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At UPS, far beyond dress codes to rules on munchies, mustaches, and messes

“No food or drink is allowed into the corporate offices.” Yikes! When I read that policy of the UPS Law Department, I remembered the stream of salads and sandwiches I have swallowed at my desk for lunch or the ubiquitous bottled waters and Diet Cokes seen everywhere, let alone the stimulant of choice for Americans – coffee – and I can hardly believe that this food code is upheld. Sure, cafeterias at UPS are open all day and nearby, but that’s no match for a Snickers in the left drawer.

“No male employee can wear a beard [but females may?], hair must be kept above the collar, and a mustache cannot grow below the corner of the mouth [but sideburns, goatees and beards?].” This policy restatement in Corp. Counsel, June 2011 at 73, may be partial or misquoted, but I assume its gist is correct. I had to smile at the contrast between the puritan UPS and the playful Google, winner over UPS in the magazine’s choices as best legal department. Anything goes sartorially, and does go, out in Mountain View.

A final straw (removed at the end of the day): “And desks must be cleared and clean at the end of the day.” For those of us who have taken piles to the nth degree of organization, this would be too much (See my post of Feb. 2, 2008: piles.).