Dress codes suck. Particularly for women in the food and entertainment industries. No one enjoys wearing high heels, so when one woman took to the Malicious Compliance subreddit to share how she'd gone to the extreme to prove how stupid her work's dress was, people applauded.
Reddit user Inconvenientsilence recounted the job at a casino that she had when she was 19 years old. Basically, she was a a bartender for a casino chain in the UK. Her shifts were 12 hours long and all the women had to be on their feet for much of the time, taking orders and delivering drinks while the men stayed behind the bar.
But one day, the men in charge decided they'd make more money if they had the women wear tight high heels and dresses. The Reddit user recounts:
"Okay I have worked in a lot of different industries but this happened while i worked in a casino chain in the UK. At 19, I was a bar tender and shifts would usually be 12 hours at a time. While I worked there the dress code was smart black (so smart trousers and black shirts) which men and woman had to wear because it was comfortable."
"To get more tips, even though I was classified at a bar tender, the company forced the women to work on the casino floor making us walk in circles around the gambling tables and made the men stay behind the bar. The woman were not allowed to stand still so even on a quiet day we still had to walk in circles, this was made easier with our uniforms being comfortable. Although it was frustrating to walk around for hours on end the pay was good so we complied."
That's when the bosses decided to make the women wear high heels.
"Then the company held a meeting and told us how they decided to change the uniforms. Unsurprisingly the guys uniforms didn’t change at all but the women were told to wear tight grey dresses you could barely move in and high heels by the next shift, it was clearly to look more appealing and get more tips."
"Of course my female coworkers and I were pissed off about this and told the managers that we will not only have restricted movement but will also be in pain by the end of the night if we have to walk around for hours in high heels on the hard floor."
"Management did not care and told us to suck it up. After this we all gathered in the changing rooms and talked about how there is no way we are wearing this new uniform and shouldn’t wear it in protest."
"That's when I had an idea. I suggested that my coworkers do what they have planned and I will wear the new uniform because we needed to prove our point. After a long discussion and hesitation they agreed and let me do it."
As you can imagine, the outfit didn't go down well with workers. So the Reddit user put her plan into motion.
"The next shift I walked in the building in the new uniform, my god it was uncomfortable, the dress made it difficult to turn my body round and bending over was near impossible, it was so tight that when i did kneel down I was scared it would rip. Management were really happy to see that I complied even saying to my coworkers how they should learn from me."
"I had to keep it cool while they said that as I was already started to get sore from the heels. It was a busy night and I was running around like a headless chicken, the dress made it difficult to keep up the pace as I struggled to breathe properly (I think the dress was not designed for this kind of movement) and the pain from my shoes increased to the point that at times I had to attempt to crouch for a second in the back to give my feet a rest."
The woman's co-workers tired to intervene, but she had a point to prove.
"My coworkers started begging me to stop and just get flat shoes on for my own sake but I declined stating how I needed to prove our point so I pushed on through the pain till the end of the shift."
It all built up to this amazing moment.
"Management came in when we all finished to see how everyone was and asking me how I found the shift. I smiled and said it was great with one small problem. I removed my shoes for the first time in 12 hours and stood in front of my managers mildly shaking."
"Their faces went from all smiles to shock when they looked at my feet to see my blood running on the floor from the open wounds on my heels, the injuries covered the entirety of my heels with dried blood on the back of my shoes. They started telling me I should not have done that and should of worn flat shoes but I reminded them saying 'but it’s part of the new dress code, I had to wear high heels like you told me '"
The pain was worth it.
"As the injuries were exposed I started to feel the pain intensify and had to hold back tears but my shaking got worse. They made me sit down and got the first aid kit for my feet as I started to unzip the back of my dress saying how hard it is to breathe."
And by the sounds of it, the Redditor had managed to save a lot of people from some pain.
"The dresses were still compulsory but the dresses were made looser and we never had to wear high heels on shift again."
You go, girl. The Redditor's story quickly attracted thousands of comments, many from people asking why she didn't take any action against her boss. She went on to explain:
"Just for the people asking about lawsuits or if I took any action against them, unfortunately I did not. When I was 19, I wasn't aware I could do that or how I could do anything about it but this and other work related issues I had over the years actually encouraged me to go to university and study law focusing on the employment and contract side of things. I'm starting my first year in 2 weeks."
Most of the comments seemed to be from women applauding their fellow Redditor on lasting 12 hours in heels.
"I have a hard time being up on my feet for 12 hours in confortable running shoes," one user wrote. "I can't imagine it being in tight high heels."
While another added:
"Men don’t understand how uncomfortable some women’s clothes are. High heels are killer. I’d like to see men wear heels and walk around for an hour and tell me how they feel afterwards. It hurts. No matter how comfortable the shoes, even the best ones hurt like heck."