Thursday , September 20 2018

“Go and change your shorts as this is not a beach” – Dress code in Govt offices

I am an Indian and visited the Abbassiya telephone exchange on Oct 3, 2016 at around 11:00 am, to pay my phone bill, wearing shorts (covering up to the knee) and a T-shirt with color and half sleeve. As soon as I entered the premises one of the three men sitting at the reception asked me in Arabic ‘what you want’.

I politely told them I had come to make payment against my land phone subscription. But he denied entry to the office saying “go and change your shorts as this is not a beach”. Please advise if there is any so-called ‘law’ on dress code to enter government premises or maybe the Kuwaiti men on duty didn’t like seeing another nationals wearing shorts or casuals because I have seen people visiting government offices wearing shorts and T-shirts. If I was not wrong how can I file a complaint against them for humiliating me and wasting my time and what is the procedure.

Name withheld
Answer: Just because some people are allowed to walk into an office in any dress, this doesn’t mean that office doesn’t have a dress code. A lot of offices ignore inappropriately dressed people but there are some officers who feel offended when the same people walk into an establishment in shorts or some other dress they consider “inappropriate”.

Just let us ask you a very simple question — Does your own workplace allow you to attend office in shorts.

The answer — at least 99 per cent of the times — would be “no”. So, why get offended when you are stopped for the same by officers of a ministry or another firm.

So, the officer who stopped you was not wrong … wrong are those officers who just ignore people wearing any dress when they come to an office.

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