Scott Hollifield: Monkey Action News Team bureau chief considers relaxing workplace dress code

Many workplaces are relaxing employee dress codes, according to an article I read about many workplaces relaxing employee dress codes.

It’s not an article I would usually read, but I was bored, it popped up on my phone and I still had 30 or 40 more interstate driving miles ahead so I thought, what the heck. (That’s a joke, by the way. I keep my hands at 10 and two, eyes on the road and loudly curse other idiots who are obviously reading, texting or sexting while driving.)

The article from Yahoo Style UK, the source I often turn to for…well, nothing, really, said banking giant Goldman Sachs is relaxing its dress code to create a more casual workplace, which comes two years after JP Morgan did the same. In addition, Virgin Atlantic airline said female crew members will no longer be required to wear makeup and will be allowed to work in “trousers.”

“A recent study conducted by UK retailer Bonmarché discovered that 4.3 million women across the UK cannot wear trousers in their place of work with 37% of female workers based in the capital banned from the garment,” the article states.

As the theoretical cigar-chomping, hooch-swilling, skirt-chasing, cholesterol-lowering-medication-taking, underpaid and overworked 1930s newspaper-style bureau chief of the fictional yet highly respected Monkey Action News Team, I wondered if I should revamp our dress code as part of this new, anything-goes, trouser-wearing workplace cultural revolution.

To my shock and dismay, I discovered that we were, in fact, too casual in the workplace. In my blind pursuit of breaking monkey news, my never-ending quest to satisfy the public’s unquenchable thirst for stories about monkeys and their antics, I had become oblivious to the sartorial choices of my own staff. I addressed it in the following memo, which for the sake of transparency, I make public.

To: Monkey Action News Team (i.e., Johnny, Rico, Lulu, Jaafar, Kichiro and Toots)

From: The chief.

Re: Workplace dress code.

Hello, gang. First, let me congratulate you on the follow up to the Feb. 28 Yahoo News UK report on a British bonobo bullied by German apes who later found true love in the arms of a frisky girlfriend eight years his senior. That’s the kind of Brexit reporting the world needs.

Now, to the matter at hand: Some of you may have read – hopefully not while driving -- about many workplaces relaxing employee dress codes. After a thorough review, I have decided that will not happen at the Monkey Action News Team Action News Center conveniently located here in beautiful Nakatomi Plaza. In fact, we are tightening the dress code.

While employees can continue to participate in Casual Fridays, we will no longer recognize No-Pants Thursdays as a company-sponsored event. All employees – male, female and those who identify as either or none of the aforementioned -- will be required to wear trousers on Thursdays and refer to them only as trousers. Any employee calling them pants will be subject to disciplinary measures.

For example, Johnny can say, “Blimey, I spilt coffee on me trousers” but not “Dang, I spilled coffee on my pants.” I’m not sure why that is, other than all of the stories I’ve referenced above took place in the UK.

Also, as with Virgin Atlantic airline, no one is required to wear makeup. In a related matter, HR informs me that Rico’s “medical condition” that necessitates he dress each day as Kiss bassist and co-lead singer Gene Simmons has not been recognized by the National Labor Relations Board as valid.

In closing, I would ask that each team member dress professionally, drive carefully – hands at 10 and two – and remember that we all put our trousers on one leg at a time, especially on Thursdays from now on.

Scott Hollifield is editor/GM of The McDowell News in Marion, NC and a humor columnist. Contact him at

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