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Croc Blocked? Redditor says he lost a promotion because of his footwear. But maybe it’s really because he’s a huge goddamn creep?

By David Futrelle

There’s a little bit of drama going on in the Am I the Asshole subreddit, where Redditors who suspect that they might just possibly have behaved a teensy bit improperly (but probably not) go to tell their stories and get a ruling on their asshole status from their peers.

Yesterday, a fellow calling himself TheCrocDude reported in with this leading question: “AITA [Am I The Asshole] for wearing “crocs” to work? (Serious, I may have just been denied a promotion)”

It was pretty clear from the outset that he expected Redditors to weigh in on his side.

Thecrocdude

I work for a local remote IT firm. Since we have no direct physical interactions with customers our only line on the dress code is “be clean and dont wear anything that causes a distraction.”

As such I wear my Croc sandals nearly every day. They are comfy, they are easy and they are cool. No one has ever had any issue with them.

But today promotion annoucements were made and I was passed over. In the post mortem with my boss he flat out told me that the woman who was promoted to management was neck and neck with me on every aspect of customer and technical knowledge it’s just that she presented a much more professional image. I asked him to explain and he said “David, off the record...you wear fucking kids shoes every day. Give me a break from having to offer any explanations.”

To me I was within standards and maybe I’m looking at a case of anti-male bias and have some grounds to go to HR. But before that, am I the asshole for wearing crocs to work?

Huh. That was a pretty quick jump from “I didn’t get the promotion because I dress like a slob” to “maybe I’m being oppressed as a man!”

First, as many people pointed out, Crocs — while tacky — may be perfectly appropriate office wear in a casual office, especially for someone who works out of sight of the public, or for some non-office jobs that require people to be on their feet all day. (In my exceedingly casual home office, where my only work colleagues are cats, I’m barefoot most of the time, and so are they.) But people in management at tech companies are generally expected to not wear giant cartoon rubber shoes.

And, no, CrocDude, the woman who got promoted over you would not have been able to get away with Crocs because she’s a woman. There’s no such thing as a “Croc Pass” that applies only to the ladies.

But the petulance of CrocDude’s post — I’m not going to call him by his real name, as he is an embarrassment to all Davids — and his belief that he was somehow discriminated against in his tech job for being a man suggest that the Crocs are really only the symptom of his unpromotability problem, not the cause.

And his other comments in the thread more than confirm this judgement. For, in the least surprising development since my cats starting to pester me for dinner an hour before it’s usually served, it turns out that CrocDude kind of a creepy misogynistic douchebag

When one Redditor asked him how exactly “wearing goofy footwear relate[s] to gender bias,” CrocDude offered this, er, observation:

Dude you can see she wears thong panties under her dresses, that’s unprofessional

Wait, what? Maybe she’s the one who should be going to HR, not you.

When another Redditor wondered why exactly he was monitoring his co-worker’s ass at work, he responded “Why are they looking at my feet?”

I dunno, dude, maybe because you’re wearing giant neon-colored clown shoes?

And then there was the whole George R. R Martin question. In response to a question from another Redditor that’s since been deleted — presumably for being offensive — Mr. Croc complained that his office rival is

the “quirky hot girl” who claims to love GoT but couldn’t identify GRRM in a police line up.

That’s right. He apparently thinks she shouldn’t get the promotion because he’s convinced himself that she’s a FAKE NERD in addition to being a thong-wearer.

Jeez, dude, you’re making Croc wearers look bad.

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Katherine the Adequate
Katherine the Adequate
2 years ago

I know nurses who wear Crocs. They say they’re comfy.

This guy’s speculation/assertion about his colleague’s undies is creepy, OTOH. Is there a chance that factored into management’s decision? Not that Creepy Crocs would understand, of course.

epronovost
epronovost
2 years ago

How can see a woman’s underwear when she wears a dress without bending down to look her upskirt like some creepy pervert? Is he just assuming it? As she mentionned it at some point. Is she 9 foot tall? If so, I’m certain she has lots of problem with all sorts of ceiling, not just the glass ceiling.

Nequam
Nequam
2 years ago

@Katherine: I’ve heard they can be very easily cleaned too (as in “run through a dishwasher’s sterilize cycle”), which is important in some messy hospital situations.

Sarah
Sarah
2 years ago

I’m not sure most GoT fans could identify George R. R. Martin in a lineup. I don’t think I could. In my head, I just keep seeing Peter Jackson.

Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent, Bard of the New Movement
Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent, Bard of the New Movement
2 years ago

When every step you take
And every move you make
Is along a painted line
When every single lieu
To which you wanna go
Has got somebody cryin’

When every single day
You wish she’d go away
You claim you’re oh-so-blue
But I’d like you to think
Just for a wink
That the problem just might be you

Between every word that’s spoken
And through every moment of the day
You barely think there’s a problem with you
But what would someone else say?

Your boss was hardly torn
On that eventful morn’
I’m willing to bet you now
He made his excuse
But your implicit abuse
Must’ve made him cry, “Holy cow!”

Lainy
Lainy
2 years ago

Dude is really gonna complain about a pantie line sierously.

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
2 years ago

Echoing Epronovost: How can this Croc-of-you-know-what know his co-worker is wearing thong panties under her dresses? Isn’t one of the positives of thongs, that there’s no VPL (visible panty line)? Don’t know; I only tried to wear them once, and couldn’t stand the feeling.

Bina
2 years ago

Is this where Croc Dude goes on about “miniskirt power”, only it’s thongs? And why the hell is he looking there, of all places?

(Rhetorical question. Of course the poor bastard is being discriminated against just for being male, not a sexist nincompoop…she said, dripping snark all down her pants.)

Dalillama
Dalillama
2 years ago

@Sarah
Martin’s beard has more grey, that’s the way to tell.

Lucrece
Lucrece
2 years ago

The Crocs nurses and other medicos wear are not the sandal version full of holes, but a proper closed in shoe. And yes they are very comfortable.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

My guess, from how he’s taking this, is that her superior professionalism applies to more than just her clothing.

Aachen on the Plains
Aachen on the Plains
2 years ago

Perhaps too speculative, but the manager Croc-rocker mentioned saying “don’t let’s go over this, please” also tends to indicate there’s more to it than simply the shoes, and that they’re a convenient out for dealing with a sensitive situation.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
2 years ago

I work for a local remote IT firm. Since we have no direct physical interactions with customers our only line on the dress code is “be clean and dont wear anything that causes a distraction.”

As such I wear my Croc sandals nearly every day. . . .

But today promotion annoucements were made and I was passed over. . . .

To me I was within standards and maybe I’m looking at a case of anti-male bias and have some grounds to go to HR. But before that, am I the asshole for wearing crocs to work?

Absolutely this is antimale bias. The tech industry is rife with this kind of bigotry. By all means, go to HR. Wear your roomiest Crocs when you do — the ones with Barney on them.

Shadowplay
2 years ago

… don’t wear anything that causes a distraction.

Don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not going to be doing my best work if I keep busting out laughing every time I look at someone.

Bet he buys shit from Skymall, too.

Mogwitch
Mogwitch
2 years ago

The closest thing to anti-male bias that I can see is that his manager was probably too scared of endless entitled unproductive whining to really tell him why he wasn’t promoted. THAT might be gendered in that the manager would possibly have been less scared to give critical feedback to a woman, and also gendered in that sexism means less women feel deserving of promotions because of their knowledge of irrelevant pop-culture trivia.

Wondering
Wondering
2 years ago

Crocs sandals are just flip flops. They don’t look different from any other flip flops. They are not the clogs. https://www.crocs.com/c/men/footwear/sandals

You are not being discriminated against because you’re a man who wears crocs, dude.

Penny Psmith
Penny Psmith
2 years ago

Croc fact time!
(Well, possible fact, I never verified it, but like the story)

I once was told by someone who worked in an oitdoor gear store that Vrocs were originally invented for whitewater rafting: they’re waterproof, with holes to make sure they don’t fill up with water, and since the likelihood of getting a shoe knocked off is pretty high, they’re also light enough to float and brightly coloured so they’re easy to find later. So all these things that annoy people were originally useful features.

CrocDude, on the other hand, is just annoying.
Especially considering how much more pressure there is on women to look “professional” (but not too professional, you don’t want to seem intimidating!), and fewer things they can get away with clothes-wise. It’s telling that the only thing he could come up with was her freaking underwear – and of course, it’s also telling that he’s staring at her ass. Ugh.

Lainy
Lainy
2 years ago

@ Dormousing_it

Thongs don’t really show a pantie line. What she’s probably wearing is some cheeky underwear (Yes that is the name. Cheeky. It’s a pun and also accurate) I wear thongs when I perform because they don’t show lines in my costumes. But I wear cheeky underwear when I just wear dresses and they show a lot of panty lines. I doubt this guy sees a lot of women underwear so he probably can’t tell the different.

