I’M slightly annoyed that I’m even talking about this issue at all because in my opinion, it shouldn’t be an issue, but the topic just refuses to go away so I might as well just throw my two cents into the mix.
Last week, a Public Service Announcement was made with regard to the required dress code when entering the offices of the Greaham Louisy Administrative Building.
In the announcement, it states;
“The Department of the Public Service solicits the cooperation of the public to maintain an acceptable level of professionalism and office etiquette when visiting the offices of the Greaham Louisy Administrative Building.
As a result, the following dress code has been activated with immediate effect: bandanas, du-rags, halter tops, spaghetti straps, tank tops, cropped or open back tops that expose one’s bare back or midriff, outrageously short shorts, skirts or dresses, T-shirts with offensive words, and visible underwear are not allowed.
Additionally, members of the public are asked to note that national identification cards (IDs) must be presented to gain entry into the Greaham Louisy Administrative Building, as there has been a spate of incidents where members of the public fake their identity in order to access public officers or officials within the building.”
Almost as soon as this announcement became widespread, the backlash roared in like an overdue tsunami and I was baffled, to say the least.
The first reason why I was so dumbfounded was that when I read the announcement, my immediate thought was “Oh ok, they are reminding the public about the dress code that was implemented over two years ago.”
Yes, you read right, this dress code has been around for YEARS now. However, it was poorly enforced as the building’s security guards were either very lenient, discretionary or simply unaware of the implementation and allowed people to go through regardless of how they were dressed.
On the other hand, I need to stress the fact that although it was poorly enforced, that’s not to say that it absolutely wasn’t I know that for a fact because I was turned away two years ago whilst wearing sleeveless work attire (I was unaware of the dress code)…I was upset and embarrassed but I learnt my lesson and since then, it has never happened to me again.
So when I heard people going ape on the subject matter and saying all sorts, specifically that it was the UWP Administration’s way of stepping on the throats of the “little people”, I was like; “OH PLEASE!!!”
It was like UWP opposers were just lying in wait for the next controversy or scandal to emerge so that they could swoop in and slander or defame the administration…only thing is, on this occasion, they jumped the gun because there was no scandal or controversy to speak of.
However, if that’s what they want to insist upon, then they really need to take up their issues with the people who actually implemented the code…the SLP Administration.
People who fit that category of lying in wait for the next “roro” to break, really need to take up a hobby or something…I suggest Solitaire, Soduku or even gardening.
Now the second reason why I was baffled, this one actually caused my shock to eventually turn to exasperation.
The general excuse behind the uproar was that it was an infringement on the rights of people and that this was just another form of oppression for the “little people”
Ok, hold up, wait a minute…the same “little people” who we are so concerned about, when they are going to a job interview or to court, do they go dressed in spaghetti straps with low waist shorts and flip flops or caps on their heads, jeans that expose their boxer shorts and vests?
Are you trying to convince me that these same people are so destitute that they don’t even have appropriate attire to attend a funeral or church in general?
The people going around making up these poor excuses really need to go sit in a corner somewhere with their dunce caps and stay there until they realise just how foolish and ignorant they sound.
You, the readers know how much I hate comparing St. Lucia to any other country but I do it when I really want to drive home a point, well here’s some food for thought…which American have you seen visiting the White House to conduct any kind of business, enter with T-shirts and shorts etc? Over in the UK, who would dare to even attempt to enter Buckingham Palace or even Number 10 Downing Street which is the official residence of the Prime Minister, in the attire mentioned above?
You might be thinking that this is a totally different situation right? But why and how is it though?
We are talking about the building in which the head of our nation operates, be he/she UWP or SLP. Why is it so outrageous to request some discipline and courtesy in that respect?
Regardless of one’s financial status, as part of our culture, we know good and well that we were brought up to always present ourselves decently when needs be…from our church days when we were dressed in our “Sunday best”, to the times when our parents/guardians were expecting company and we had no choice but to go get cleaned up to look our best.
So, please, spare me the nonsense about infringement on human rights because 1. You know better and 2. If you have no qualms about dressing appropriately and presentable for church, court, job interview, etc, then you should surely have the same respect when entering the building which is used by the nation’s Prime Minister.
And might I point out the obvious, in case you missed it, whilst I mentioned Sunday best etc, this isn’t even to say that this is what the dress code is stipulating…you don’t HAVE to wear a suit and tie, all they are asking for, is that your body is appropriately covered up. So yes, you can wear jeans and a T-shirt, but surely you should know that offensive T-shirts and jeans that either expose your underwear or that are too short are not appropriate for the offices of the Prime Minister’s building.
It is high time that we get rid of this kind of backward small-mindedness because as trivial as it might seem, this is just one of the thousand of issues keeping our nation further away from progression and will forever keep us in the dust (if we’re even so lucky) of other developing nations.
Adhering to something as minor as this is not going to take any skin off your back, what it does put on your back however, is a sense of civility and surely, you can’t take issue with that kind of weight can you?