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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Wednesday is Naked Office Day. You'll Probably Want to Get That Ironed.

Fridays are, across the U.S. of A., and around the world, for all I know, known as an office’s “casual” day.

And by “casual”, we mean in dress.

I was 19 years old at the time of my first full-time job. The 19-year-old Pearl was not an altogether thinking person, prone to impetuosity and foolish choices in attire. My interpretation of my first “Casual Friday” – back at a time when we office minion were required not only to wear nylons with our skirts (bare legs were unprofessional) but also, closed-toe shoes (toes were seditious), and wimples, as I recall – was to show up dressed in heavily embroidered jeans, four-inch wedge heels, and a sleeveless shirt that stopped being solid material just below the bra-line and from there dissolved into fringes to just below the belly button...

It was impressed upon me – both verbally and visually – that this was inappropriate work attire, although I seem to recall the all-male engineering department insisting that it was the only appropriate thing that had happened for days.

Things have changed, as they are wont to do. Here at Acme Napkins and Grommets Casual Friday is in full swing – the execs have ordered their shirts with “light starch”, normally reserved folk hint at off-work preferences via jewelry choices, and those freshly out of college have their "clueless" mindsets on full display, wearing rubber flip-flops and tee-shirts that came free with certain liquor purchases.

Me? The belly-baring shirts of my youth have been retired, out of respect for the viewing public; and the thought of wearing a Jagermeister tee-shirt to work makes me as nauseous as the drink itself.

I have become respectable.

And that's all right with me.

I’m a bit nostalgic for being clueless, though. 

19 comments:

Susan Williams said...

Seditious toes.
I long for my just one person to mention my toes being seditious.
Masterful title, too.

Should Fish More said...

Never had causual Friday's in my work, maybe it would have been stethescope in pocket rather than around neck.
If I hang on another 5 years though, I'll start having coffee on the porch in a purple mumu...

Al Penwasser said...

Naked Office Day!!??
Better keep that iron away from me.
If you know what I mean.

Delores said...

We had casual Fridays at my place of imprisonment (oops...I meant employment) but the way folks dressed normally in the department I was in made it hard to tell the difference.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Never had the chance to flaunt the now un-flauntable as this was a very late addition to working life for me; thought I was once put on detention at school for wearing hair beads. Which must mean I had seditious strands..... Respectable is find Pearl. Just stay starch-free. YAM xx

Val S said...

I'm looking forward to being clueless in retirement. I think embarrassing clothes on old people is a trend I could happily follow!

Simply Suthern said...

My work attire is rather casual M-F, so I might not shave.
I opt for closed toe as the steel shavings smart a bit when they get betwixt the toes.

Linda O'Connell said...

Tell us please, that you are NOT wearing pantyhose. Many moons ago when my ex was in the army, women were not allowed to wear sandals without socks on base because bare toes were seductive :)

jenny_o said...

You might have been clueless but I bet you were some cute, Pearl :)

I was clueless in the verbal department. Stuck up for the newbies at the bottom of the totem pole, saying they should be permitted to go to lunch with everyone else, not stay in the office to answer the phone. Luckily I had very kind bosses who actually took my uppity indignation to heart and changed procedures. But I still blush to think of how outspoken I was. Hey, as long as we learn as we age, we're doing okay!

BECKY said...

Oh my goodness! I've never heard of toes being anything close to being seductive...especially in the work place! But in my case, anyone who casually looked down at my feet in open-toed sandals would be more turned off than....help me, Pearl...I need something really disgusting! Hilarious post, as always!

Geo. said...

Great post, Pearl. There is such cheerful strength in it.

Joanne Noragon said...

I stunned the machine shop on time. I noticed the foreman's big Harley parked outside and commended him on the big jugs. I know my husband would have admired the jugs on that bike, I'd often heard him comment on the jugs on a Harley.

Chicken said...

I had a white collar job once that had a blue collar dress code. Good times.

Catalyst/Taylor said...

Now what we need is a photo from your former free-spirit days.

bill lisleman said...

there is no retirement dress code that I know of. In today's world it would not surprise me if a certain level of tan skin and white teeth were required.

River said...

ah the clueless days of yore! What fun.
We had casual Fridays at the supermarket, but not everyone participated. We had to pay $2 for the privilege and the money collected went to charity. After a while it was discontinued, I never found out why, but from then on it was uniform for every shift.

alwaysinthebackrow said...

I suppose it is just me and my curmudgeonly attitude, but I am longing for the nylon stocking and closed-toe shoes days. I blame it all on Ally McBeal, but it still does not seem appropriate for women to wear flip-flops in the courtroom. Even if they have bling on them....ok, especially if they have bling on them.

Indigo Roth said...

I respect your stance on toes, especially with nylons and open-toed shoes. Wrong, wrong, wrong. But I long for a photo of Clueless Peggy, perhaps from her month on the Pirelli calendar?

Emma Springfield said...

When I read the title I had to wonder... Did it mean that the workers were to be naked or was the office to be naked? I am glad the story was about a casual day. Naked offices tend to reproduce. Their off-spring are called cubicles.