Lainy
Lainy
2 years ago

@penny

That is actually some very fascinating croc history. The shoe finally makes since now.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
2 years ago

I mean, REAL NERDS™ care so much about the fandom they did this thing, so I gotta say, I’ll hang out with my FAKE NERD© friends over here and give those dudes a wide berth.

Amtep
Amtep
2 years ago

Note the “I was passed over”. Not “I didn’t get the promotion”. No, he was denied the promotion that was rightfully his! He would have gotten it, but they “passed over” him to give it to a woman. A woman who, according to his own story, was identically qualified.

Everyone knows, of course, that in such a situation he’s obviously first in line because he’s a man. Why would they skip him? It must be that pervasive anti-male bias.

Silly-bollocks
Silly-bollocks
2 years ago

I’ve never worked in an office before, but if the dress code is casual it sounds unlikely he would be passed over because of wearing Crocs. It sounds like we’re not getting the whole story and there are some behavioural issues he’s not mentioning. If he’s really this clueless about his situation then he should have pressed his boss so he can improve his chances of getting a promotion next time. That’s what I would do.

Tripoli
Tripoli
2 years ago

Come on, stranger, you’re letting down the people who wear Crocs for comfort and aren’t assholes.

(There are bound to be several. They do seem like the kind of thing that would help certain physical/sensory issues.)

Bookworm in hijab
Bookworm in hijab
2 years ago

I wore Crocs when I was pregnant because they were comfy and I could put them on without bending, and I now keep several pairs as slippers for me and my guests. That said, this dude is an ass. I seriously doubt the problem with him is really his choice of footwear.

rugbyyogi
rugbyyogi
2 years ago

There are a lot of people with serious anti-Croc bias. I was one of them until I actually wore some Crocs. Soooo comfy.

However, if I had two candidates for a job who were neck and neck on all other issues, I’d choose the non-Croc wearing candidate. Every Single Time. By and large they don’t belong in an office environment.

I have no issues with nurses wearing Crocs, given that the current ‘scrubs’ wearing culture means they’re basically in pyjamas anyway. But hey if your work lets you wear pyjamas or cut-offs and a ratty t-shirt, then Crocs are probably not an issue.

True story: I accidentally wore Crocs to my office job one day. The shame. I was mortified, especially when I was called to join in on a client meeting. I now keep a spare pair of ‘meeting worthy’ shoes in the office.

Moggie
Moggie
2 years ago

“Give me a break from having to offer any explanations”

I’m going to read between the lines here. I think Croc-David’s manager is annoyed because they’ve discussed his professionalism before, perhaps at his regular review. He provides remote support to customers, probably involving a lot of electronic communication and/or phone calls. There’s a lot of scope there for someone to fall short of expectations, regardless of their level of technical knowledge.

When I respond to a customer ticket, I pay careful attention to spelling and punctuation, because mistakes make us look bad. Look at this guy’s writing, though: “dont”, “annoucements”, “kids shoes”, missing commas…

If he’s this sloppy when dealing with customers, while his feeemale colleague doesn’t make such mistakes, she may be the right choice for the promotion.

Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
2 years ago

Perhaps too speculative, but the manager Croc-rocker mentioned saying “don’t let’s go over this, please” also tends to indicate there’s more to it than simply the shoes, and that they’re a convenient out for dealing with a sensitive situation.

I was wondering if he’s deliberately trying to draw a parallel to those cases where a black man is denied entry to a bar because he has “wrong kind of shoes”.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
2 years ago

My first thought was reminiscing when I was in college and didn’t know if I should explain to that girl that white undies under a too thin black skirt look ridiculous from behind. But then, if it’s a thong you just wouldn’t see it, because that’s the point of wearing undies as minimal as possible.

So I take the “creepy upskirt” card for 100$ instead. Either he took an upskirt, which should get him fired and not just barred from promotion, or his imagination leave to him fantasizing too much on coworker, and that’s disrupting at the very best.

Moon_custafer
Moon_custafer
2 years ago

@Dalillama:

Martin’s beard has more grey, that’s the way to tell.

And he often wears one of those Greek fisherman’s caps.

Maybe CrocsDude *didn’t* see any visible pantylines, and that’s why he figures she’s wearing a thong? In which case, she’s in a no-win situation as far as he’s concerned.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Even in a casual office setting, crocs are not typically considered appropriate. Even if something that casual is allowed, if you want a promotion, you’re going to have to demonstrate that you go beyond the bare minimum of what it takes not to be fired. That includes “dressing for the job you want, not the job you have.”

