Cat collar and dog-hair trim not a great accessory, management trainer suggests

Call me picky, but I do have a thing about people looking professional in their work attire. I was in an organisation recently where the person attending to me looked less than professional – wearing a dark jersey covered in either cat fur, dog hair or their own hair, dark walk shorts, white sports socks and black trainer shoes. At a glance, the overall image was casual in comparison with the other staff and with the person’s collection of fur or hair accessories, a bit untidy. I wondered at the time whether the person realised they were covered in fur or hair and if they did, I wondered if they cared or, if they knew how they might look to someone meeting them for the first time. I recalled a comment made to me years ago along the lines of you get literally seconds to make a first impression, so it helps if you make it a good first impression. It is a difficult subject to address in the workplace, as not everyone cares deeply about their personal grooming; and not everyone has the same standards as to what good grooming would look like anyway. I wonder how many organisations (apart from airlines) have documented dress codes and of those that do, I wonder what level of detail they go into? I think they are good things to have as staff are the face of the organisation and they need to make great first impression, within seconds – but how many do?

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