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When Good Days Go Bad...

Monday, February 04, 2013

I went to a conference last week with my boss. It was fun and the conference was very motivating and informative, and I got an appointment to go visit my old job, which was awesome. I guess it wasn't a big deal (getting an appointment with people you know really, really well), but I was pretty proud of it anyhow, since my new job really couldn't have done it without me emoticon and was so happy to see them, and they were happy to see me, so she saw how missed I was.

Today started out fine. I ate the same breakfast I read a Success Story person eats. I took a portion-controlled meal to work. I had an apple for a snack. I was productive, was getting tons done, and was all-around satisfied.

Then, my boss came into my office. She'd been saying there was something she wanted to talk to me about for a few days, but kept forgetting what it was. She remembered, finally!

She closed the door.


She told me that for this next trip this week, please make sure I pack more blazers this time, because some of the conferences are more fancy than others, so sweaters are fine for work, because it's work, but for the type-places where I used to work, it's better to be more formal. And what I wore the day we came back to work was good, "with the heels."

She was kind, but not sneaky enough. After she left, I wanted to cry. So I closed my door again and did.

I did wear blazers to the conference. To my old job (which is one of those "DC-type" jobs--people hear where you work and go ooooh!, but it's really not that big of a deal), I did wear a sweater or something (I think). I thought about it. I considered what other visitors had worn when I hosted them. There may have even been a passing thought or two about what my boss would think. But in the end, I made my decision based on what I wore there every day for FOUR YEARS. I wouldn't have worn such a thing to a different type-place, but for this one, I mean, com'on. I KNOW how to dress for that place, way better than she ever would.

And, well, yeah, I wore a nice suit the day we returned to the office, because my blazers were at the dry-cleaners, and because it was one thing.

One thing, because when I was packing, I looked at all my nice suits, and I knew that, before I packed them, I'd have to try them on. I've gained 15-20 pounds depending on the day since I accepted this job offer, and I'm not even 5 feet tall. I just couldn't take all that rejection from my suits. When I got back, I was able to put one on and wear it, so long as I left it unbuttoned.

So I really feel like this was unfair. I left everything for this job, for this chance to work with her. I left my husband, and my house, and even my only overweight-bordering-on-obese body and upgraded to the next larger model. Now I feel like she took my pride, too. And I just feel like I suck. My biggest fear in life is getting in trouble for something I didn't know what wrong or didn't do...I know this doesn't qualify as trouble, but criticism from an authority figure counts.

I didn't tell her all this. Maybe I should have, but I was so gobsmacked by this, that I just agreed. But maybe she should know I'm not an idiot, and that I KNOW HOW TO DRESS FOR THAT PLACE, because I did it EVERY STINKIN' DAY, but I wouldn't have worn the same thing for strangers. She's struggling with weight; maybe she should know that I'm limited by the wardrobe I bought for who I planned to be the heaviest me ever, and that a teeny-tiny portion of the blame for my extra-voluptuousness belongs on her for being dumb enough to hire someone who doesn't know how to dress themselves appropriately in business settings.

And that she really hurt my feelings.

I should take this as a challenge, or put a positive spin on it. And I will. But first I need to get all my crying out. And maybe drink a (light) beer. Or two.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon just think how hot you'll look at goal'll rock your clothes!! You will get there!! I know you will!!

    Remember what she said was all about her not about you...people can be so cruel sometimes!!
    1692 days ago
    Ugh, I don't know what I would do if I had to dress up, let alone wear suits to work! I don't even have a full suit, just suit elements like nice pants, blazers, skirts etc but I never wear them because I hate how boxy I look! To me, dressing up is not wearing jeans, LOL. So I really really feel for you and how embarrassing and humiliating you felt. Plus I agree that it's insulting for her to call out what you wore to your old workplace when obviously you would know what's appropriate! I would maybe just let this one go but if it gets brought up again for some reason you can mention that you had thought about it and chosen the proper attire based on your knowledge of the workplace. Well, I think we need to get our butts in gear so we can fit into our nice clothes - your suits and my future wedding dress. I need to message you, I've been slacking on that end but I miss you and need to catch up! Hope you're feeling better now emoticon
    1716 days ago
    Oh, I feel for you! That sucks! It reminded me of a review I had with a boss years and years ago...she had mentioned something about me wearing knit pants rather than cotton or wool ones, and how they were less professional than wool, or cotton, etc....I ended up explaining to her that I was wearing them because of my weight, and then I think that she felt sorry she had said anything. (Plus, this was NOT a dressy job!) There was nothing in the dress code about wearing knit pants, only jeans or sweats, and a heavier boss I had later DID wear knit pants! The boss I had the review with was a very slim, petite woman, and I think that it never occurred to her that anyone would let a weight issue effect their wardrobe.
    1716 days ago
    Well, I think your new boss showed poor judgment in this regard. She could have made it a positive comment: "Hey, I noticed that your former workplace was so laid-back that you didn't need to dress up a lot. I wish our field were like that more generally! Thanks for thinking to bring along blazers to wear at the conference, though. And I really like that suit you wore on ____."

    But you know, most people aren't as word-wise & emotionally intelligent as we are. emoticon So I don't blame you for being upset--it hurt! Cry & have a light-but-good beer, & know we understand. But I hope you can dress up in your Personal Awesomeness tomorrow, along with whatever clothes are appropriate for your regular workplace, & enjoy an air of quiet superiority as you go about your day.

    Love you! emoticon
    1716 days ago
    Bummer.....that's a tough thing to take.

    I'd recommend going in and being up front with her (once you've got the emotion out of it by crying etc) and tell her thanks, you'll work with her to coordinate attire for the next visit. Tell her that you're working to get back down to wear the blazers etc that she recommends, etc. Focus on the collaborative aspect of how you want to help her and the business you're in "message" correctly....just might need some time (or a clothing bonus!) to get there

    I've learned to approach these things directly with the people I work for....and I value directness from the people that work for me....hasn't steered me wrong yet.
    1716 days ago
  • THOMS1
    emoticon emoticon
    1716 days ago
    ugh, I'm so sorry to hear your bad day story. It really really sucks.
    I hope you can work with what you have clothes wise.. too bad the conference isn't further down the line to let you have time to fit back into those goal clothes!
    Hang in there and keep chipping away at that scale! You can do it!

    1716 days ago
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