things. The fact that for the first time ever I just didn't care what I wore to work one evening just seemed to sum up in one tiny detail how completely fed up I am with the whole thing.

Dh has always hated the business - hence his reluctance to throw himself into it. But he somehow kept it going ok for the first 13 years(with me playing a minimal role) Then, when the children were older I began to take a more active role and we had a really good few years. But the recession has really hit us over the last few years. We are both getting too old to want to keep up with latest trends in the industry. We have no funds left to reinvest in the upkeep of the premises ....
I can't see any positives to hanging on.
I can earn double what we have jointly been earning per annum. Dh dislikes work of any sort but we have a big enough house that we already have one lodger and, if we get the appropriate landlords licenc, and the associated fire/gas/electricity checks then we could get a second lodger, and possibly a third. Dh's job would then be maintaining the house and he would 'earn' the rental income. Of course we could alternatively run a Bed and Breakfast business from home but there is no way dh would get up and cook breakfasts, nor would he deal with laundry or cleaning so I don't want to go down that route.

MaryBateman Fri 26-Jul-13 21:58:33

So rather than walking away to take a paid job elsewhere - which I've no doubt is very tempting - could you get your DH to step back a bit? Take partial retirement perhaps? Or lead on a project that takes him away from the day to day management stuff so you can get the business into shape to either sell it or build it up to provide for your retirement.

The dress code is such a tiny thing. In the great scheme of managing your business does it really make that much difference? If you went in on Monday and said "Dear staff, I've decided to do away with the dress code" would it have a horrendous effect on your productivity/profitability/company reputation or would it actually make your staff really happy/more comfortable/more motivated? You really need to think about what actually matters. Does it matter?

oops sorry xposted there maryb. And yes demotivating for staff.

So, I think it is pretty clear that I no longer care whether I am respected by the other members of staff. I never thought I would be saying that!!
Dh is just beginning to come round to the idea that we should try and sell up, and hopefully he will grasp that notion more firmly as my commitment to the business declines.
Another consideration is that dh can retire in 2 years time - but I have another 11 years of working life - and I may not even want to retire then. So if I am going to start in a totally new career I need to start asap, and not wait until dh retires (when I will be 58).

MaryBateman Fri 26-Jul-13 21:37:04

Well it all depends on what your business is and what your staff are expected to do as to how they should dress. Your post doesn't give enough details. I know that some people think that staff have to be wearing a formal business suit to act professionally but in a call centre environment it really doesn't work like that. if they're dealing with face to face contact with customers that's different again. Formal office dress does not necessarily deliver good customer service.

But yes, their senior leaders should also comply with any policies in respect of dress that they expect their staff to. Can you imagine working through the heatwave last week in a stuffy office having to wear a suit, shirt and tie or skirt, jacket, blouse and tights whilst your boss swans in wearing shorts and a t-shirt? De-motivating much?

To those who are surprised I am even asking - I totally agree. I have always tried to lead by example, and have always set a high standard for myself (higher than I expect my staff to adhere to). I have had endless arguments with dh over this - and he still doesn't 'get it'.

We have run our business for over 20 years and whilst I have strived and strived to maintain excellent standards in every aspect, dh has preferred to 'bumble along' doing as little as possible and undermining me at every turn. He even moans every time I go to work - saying he doesn't know why I work so hard!!!! I honestly don't now how we have survived thislong - business-wise and marriage-wise.

Now after 23 years, I think I have finally run out energy to keep it all going any longer. I just don't care any more - hence wanting to flout my own dress code rules!! The last 3 years have been especiially tough (we have earned less than £15 pa - which is less than even our lowest paid KP) but dh has insisted he wants to keep going - but it is only because he can't envisage doing anything else.
A few months ago he hired aBusiness Mentor to give us some guidance on how to revive business and lo and behold she told him all the things that I knew we should be doing. But dh, being dh, had chosen to ignore me. And now he has not followed through one even one single suggestion form the business mentor. That is the final straw for me.

I have been offered a job elsewhere that I KNOW I would enjoy and be good at - and I would get PAID!!!!!
oops - gotta go.

CookieDoughKid Fri 26-Jul-13 20:10:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alwaysinamuckingfuddle Fri 26-Jul-13 00:01:07

I can't believe you're even asking this.

If you have a company dress code then you and your DH should both be abiding by it. If you didn't, I would take it with a pinch of salt personally.

daimbardiva Wed 24-Jul-13 16:15:01

If you have standards you expect your staff to adhere to, you should adhere to them too, or even go a bit smarter to set an example. This is what I try to do but some of my team are still scruffy as scruffy can be

KatyMac Wed 24-Jul-13 16:13:06

I wear the same unless I have a meeting with an outside agency; they my team make me dress up so it's obvious I'm in charge

I encourage coolness in acceptable (non uniform) colours in this weather (so black, white, grey, lilac, blue etc not pink, peach, yellow uniform is dark purple)

I have said anyone brave enough can wear hotpants.....but as we are mostly middle aged no-one does wink

Ragwort Wed 24-Jul-13 16:11:12

Of course you should lead by example, as Flowery says, why are you even asking?

ResNulis Wed 24-Jul-13 16:09:47

X post

ResNulis Wed 24-Jul-13 16:09:23

Lead by example.

That said, in this weather it has just been sensible to allow 'heatwave adjustments'.....no ties in the office was the first on the list.

Crinkle77 Wed 24-Jul-13 16:05:48

I think you should lead by example

I would feel pissed off although I like dressing smartly for work, it helps me feel more focused although I'm faking it till I make it.

VBisme Sat 20-Jul-13 12:17:32

You should be dressing more smartly than you expect your staff to dress.

flowery Sat 20-Jul-13 12:14:15

I'm a bit surprised it's even occurring to you that this might be ok tbh.

If you are fine with whatever it is you want to wear being worn at work, then relax the dress code for everyone accordingly.

Yes you can "get away with it", in that no one is going to discipline you, but employees don't work effectively or productively when they are irritated by and resentful of their boss.

chickensaladagain Sat 20-Jul-13 06:34:51

What business is it that people are still wearing ties?

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