Retail in Asia

In People

Cotton On tells staff to keep it real or face the sack

It may be a new low in human resources gibberish.

But the fun crowd at retailer Cotton On have told staff they need to "keep it real" or face the sack.

A leaked copy of Cotton On’s code of conduct tells its staff it is "unacceptable" when working with colleagues or customers, to be anything but "fun" and "keeping it real". No ifs or buts. Failure to do so can result in being fired on the spot.

Less well defined in the document is what "keeping it real" means. The Online Slang Dictionary tells us that to "keep it real" is to "stay true to one’s self; to resist the temptation to be fake". One claim is that the origins of the phrase emerged out of hip-hop culture in New York in the late 1970s and early 1980s.