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U.S. Postal Service Tells Carrier to Stop Dressing Like Santa

Discussion in 'The OT' started by fluffybear, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. BubblePuppy

    BubblePuppy Good night dear Smoke... love you & "got your butt

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    Since we don't know who or what the motivation was, then any discussion about this is worthless speculation, in the realm of "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin". Pointless.
    And since wearing Santa outfits is against the dress code, that makes this very cut and dried.
    There isn't much else to discuss about this topic.
     
  2. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    Which is why I offered her actions as my opinion. It does, indeed, have to do about religion. Why? Because Santa Claus is representative of Christmas, which is a religious holiday--a Christian one, of course. Do you think the complainer would have complained if the carrier dressed up in costume for some other reason during the year for a totally secular thing? I doubt it.

    This person was most likely hypersensitive about a fellow employee dressing up in something representative of a religious day, here a Christian one. Many atheists, Jews, Muslims, and non-Christians don't get bothered one bit over such things. I certainly am not offended at all by Jewish expressions during Hannakuh. This USPS employee most likely found the Christmas attire unacceptable not as a uniform issue, but as a religious holiday issue. I could be wrong, of course, but I'd bet the north pole I'm right. ;)
     
  3. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Our mail folks break their "uniform of the day" code everyday. I've never seen my postman wear a post office shirt and I've had the same postman for over 25 years.

    Stewart, I'm not gonna get into a big argument with you over this, I'm just gonna say it and then not comment on it again: You might well be an atheist, but if you are, you're one of the few people who say they are and can back it up by their educations. You don't just become an atheist, it takes time and work and lots of research. Better to declare yourself an agnostic, one who just doesn't know enough about the subject and is willing to admit it.

    When I was considering entering the Priesthood, my favorite priest sat me down and explained that I was too doubting, blind belief seemed to be beyond me. I've always been glad he took the time to explain all that to me and I've gone thru life as an agnostic, which I think you are. I've never been ashamed to admit that.

    Rich
     
  4. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I'd be willing to bet that neither of you ever crossed the Equator on a ship of the line or any other Navy ship. The only men wearing the UOD are the guys on watch and from the Captain on down to the lowliest Seaman Recruit, nobody has the proper uniform on. And we were Federal Employees in the strictest branch of the service.

    Rich
     
  5. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    Rich,

    What's your point?

    Never crossed the equator? Who gives a crap?

    Even Burger King has a dress code. You show up without your BK hat on and you get in trouble. The post office (this particular branch, at least) has a dress code. He wasn't following it. No more, no less.

    Has nothing to do with the military or religion or anything else you seem to want to bring into the conversation.


    PS. I'm an atheist too, but it has no bearing on this discussion or my education (which, btw, is plentiful)
     
  6. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I can appreciate where you are coming from... And I used to say I was agnostic, but after many years I realized I wasn't really agnostic.. I just said that because it made others feel better and let me dodge questions... But the truth is that I do not believe in any of the existing religions nor will I ever believe, so atheism fits me.

    Now, you may see atheists that try to force their lack of belief on others... But I see that as just as wrong as any religion trying to force itself on me. I know lots of religious people of varying degrees of faith, and I respect their beliefs, I just don't share them.

    I do respect others' right to belief... And if this was a religious persecution issue I would side with the oppressed even though I don't share the faith.

    But... As others have said... This is about a violation of uniform code that was overlooked for a while. Even if the argument is that the complaint came from a non-Christian... Then one has to consider the ten prior years this religious tradition was given special pass when it shouldn't... Thus I don't see religion as the issue here.

    Change the code or enforce the code equally... That's the only real choice for a federally regulated industry.
     
  7. Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

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    I made the mistake of writing the following without quoting the posts I was referring to:

    So I'd like to put this back into context, as here is how I meant it:

    In the context of the discussion of when a postal carrier could wear costumes, Stewart brought up other holidays and Vader said the other holidays can't be considered because they aren't federal religious holidays. My point is that in the context of THIS discussion about a single Federal employee wearing a Santa costume, it's not germane to discuss religion, or other holidays, or the outfit worn. The carrier could have worn nothing but a lobster bib and swim trunks on a Tuesday of any random week and it would be the same situation: the carrier was not in approved garb. Prior to this incident no one cared, but then something happened. Maybe Sam came in and said, "hey, Joe is dressed funny, I want to deliver mail in my PJs" and a manager had to say "no, stick to the USPS uniform".

