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Life at Work

For once, the boss is behaving in a reasonable manner toward me ("Pat" is getting the brunt of his moody weirdness today) - he even bought me lunch! So I can't gripe too much about him, and I've been cranking through my workload at a steady pace, so I'm in a nice space right now. Earlier, I got to be Delivery Bird, which was extremely cool - getting outside on a beautiful day like today is always a treat, and a rare one, at that. I'm sure such errands will suck in February, but for now, I'll take Delivery Duty any day.

The quirky thing that I've noticed about today's swarm of office workers is that it is almost unilaterally blue shirt and yellow tie day downtown today. Nobody sent me the memo, but that's just fine - I've never been a bandwagoneer. But I was on the elevator earlier and there were four guys on there in grey pants, blue shirts, and yellow ties. The guy in the grey pants, blue shirt, and red tie stuck out like a sore thumb. I like to think I was a vision of "fashion forward" in my black suit and shirt, but they were probably whispering about me as soon as I stepped off.

Seriously, though, what is it with Office Wear? Why do we get dressed up in special, usually uncomfortable, clothes every day (and just slightly less uncomfortable clothes on "casual Friday") just so we can work? And why does it vary so much from office to office? If we're going to do this corporate attire thing, shouldn't we standardize it? Because what I think of as "office appropriate" and what some other people I see around downtown think of as "office appropriate" is radically different. I firmly believe that if your office has a policy of "corporate attire", you ought to wear decent, well-made, fairly conservative clothing. You don't have to spend a ton to look well turned-out. But showing up for work in the clothes you would ordinarily wear clubbing just isn't ok. Not that it's inappropriate to express yourself. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for self-expression. But I DON"T WANT TO SEE YOU IN THOSE CLINGY, SYNTHETIC, TAWDRY, CHEAP-ASS CLOTHES IN BROAD DAYLIGHT! It's just grody.

Bird isn't into dressing up. In fact, I hate it. But I do it because it's part of the job. As soon as I get the chance, I'm back into jeans or camos and a t-shirt. My dog has to wait til I've changed into my "real" clothes before I'll play with him, not because I don't want my work clothes to get dirty, but because I can't stand to wear them for another minute.

All I ask is that if we are going to dress up, we do it right. Doesn't mean we all have to look like drones. We don't all have to wear blue shirts and yellow ties on the same day. But we can at least not gross each other out.

-

J. Bird is the Beachwood's psuedononymous workplace affairs correspondent. See more Life at Work here.



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Posted on September 6, 2006


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - Charter Schools Complicit With Segregation.
SPORTS - USA Gymnastics Bans Illinois Coach.

BOOKS - The Randomness Of Harvard Admissions.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Public Lands Matter.


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