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Employee accused of losing company client because of outfit choice. AITA?

Employee accused of losing company client because of outfit choice. AITA?


When this employee blows it at work because of an outfit choice, they ask Reddit:

"AITA for losing my company a client because I was wearing a hat in the meeting?"

So, I work in marketing for a pretty new startup, and we were on the brink of closing a massive deal with a potential client—a deal that could've been a game-changer for us.

I had been working on this for months, and the final meeting was set. Now, here's the catch: for me, wearing my favourite hat has always been a way to express my personality, and it’s never been an issue before. So, when I had a crucial video meeting with a potential client, I didn’t think twice about keeping it on.

I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal to wear it, especially since it was a video call. But the moment I turned on my camera, everything changed. The client, who seemed pretty traditional, immediately honed in on my hat. They started making passive-aggressive comments about my attire, implying that it was unprofessional and disrespectful.

I tried to brush it off, but their attitude kept worsening throughout the meeting. It got to a point where they outright said they were reconsidering doing business with us because of my choice of headwear. I was torn—I didn’t want to jeopardize the deal, but I also didn't think my hat should matter that much in a business discussion.

In the end, tensions rose, and the client abruptly ended the meeting, leaving us hanging. The co-founders were furious, saying I should've just taken the hat off to salvage the situation. But to me, it felt like sacrificing a part of myself just to please a client who might not respect our work ethic anyway.

Now, there's tension at the office, with some saying I'm to blame for potentially losing the deal, while others think the client's reaction was unfair. Am I the arsehole for sticking to my guns and refusing to take off my hat, even if it meant potentially losing a huge client?

There's a couple people asking what hat it is - it's just a navy baseball cap with my university logo on it. AITA?

Let's see what readers thought.

same13 writes:

YTA - You're at work being paid to do a job, not to "express your personality" through your headwear. It's fine if nobody in your office cares that you wear a hat. Great!

But a soon as it was clear that an important client who could have been a game-changer for your company was unhappy about the hat, you should have just "Oh, I totally forgot I was wearing it, apologies!" and taken it off.

It shouldn't have mattered, but it did matter to the client. TBH, you're lucky you've still got a job, after that. Lots of places would fire you over such an obvious lapse in judgement that cost them a client.

tansandoval writes:

YTA. A business meeting is not a date. Your client is not interested AT ALL in your "personality" or "who you are as an individual".

They're interested in discussing a professional relationship with you, and part of a healthy professional relationship is having the discretion to know which parts of yourself are appropriate in a professional setting and which are not. Not every part of your personal life should be brought into the office.

You just showed you don't get that. That you will insist on bringing every part of yourself into professional conversations, even when that makes other people uncomfortable, derails meetings, and costs you business. Who would want to form a professional relationship with someone like that?

I wouldn't. This is a clear sign that you have poor professional judgement, and that eventually this could cost anyone who works with you contacts, clients, and money.

manyhobbiesgal writes:

YTA whose interests were you representing in that meeting? your employer's or your own. Given you were in a professional setting in what sounds like a high powered meeting, your feelings about your hats or sense of personal style were very low on that totem pole.

You will be extremely lucky if you don't get fired over this. Leave your high opinions on your style for your off time... not at the work place.

Looks like OP is TA. Do you agree?

Sources: Reddit
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