How many times have you had to change your company’s dress code to address situations that no one previously thought of? Next question: Does your company’s dress code cover hats?
The borough of Littlestown, PA, recently told a school crossing guard he could no longer where his signature silly hats on the job because they were unprofessional and a distraction to drivers. They told him to wear his standard-issue crossing guard hat instead.
Children called Larry Douthwaite “Hat Man.” His collection includes a 2-foot-tall stovepipe hat, a pharaoh-style covering and one that looks like he has a jet airplane sitting on top of his head.
Douthwaite told WGAL-TV that he wore the hats for the kids at first. But then he noticed the hats helped him be safe because people were more likely to notice him.
After he started wearing his crossing guard hat every day, it didn’t take long for people in the community to notice that his funny hats were gone.
People wanted Douthwaite’s fun hats back. Public support for him was huge. WGAL ran a survey, and 96% said he should be able to wear the fun hats.
“I think they are tired of having fun things sucked out of their life, and I think the reaction mushroomed because of that,” said Douthwaite.
When citizens speak up in one voice about an issue, politicians often listen.
The Littlestown Borough Council voted unanimously to allow Douthwaite to continue wearing his hats.
How did Douthwaite celebrate his victory? By wearing his pharaoh hat on the job the day after the borough council vote.
So, here are some questions regarding this story:
- Should Douthwaite be allowed to wear the silly hats? Do you think they’d be a help or hindrance for a school crossing guard?
- Have you ever had a special dress-up day at work to help improve morale? Maybe Hawaiian shirt day?
- In these tough economic times, should HR allow some rules, such as dress code, to be bent a little bit if it’ll improve morale?
Let us know your thoughts via the Comments Box below.