Why do we still tolerate this stuff?
For the uninitiated, the business suit consists of uncomfortable pants, uncomfortable shirt, uncomfortable shoes, and if you’re particularly unlucky, a tie. They are rated according to their Professionalism Index, which is calculated by taking the amount of money you spent on it and dividing by the number of hours in any given day that you would willingly wear it.
The main purpose of a business suit is twofold.
- To make money for people who make the components of business suits and sell them at huge markup;
- To help businesses identify which prospective employees are most likely to remain loyal to the company no matter how abusive the relationship becomes.
Meaning what we have here is a scam, wrapped in a form of bullying. Joy. Rapture.
The suit becomes stupider in a fractal fashion when one focuses on each given component.
The shirt: This isn’t actually too daft. I mean, it’s still not comfortable and is aimed at helping you, the individual cogwheel, fit into the vast faceless machine of profit, but what the heck, I’m feeling generous this morning so let’s give it a free pass.
The pants: …aaaaand because I gave the shirt a free pass, let’s go to town. (I have the mystical ability to redirect vitriol, but not suppress it.) These are offensively worthless. I don’t mean simply pointless, I mean the purposes they serve are completely without merit. They’re no fun to wear, they never quite fit, they become too small after a large lunch, and since I have a wallet that is very bulky yet almost consistently empty, it’s very hard to actually get things out of the pockets.
The shoes: The last set of business-appropriate shoes I got fit fine in the shop. When I tried to actually wear them in a relatively professional setting, namely clinical placement in a hospital*, they were agonising. I spent two days developing empathy for the victims of foot-binding, then ditched them and went back to my trusty pair of riding boots that last for years. So maybe I’m just a wee bit biased, but if I’m wearing something for eight solid hours I’d at least like it to be something that doesn’t actively go out of its way to leave me limping horribly.
The tie: And oh yes it’s this again**. These have only benefited three groups: tie salesmen, murderers, and people who are into autoerotic asphyxiation. Since I fall into none of those groups…
Solutions. This is always the hard part of pointing out problems.
The most simple one, of course, is to try and get people to actually listen when they’re small kids and are told it’s what’s on the inside that counts.***
The other one will require help. If you’re a recruiting officer and you’re reading this****, judge your next set of employees on their actual fitness for the job. Not on their pants. And if you happen to be mine, please make your decision upon looking at my résumé, not my crotch.
– OSM out
* Course fell through, so I’m not a radiographer. You can tell this from my actually having time to write this nonsense.
** During my brief time being published by a university newsletter that must have been truly, truly desperate for material, I made bashing Windows Vista something of a running joke.
*** “Simple”, here, is defined as “complicated and unlikely to succeed, but it beats the pants off running around punching CEOs until they relax uniform requirements.”
**** And you probably aren’t, because like five people read this blog and I know two of them, but just in case.