DEAR ABBY: I am a male in the training department at my office. A lot of times, because the people I train are new hires, there are dress code violations from people who appear to be testing the limits. Most of the violations involve women who wear clothing that’s too revealing, in spite of the fact they receive a document at the start of training explaining what is and is not appropriate attire.
I feel uncomfortable addressing dress code issues with the opposite sex. I have always asked a female in the department to do it for me. My problem is, my manager has told me I need to be able to deal with issues like this if I want to move forward in my career.
My question to you and your readers is, as a woman, would you feel more uncomfortable with a male boss addressing a “too much cleavage” or “skirt too short” issue than you would with another female? And have you any suggestions for wording in these situations? — DRESSED FOR SUCCESS IN VIRGINIA
DEAR DRESSED FOR SUCCESS: Speaking for myself, I think I’d prefer to hear that message from another woman — however, MY preference is beside the point. You have a job to do, and that is to enforce the rules of your company. So when you tell a female employee that she’s not complying with the dress code, use the wording in the employee handbook or the document the person received when she was hired. (Hopefully, the wording is specific.)
DEAR ABBY: I have a question about where and when to have a retirement party. I know it’s inappropriate for families to host a baby shower, but is that true of a retirement party?
My husband has worked for a nonprofit for 14 years and will retire in a few months. There isn’t an appropriate site for a party at his work. I have suggested an open house at our home a couple of weeks after his retirement date. My daughter thinks her house would be better because we are not supposed to have it.
My son-in-law dislikes entertaining at home, so I know it would be stressful for them. If we have it at our house, we can encourage friends and co-workers to come over again and stay in touch. I love to entertain and would happily prepare the food and decorate. Am I on the right track, Abby? — HAPPY THAT HUBBY’S RETIRING
DEAR HAPPY: You’re absolutely on the right track. No rule of etiquette forbids you from hosting the party for your husband if you wish.
According to Emily Post: “A retirement party may … be given by family and friends instead of — or in addition to — a company party. It’s generally a good idea to invite a few of the retiree’s close work mates. Because they share a work history with the retiree, they’ll be able to speak of specific accomplishments in any speeches and toasts.”
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.