    I don't see any need to make this into any deeper argument - the issue is a quite simple and should be taken at face value as a policy that is now being enforced.
     
  8. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Satan Claus is not a religious tradition. There may be some roots that can be traced back to a mere mortal that was honored by the church for his giving of gifts, but the modern jolly obese character in a red suit is not religious and is rejected by many who are. For them, all Santas are bad Santas.

    There are those who give gifts to each other to honor their God at this time of year but that doesn't mean that everyone who gives a gift is doing it for that reason. Especially those wearing Santa suits. You clearly agree with this, so please - don't call Santa a religious tradition.


    As for the offender ... there are likely thousands of mail carriers who would don a "Santa hat" at this time of year and more otherwise decorate themselves or their post offices for the holidays. There are likely thousands more who otherwise violate the USPS uniform code on any given occasion.

    As far as I can tell he meant no harm and was just having some fun. But thanks to a Grinch or two it appears that the holiday season is no time for fun.

    PS: The Grinch is also not a religious tradition.
     
  9. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Not quite. It appears that for the past 10 years his choice of costume HAS been approved ... both by his superiors as well as by the people on his route. The lobster bib and swim trunk costume would not likely have received the same approval of the customers nor any management.

    I'd bet that many of his co-workers had seasonally appropriate modifications to their uniforms. Perhaps just the Santa hat, or a pin, or something simple. Such things are generally acceptable and in many ways expected.

    A lobster bib and swim trunk outfit would have less situations were it would be considered acceptable.
     
  10. fluffybear

    fluffybear Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Photo of Mr. McLean in his Santa outfit:

    [​IMG]

    Update from ABC News:

     
  11. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    That is good to see.
     
  12. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Good for you Bob McLean!!! Wonders if his union cited a grievance stating the uniform rule was being selectively enforced?
     
  13. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    Thank God! :p

    :sure:
     
  14. Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

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    Following the union grievance and management approval his holiday attire is now sanctioned, so congrats to the mail carrier.
     
  15. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    One of the funnier Freudian slips...

    I agree... What you quoted from me was a response to Lord Vader insisting that Santa is religious.. So I was just postulating a counter to his argument.
     
  16. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    No slip ... Just making it clearer that this Claus guy isn't all good in religious circles.

    Strange, because the post I quoted had a post from Rich quoted at the beginning - no quote of Vader at all.

    In any case, dressing up as Santa does not have to be a religious expression. One can make religious expressions while dressed as Santa - one can make religious expressions while dressed in a lobster bib and swimsuit - that doesn't make all expressions by people dressed in a particular way religious.

    Bob McLean did not don the suit for religious reasons. I'm glad he got to wear it.
     
  17. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and Santa Catalina are places that use the name of a saint.

    Santa Claus is a merging of the story of Saint Nicholas and Sinterklaas.

    Keeping the history in mind, Santa Claus is a religious figure that for many has all the imagery of the Easter Bunny, and both appear at significant times - the former near the Winter Solstice and the latter near the Spring Equinox.

    Can you dress up as one of these figures and not express religious belief? Good grief, of course you can. But you still are getting into the problem of religious imagery for others.
     
  18. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    Whether anyone likes it or not, it is a fact that Santa is religious, and not just because Santa means "saint" (can't get much more religious than that) or that Santa Claus is another name for Saint Nicholas. You can disagree with this all you want, much like you can disagree that 2+2=4, but that won't change the facts, the secularization of Santa notwithstanding.

    Now, whether someone wears the outfit for religious reasons--that's another story. Mr. McClean probably has no idea of the religious history behind Santa Claus, but religious history there is.
     
  19. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    You did quote my reply to Rich... but it was part of an angling conversation of something I had said to Vader regarding this particular issue not being a religious one at all based on what we know of the situation.

    I am glad to see it resolved in a positive way, though. I would never have complained about it, it was just hard similarly to justify if a complaint was made. Kind of like instant replay reviews in sports where they need conclusive evidence to overturn a ruling.
     
  20. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    There is pagan history behind the choice of December 25th as the date for Christmas ... but that doesn't mean that Christmas is a forever pagan holiday.

    The marketing of Christmas that starts before Halloween and encourages people to want more stuff than they need or can afford is an experience closer to secular greed than a religious celebration. The happy obese dude in red has a lot more to do with that (and all the other problems in America) than worship. Which is why many religious people don't accept Santa as part of their Christmas. For them, the focus needs to be on Someone else.

    Sorry Vader, but the way Santa has been acting in our lifetime he has lost his religion. :)
     

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