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Author Topic: I don't want to be an elf!  (Read 5295 times)

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I don't want to be an elf!
« on: December 23, 2011, 03:31:09 AM »
Background: I work in a shop which offers quite retro and vintage merchandise to nostalgic customers. We had a visit yesterday from our area manager, who is unhappy that our shop is flagging behind on target so close to Christmas. This is because our shop is about half empty following several 50% off sales and we haven't had enough new stock via delivery to fill the shelves. A lot of potential customers take one look at the shop, realise there's not much choice, and wander out again. We've gone from taking 4000 a day to barely 1000 because of this.

I came into work yesterday and was told by one of our two shift managers, K, that the area manager either suggested or said that on Christmas Eve all the girls working should dress up as elves to try and entice that last bit of custom in. I don't know whether or not this was a suggestion or an order - it's the sort of thing that would actually be K's idea. I didn't have the opportunity to tell the area manager that I wasn't comfortable with doing this. When I told K I didn't want to, she told me I "had" to because "everyone else is doing it" and because the area manager "said so."

She expects me to spend my own money on purchasing clothes for a costume, which I will never wear again, for four hours on Saturday. I don't think she took me seriously when I said this simply wasn't going to happen. I don't want to have an argument with K on Saturday about wearing an elf costume. My finances are not conducive to frivolous spending right now.

Is this one of those situations in which I can say, "I'm afraid that won't be possible"?


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Re: I don't want to be an elf!
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2011, 04:36:57 AM »
It sounds like you're in Britain and I don't know what the labour laws are there, but can they force you to purchase what amounts to a "uniform" with your own money?  If they are requiring you to dress a certain way, then they should be supplying the elements of the outfit.  You can't really argue with being required to dress a certain way at work (even if it is only once a year) - but I would look into whether they have to reimburse you if this is a requirement of your employment and not voluntary. 

If they don't have to reimburse you, then I would suggest going to the nearest charity shop and getting a red shirt, green pants, and finding a pointy hat at a pound store. Voila, you're an elf.
"A "no" uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a "yes" merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble."
  Mahatma Ghandi

Outdoor Girl

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Re: I don't want to be an elf!
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2011, 08:33:13 AM »
Do you have the US/Canadian equivalent of a Dollar Store?  I'd compomise, buy a Santa hat for cheap and just wear that.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.


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Re: I don't want to be an elf!
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2011, 08:45:15 AM »
Just show up to work on Christmas Eve in your usual uniform.  I'm 100% sure you won't be the only one. 

British employment laws won't cause you any problems.


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Re: I don't want to be an elf!
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2011, 07:49:53 PM »
If they ask you where your elf costume is, just say "I'm an elf in disguise as a poor human".