Periscope Depth

he put coat and tie on over a fitted shirt

As I passed Bob’s desk yesterday, he cocked his head to get my attention. He flipped his tie at me, pinching it between two fingers and waving the loose end. This was his way of reminding me that it was Tie Tuesday. On Tie Tuesday, a voluntary dress code is in effect: you wear a button-down shirt with a tie. For weeks I’ve been the only one carrying this flag. Around my neck. Tied in a Windsor. (Metaphor’s falling apart; PRESS ON)

“Where’s yours?” he asked.

“I had a client meeting this morning,” I said. I indicated the blazer I was wearing over a dress shirt and chinos.

“And you couldn’t have worn a tie to that.”

“Right,” I agreed. “It would just look silly.” And it would have. I’d have been the only man on either side of the table wearing a tie, including my director and their SVP of marketing.

So I work in an office where wearing a tie is not only voluntary, but it’s a silly little ritual that men have to remind each other to take part in. Where wearing a tie would be inappropriate to go meet clients. This says nothing about the bottle opener in my desk drawer, which I brought in after I tired of borrowing other people’s. Or the Wii in the break room. Or the animal crackers.

Next time I complain – in writing – about how tough work is, forward me this post. Or slap me, either/or.

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