We don’t have a work uniform, but we might as well do, since I pretty well wear the same thing every day. I wear casual trousers, a polo-shirt (in winter, thanks to our ill-conditioned air-conditioning, this gets upped to a Nadal-type sleeveless singlet, a t-shirt and a polo-shirt) and a hoodie.
People my age tend not to wear hoodies, if only because you feel more justified in glaring suspiciously at youths in hoodies if you’re not wearing one yourself. I only really started after my first blackout, when my forehead was quite badly cut after my fall and I couldn’t pull jumpers on over my head. Since I had no cardigans (I’m not yet a grandad, nor am I Val Doonican) I borrowed a hoodie from Tinson1, one of those ones that zip up at the front. No sooner had my head healed than I fell on it again, re-commissioned the hoodie and eventually Tinson1 gave up trying to point out that it had originally been his.
By now I have lots of them. I like wearing them to work because they are comfortable, and because on really bad air-con days I can pointedly sit at my desk with the hood up. I realise that wearing one means that I am banned from some shopping centres, but this doesn’t bother me since shopping centres mostly sell clothes, so I’d rarely visit one. As I’m sure you’ve gathered, clothes are not my strong suit, if that remark makes any sense.
Anyway, I’d to go with the boss to a seminar this morning (gosh, sounded like a real business person there for a second) so, since I was temporarily the public face of our company I decided I should, I think the phrase is, suit up. I put on a long-sleeved, button-fronted shirt, I put on a jacket and finally I put on that ultimate waste of the polyester-forests, a tie. I’d say that I looked dapper, except that it’s one of those words that you hear used a lot without ever knowing exactly what it means.
The seminar ended, we returned to work and I spent the rest of the day looking dapper (perhaps it means half-witted?). And I was amazed at how much comment my attire provoked among my workmates. Not just the ones who are my friends (yes, they slagged the shit out of me, that’s how you know people are your friends), but people to whom I rarely speak felt emboldened to remark about how, well, dapper (does it mean ludicrous, maybe?) I looked. I spent a lot of the day assuring people that no, I did not have a hot date, no, I was not going to a job interview and no, I was not due in court.
I argued that I have worn a jacket and tie often before at work and that’s it’s not that long since I last did it. And I believed this. And then sometime in the afternoon I put my hand into the inside pocket of the jacket and found something from the last time I’d worn it. We used to bring clients to football matches in the UK and one day a client dropped out at the last minute and for some reason I ended up being dragged along. Since dinner at the club was included I’d to wear the jacket and tie. So what I found in my pocket was a ticket for Sunderland v Arsenal, on the last day that I wore a jacket and tie.
On May 11th, 2008. I think I’m not really executive material.
I also found three chocolates in wrapping with the Sunderland crest on. Mrs Tin, Tingirl and I had one each this evening, they were lovely. So my story ends with some really good news, especially for women.
Well-wrapped chocolate, if kept in a very dark wardrobe, never goes stale.