I do perspnally think corporate culture puts way too much emphasis on appearance and dress and that results in a lot of gatekeeping that puts people who are white, thin and can afford to shop at an unfair advantage. But Crocs aren’t cheap, so this guy can probably afford to give himself a more professional makeover.

There’s an entire store devoted to Crocs at the Mall of America and that never fails to crack me up when I pass it.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
2 years ago

Yeah, right, and all that shit, but let’s cut to the chase…. HE didn’t get the promotion; SHE did.

How much more evidence do we need to SEE to see anti-male bias?!?!?!?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

The trials and tribulations of Crocs (the company) are pretty interesting if you’re into finance and business stuff.

https://money.cnn.com/2018/08/09/news/companies/crocs-clogs-sandals/index.html

Moggie
Moggie
2 years ago

If you check out your co-workers for VPL, and think that that’s something you should talk about, chances are good that you show up on the creepdar of every woman in the office. That won’t necessarily harm your promotion prospects, but it’s not a great look.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
2 years ago

@Moggie : and the fact it don’t necessarilly harm the promotion prospect is realistic but pretty fucked up …

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

“…you wear fucking kids shoes every day” sounds like shorthand for generally immature behavior. His manager probably felt put on the spot and used the Crocs as a concrete symbol for his lack of professionalism.

“Give me a break from having to offer any explanations” sounds like either his manager doesn’t trust him to handle criticism gracefully, or his manager has already had many painful conversations with him about his behavior and has gotten tired of trying to wade through the dense misogyny, blame shifting, and entitlement. Either way, it suggests he doesn’t have a mature attitude about taking responsibility for his own growth. Why, then, would he be ready to take on a position with more responsibilities?

“neck and neck with me on every aspect or customer and technical knowledge”: Just because an employee has stellar technical knowledge, that doesn’t automatically mean they have the organizational and people skills to be a manager (assuming the promotion was for some kind of supervisory position). Most of the managers at my workplace don’t know a whole lot about the nitty-gritty of our code, but they’re excellent at making sure deadlines get met, problems get solved, projects have the right resources, and people are generally happy with their assignments and their team. Big picture thinking is needed, not focusing on your individual success and what kind of underwear your co-workers are wearing or whether they can pick GRRM out of a lineup.

I’m sure he’d love to blame the Crocs. Shoes are much easier to change than the personality flaws that are holding him back.

Greebos left eye
Greebos left eye
2 years ago

His speculating about her underwear sets off my creep meter, and since no one sees your knickers why would what you wear be classified as professional or unprofessional? On the other hand, shoes are way more visible. I’ve worked in few offices, all with no face to face customer contact, (the environment messes with my sensory issues and causes autistic overwhelm, too much for me to be comfortable) and on a dress down day I might have worn jeans and trainers but flip flops or crocs would be out of the question. Maybe a nice pair of leather-ish sandals.

Wrong as it is that someone is judged by their appearance, it happens and you should know that if you want a promotion you need to act and dress like management, so they can see you’re ‘one of them’. People are tribal like that. You have to do silly stuff like dress the same, go to drinks nights, gossip on breaks, etc. to be seen as fitting in.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

It’s remarkable how much oppression can be tucked into even a minimalist-seeming dress code.

The dress code is “be clean and don’t wear anything that causes a distraction”.

The bulk of this exists to give them license to police women’s clothing and/or bodies. Ten’ll get you one. “Distraction” in the context of workplace (or school) clothing is usually misogynistic coded language.

presented a much more professional image

Translation: “oozed money”. Expecting people to wear outfits that cost a month of their salary to buy is, obviously, class oppression, and rewards with promotions the people who need them the least. But then of course that’s the neoliberal way, isn’t it? Giving things to the people who need them the least and denying things to the people who need them the most?

So we have classism and misogyny all rolled up into 16 words here.

techwitch
techwitch
2 years ago

Troubelle, What particular tune would you suggest singing your musical piece to?

Hambeast
Hambeast
2 years ago

So much Crocs hate.

Crocs come in lots of styles nowadays, so folks may be wearing them to work with no one the wiser.

But none are as comfy as the clogs. Years ago, I found a Crocs clog style (in black) with a closed back to wear to my retail job (that didn’t allow any open-backed shoes) and they were SO great for my plantar fasciitis! But they weren’t stylish or cute and I did not care because I wasn’t in pain for my whole shift.

Katy Preen
2 years ago

I have no problem with the crocs, it’s just literally all the other stuff.

Rei Malebario
Rei Malebario
2 years ago

I go barefoot or in flip-flops at the office (which is obviously pretty casual) and I’d still find fucking crocs inappropriate.
Crocs – worse than straight up wearing nothing.

