The Many Interpretations of Business Casual

I recently got employed at a place. It’s a business place that sells things to other business to do their business things. It’s exciting to everybody else. I like the fact that so long as I do my business job I can get payed, get my parents off my back about how I wasn’t making money doing any of the things I was doing. To be fair to them, most of those things I was doing was just sitting, eating, and watching random funny things on any streaming service I could think of. It was fun but mostly boring and unsatisfying toward the end of the day when I was doing nothing.

Now I have a job in a business doing business-minded things with business-minded people in a business-minded world. This is interesting to me and, I imagine, nobody else. Mostly because I am not a business-minded person who likes doing business-minded things as I find them to also be unsatisfying and rather difficult to focus on. I think this makes it rather difficult for me to want to stay in any kind of business position, even if I know that there is a good chance that I might have to do these business-minded activities for the rest of my life.

I think the toughest thing for me is that I do not understand the standard form in which people dress. Most people call it “professional dress.” I call it “uncomfortable for no reason other than trying to prove to other people who aren’t really their friends but are also kind of their friends that they are adults and business-minded people just like those other people who are trying just as desperately to prove they are also, I fact adults.” I think the most confusing thing to me is when you go to an office and they say the dress code is “business casual.” I think this is another way to say to dress just uncomfortably enough that you don’t feel fancy like you would be wearing a suit, but not comfortable enough that you can meet your friends after work and go to a bar.

I think the main problem with “business casual” is that is has yet to be properly defined, so any office that implement this style of dress may have some guidelines completely different from another office. I had an internship in college that said “business casual” where I could wear jeans three days a week, or wear a tie if I wanted, so long as I wasn’t in sweats basically. Another internship I had had the guidelines of needing to wear some sort of slacks with a button-up collar shirt, but you get to wear jeans on Friday, so happy days!

Then there are places like my father’s current employer who used to require that they all look basically semi-formal and wear ties every day, except Fridays in the summer. Then they could take the ties off and act like little children who had to go to church every day this week because they are visiting their grandma in Arkansas. When they decided that they couldn’t hire any young people or really any people at all they decided to change the dress code policy in the employee handbook, but the change caused the dress code to take four pages out of the book. I don’t know how many of you have seen an employee handbook lately, but they tend to take about thirty pages give or take, and four of theirs were for dress code. That may not seem like a hefty sum, but this is the thing that also needs to talk about expectations, benefits, office environment, even what to do when you are getting ready to leave.

Essentially the place my dad works at sounds like it kind of sucks and still is not very good at hiring any young people who are trying to join the work force. I think they maybe also don’t want to because the older white guys who are running the place are probably scared about what will happen to this country when the millennials are eventually in charge. I think there is some validity in that fear, but mostly I think they need us to take over since they are unable to use the computer their business now revolves around.

Now I think one of things that really turns me off business-minded culture is that when I want to go into what is known as the first date, or interview, (My bad. I just had to throw in a shameless plug to something else I wrote a couple months ago).  I have to dress into their culture to try and impress them, and as stated earlier, prove to them I am an adult. I do not like being an adult, it is the worst idea anybody came up with. Deciding that childish things are not worth while and we need to mature so we can fit into society. I think that’s bullshit. I like being a child, and being mature just takes a lot of effort, that really, I never really want to take when doing most things that I really don’t feel like are necessary for me to do.

I think the most unnecessary part of adult life is if a man wants to look like a man in any kind of formal scenario he MUSt wear a tie. If it is not clear from anything I have ever written on here that I am not a tie person, then you are not paying attention to the neurotic ramblings that you have been reading, if anybody is reading this consistently. However, I am willing to break it down for you. I hate ties. They are uncomfortable. They are unnecessary, and I really don’t think that they look good. I’m pretty sure they are just a holdover from when we wore those like bushy things on our shirts (maybe a cravat) that had the purpose of keeping the tops of shirts tied. Now they serve no purpose because we have buttons that keep our shirts together, and we don’t even button the top one without a tie on “because it looks weird.” Meaning the only purpose of the tie is to make the space between your neck and the cloth collar even tighter. Which just doesn’t make sense to me anymore. I think most people think a suit and tie looks sharp, and I just think that the guy wearing the suit probably just wants to go home so he can strip down naked and complain about how hot it is. At least that’s all I want when I wear a suit.

I guess basically what I’m trying to say is that if I could just never dress like a business-person again that would be amazing. That’s actually one of the reasons I write on here sometimes, and not nearly as often as I should, and that is to get to a point when I no longer have to pretend I understand business, and can just live in a world where most days it doesn’t matter if I know the requirements for business casual, because I haven’t left home today because I just need my computer in my bed and I am still in my boxers.

Garrett Eicher, Casual business.

 

P.S. I looked it up. The origin of the tie comes from King Louis XIII when he hired Croatian mercenaries and part of their uniform was a piece of cloth wrapped around their neck. Louis was taken by this and required it at any events at court from then on. So, as always, it’s the French’s fault.

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