Thursday, November 22, 2007


I’ve been thinking about the dress code around here lately. This job is my first conversion to the ‘dark side’ of Vegas; working for a casino related company. We aren’t a casino, but being next door to an unnamed big hotel/casino/resort (soon to be the largest in the world) and under the same parent company we kind of are related.

Casinos and hotels here in Las Vegas are really strict in their dress codes, and very class conscious. What job you have indicates what clothes you wear, and what you wear indicates how you are treated. I sit at my desk in ‘business casual’, no tie but looking fairly decent. I guess down at the bottom layer in this industry are the uniforms – the housekeeping crew in black pants, white shirt and blue vests, the penguins in their tuxedos with bow ties, and the maintenance crew in blue jumpers. Then come those of us office workers in business casual, with our managers wearing shirts and ties (no jacket). Above them are the people in full suits and ties. So you can walk down the hall and see who you are supposed to nod your head to and who you step aside for. Yes, it does sound rather old fashioned, in supposedly a classless society. I think if I started to wear a tie to work people here would look at me strangely, wondering why I am trying to dress above my station.

What brought this to mind now was our lunch yesterday. We went to the upstairs food court at the Big Hotel Next Door that shall remain unnamed (they also have a downstairs food court with softer chairs and more expensive places) for lunch. There used to be a pretzel place at the end of the food court, but it closed a few months ago and was replaced with a temporary wall hiding construction, with a sign announcing Johnny Rocket’s Hamburgers opening soon!!!. Well, they just opened, so we thought that we’d give them a try.

Several of the places in the food court offer half off for employees; we have a list posted so we know where to eat on what day. The BHND has a nice Team Member dining room where team members can eat for free, but we are not part of their team so we can’t go there. I work for the convention center and not the BHND. But, back to the food court; we sat at the counter at Johnny Rocket and ordered hamburgers. It’s billed as an old fashioned burger joint, with shakes and malts and counter service. (the Original Hamburger Restaurant). The sound system plays old rock and roll, and about every half hour the staff comes out from behind the counter and dances the twist in the food court.

That's the manager up front, the assistant shift manager behind him, and the counter workers behind.

We were talking to our waitress and asked why she didn’t have one of those cute white caps on. Turns out she was one of the shift managers, so she did not wear a hat, had on a beige shirt and long tie while the servers wore white shirts, bow ties and hats. There was another girl in a white shirt without a hat: well, she was the assistant shift manager; no hat, short sleeved white shirt and long tie. Also there was the general manager, long sleeved beige shirt, no tie and no apron. I asked about someone on the grill dressed in black; he was from corporate out to teach the cooking team, so he was dressed in black. That made five different outfits, each designating a different level.

Out on the casino floors it is about the same, dealers in ties and vests, depending on the casino, managers in suits and ties, floor managers in nicer suits. Guards in uniforms, cocktail waitresses in whatever cute thing the casino wants (usually low cut and long legged) and cashiers in the cages in white shirts and ties.

So, what kind of uniform do you wear?

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