Oh, and yeah, Crocdude sounds like an arse.

Moggie
Moggie
2 years ago

@Buttercup:

Most of the managers at my workplace don’t know a whole lot about the nitty-gritty of our code, but they’re excellent at making sure deadlines get met, problems get solved, projects have the right resources, and people are generally happy with their assignments and their team.

Treasure those managers, because good PM is rarer than it ought to be, in my experience.

Pie
Pie
2 years ago

@Penny Psmith

I once was told by someone who worked in an oitdoor gear store that Vrocs were originally invented for whitewater rafting: they’re waterproof, with holes to make sure they don’t fill up with water, and since the likelihood of getting a shoe knocked off is pretty high, they’re also light enough to float and brightly coloured so they’re easy to find later. So all these things that annoy people were originally useful features.

I’m pretty certain they were originally intended for medical use; they’re readily washable and sterilisable, and the originals didn’t have holes in (because the last thing you want in a hospital is fluids getting in) and were a boring sensible colour. The other versions were added afterwards in a search for more money. The soles, notably, aren’t very grippy and that’s a bad thing anywhere you might want to be climbing on wet rock or slippy mud.

They’ve since made some things which are better for whitewater stuff… there is (or at least was) an “all terrain” variant with chunkier, grippier soles, for example. They make a nice canoeing shoe, but I’d want something that holds on to my feet a bit better if I were doing exciting rafting.

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

So basically this guy is Wally from Dilbert, with his myriad hygiene issues.

Doethreetwoone
Doethreetwoone
2 years ago

For what it’s worth, Crocs (closed toed ones) also make excellent kitchen shoes. They’re non-slip, lightweight, easy to stand in all day, and (as has been said) very easy to wash.

Before Crocs, and while I was still working in kitchens, my go to kitchen shoe was nurse’s shoes, because they had the same virtues listed above; so it doesn’t surprise me at all that nurses have adopted Crocs as well.

Victorious Parasol
2 years ago

Good PMs are worth their weight in platinum.

I go barefoot or wear ballerina-style slippers in the office … but I telecommute. So nobody cares that I’m also wearing a t-shirt that says “Nevertheless, she regenerated” with a TARDIS replacing the “a.”

If I were working in an office where other people could see me, I’d wear lace-up boots and a different shirt.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

Crocs are great for gardening. A lot of kids at my sons’ preschool wore them as their indoor shoes. They worked well because they were lightweight, easy to put on, easy to wash, and available in every color of the rainbow. Some kids liked to collect the pins that went in the holes.

Dressing in clean, appropriate attire (as your budget allows) shows respect for your workplace and your job. It sends a signal that you play well with others. If you’re observant and adaptable enough to fit in with the prevailing dress code, chances are you’ll listen well to customers and be responsive to their needs.

On the other hand, if you dress for the beach, then your attire gives off the message “I’d rather be there than here doing my job.” (Unless the beach is your workplace, then it would be inappropriate to show up in khakis and a buttondown).

As Greebos said, there’s a little bit of a tribal element to it. Even if you think the game of getting the position you want is stupid and anti-Croc, you still have to take it seriously if you want to play it. Promotions and women don’t fall in your lap just because you show up and male.

Kimstu
Kimstu
2 years ago

@Amtep:

Note the “I was passed over”. Not “I didn’t get the promotion”. No, he was denied the promotion that was rightfully his! He would have gotten it, but they “passed over” him to give it to a woman. A woman who, according to his own story, was identically qualified.

Everyone knows, of course, that in such a situation he’s obviously first in line because he’s a man. Why would they skip him? It must be that pervasive anti-male bias.

Ex-flipping-zactly. If a rival for promotion is “neck and neck” with you on every substantive qualification, then you have at best a 50% chance of getting the promotion. You don’t get to whine about being ranked second based on comparatively trivial differences if you didn’t manage to outperform your competitor on any of the more important considerations.

And yup, it’s dollars to donuts that this un-promoted grouser would not be complaining about having been “passed over” if his more successful co-worker who “presented a much more professional image” had been male instead of female.

Moggie
Moggie
2 years ago

@WWTH:

That includes “dressing for the job you want, not the job you have.”

Oh sure, they say that! But then I turn up dressed as Ming the Merciless, and suddenly I’m a “disruptive influence” and “frightening our stakeholders”!

Jackson Ayres
Jackson Ayres
2 years ago

Tbh, if I were a manager, I’d fire somebody for wearing crocs

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