Casual Monday


Business Casual.

It seems pretty obvious what that means, right?

It all depends.

If you only travel within one circle, you get a sense of what the norm is.

However, when your travels take you to different people with different cultures, words get lost in translation.

I’m not talking about foreign travel.  I’m talking about inter-company travel.

I have a colleague, Molly, who was going to work with a new client.

She was told the dress was “business casual”.

So she wore slacks and a nice sweater, and a simple pair of pearl stud earrings.

Certainly business casual in many places.

Oops.  Wrong answer.

Molly was going to work with a group of bankers.

“Casual” to them might be what you and I call “Not extremely formal.”

Molly said that,

When I walked in the room, I could feel the icy stares coming from the group.  It felt like my credibility was shot even before I opened my mouth.  It was an extremely uncomfortable day.

Whether we like it or not, we are judged (and judge others on appearance).

I live in Western Massachusetts.  This is a college town.  It’s extremely relaxed.

Here, “Business Casual” means “Don’t bring your dog.”

Appearances can be deceiving.

But they also count.

What parallel circles do you travel in?


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