I have nothing but speculation and conjecture to back me up, but I suspect the heyday of the uniform is over. Because really, when's the last time you saw a cleaning woman in a too-short black dress and frilly white pinafore? It's nearly impossible to find a trash collector in a bow tie or a nurse with a starched cap these days.
But while official dress codes may have relaxed nearly everywhere, most restaurant servers are still expected to wear a uniform. Even workers allowed some sartorial leeway -- many employee manuals call for any jeans, any black pants or any red bandanna – are typically issued a standard apron. Uniforms connote professionalism, cleanliness and discipline; all fine server attributes, and all apparently forgotten come holiday time.
Whether it's a show of spirit or a cynical ploy to remind customers there's somewhere else they'd rather be, servers can be counted upon to modify their uniforms in keeping with the season. I'm guilty of wearing knee socks with jingling bells in December and heart-shaped jewelry on Valentine's Day. Still, I'm stunned by what some of my colleagues wear on Halloween night. Are customers really pleased when their servers have fake blood dripping down their faces or elk-sized antlers on their heads?
While I don't begrudge servers who work in party-minded places the right to wear whatever crazy costumes they choose, I can't believe devil horns and green makeup are compatible with sparkling wine and lobster Newburg. To me, such elaborate masquerades suggest a server is thinking about something other than serving the customer (a job undoubtedly made more difficult by the lion's tail swinging between his legs).
Am I being too hard on Halloween celebrants? Should servers get to dress up like everybody else?
Should servers wear Halloween costumes?
|Sure, I love a celebrant server!||41 (26.8%)|
|Um, no I don't want stray wig hairs in my soup.||37 (24.2%)|
|Maybe, if it's just a tasteful holiday accessory or two.||75 (49.0%)|