Thursday, June 10, 2010

WorkPlace 101: The Office Hoochie Mama.

No disrespect intended to any current or former co-worker who might read this, but one thing I've always sorta appreciated about my job is the total and complete lack of uhhhh, visual distractions. I work in an office full of men, and with the exception of the occasional temp receptionist, the scenery doesn't change much around here. Call me crazy, but I prolly get a lot more work done as a result. And of course I'm married, so who needs to be bothered?

That said, not every workplace is like mine. Every now and then I'll have to do some work for a customer where seemingly every woman is in competition to out-dress/out-stunt her co-workers. Particularly when I do work at federal gubb'ment offices here in DC, you'll see women rolling into the workplace wearing sh*t they prolly had on the night before at Love or Ibiza. Plunging necklines, too tight/short skirts, entirely inappropriate heels. I wonder how some of these women even get anything done, let alone if they even pretend to.

So when I ran across this story of a woman who is suing her former employer for firing her because her workplace attire was too distracting to customers and colleagues, something ain't quite add up.
Before she was bounced by Citigroup, busty banker Debrahlee Lorenzana sent the interest rate soaring - among male fans eager to catch a glimpse of her assets.

It's been nearly a year since she worked there, but male customers at two midtown branches still recall going out of their way for a peek at her. Even the ladies noticed.

"Male customers would often stare," said Jessica Ramos, 29, who works in advertising. "It was rather funny, actually."

The curvaceous Queens mom contends Citigroup dumped her because her form-fitting outfits were too hot for her easily distracted co-workers to handle. Citigroup fired back that Lorenzana's suit is packed with "unfounded accusations and inaccurate statements."

Former co-workers said Lorenzana wasn't shy about flaunting the curves that launched a lawsuit.

"She would come in wearing expensive designer clothes that showed off her body, when everyone else was wearing normal clothes for a workplace," one female bank teller said. "She knew how she looked, and she used it to her advantage."

Lorenzana, 33, has said she's had to deal with unwelcome ogling her entire life thanks to a body that just won't quit. She now works for another financial firm she declined to identify, but her old Citibank customers still miss her.

"She's a pretty girl," said investment banker Jack Russel, 45. "Maybe she was just making the other girls jealous."
If Lorenzana was indeed fired for sexist reasons, I'd certainly side with her. But come on now, she was more than happy to pose for a 19-photo spread in the New York Daily News to express her plight at having been discriminated against, with each picture more revealing than the prior.

While I sympathize with someone getting canned unfairly, reality is if she's proud enough to flaunt it for sympathy in the papers, she prolly is all about getting attention, not getting work done. I realize this could come across as entirely sexist, but I don't care. I cannot take you seriously. If you were truly wronged, I need to see pain & suffering, not suggestive titillation.

Anyways, I suppose this raises an interesting question.

Question: Ladies, is there a thin line between dressing for success, and trolling for attention in the workplace? Have you even been discriminated against in the workplace for dressing too sexily? Have you ever purposely dressed sexy to further your career? Fellas, are ladies like this in the workplace much appreciated eye-candy, or a needless distraction?

Male customers were eager to catch glimpse of ex-Citigroup banker Debrahlee Lorenzana's assets [NYDailyNews]

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