Sunday, November 27, 2005

Return of Officezilla!

Fashion has become the Bain of my existence at the office lately.

Along with the responsibilities of being recently promoted up from the ranks of lowly wage donkey’s, comes the expectation that I will also make a further effort to actually look the part as well. I suppose whether or not I am actually efficient at doing my job is not really important as long as I can successfully dress with the air of someone who would aspire to such a position. The fact whether I am wearing jeans or business casual khakis while excelling at my labors seems like a minor moot point to me, but it’s not my responsibility at work to make those vitally important office decisions.

Lately, in an effort to comply with these new office mandates I have been in and out of the Walmart dressing rooms more times than the Duke boys have been in and out of the Hazzard County jail. And this is not an easy thing to admit for someone like myself whose only previous brush with popular fashion was in accidentally discovering a secret shoe fetish while roaming the aisles at a discount clearance store.

The true fact of the matter is that I’ve never been remotely considered anything as fashionable before, and now suddenly, I’m being required to somehow transform myself into Calvin Klein by this Monday morning. Up until this point in my life I have avidly subscribed to the safe, familiar sexual ambiguity of jeans and t-shirts. It doesn’t matter what kind of person you are in this life, put on a pair of Doc Martins and a flannel shirt and immediately you’re perceived as a misunderstood “ar-teest”. What I know about really being “professionally fashionable” at the office place you could inscribe on a single grain of sand; I still consider white socks and sandals to be a statement in comfort that transcends beyond mere Labor Day.

That is to say – I’m a fashion retard.

This doesn’t mean that I am against having to dress up and appear professional at work. I’m simply relating that this is not something that is going to come easily for me since it also inevitably means that I will have to do more clothes shopping – and I fucking hate clothes shopping. Nothing ever seems to look quite right while standing in front of those full-length mirrors standing in most dressing rooms. I don’t know about anyone else, but to me it’s like I’m checking myself out in one of those Carnival Funhouse Mirrors. Any pair of ordinary “flat front” trousers will inevitably make me feel like I have developed a severe case of testicular Elephantitis* while examining myself in one of those fucked-up dressing room mirrors.

My lack of common fashion sense really struck home this year at the annual company “Seasonal Dance”**. Here, co-workers were getting all dolled up like actual Red Carpet celebrity debutants and here I’m left trying to accessorize the only tie I own with my only pair of Dockers. Fashion just comes naturally to some. Some people could stitch a cow turd to their cheek and eat maple walnut ice cream out of a toilet bowl and still come across as being stylish. I guess I’m just forever destined to be the rube in faded Chinos.

There is even one manager at work who has become synonymous with office fashion, as on any given day he makes Hugo Boss look like a Keebler Elf. And I’m not talking about that hideously tacky Officezilla guy either! That guy looked like a neon tetra fish swimming between the desks. But this particular manager has reset the bar for office fashion more times than Dick Fosbury with a severe case of the cramps. Honestly, how many men can wear a bright neon orange dress shirt capable of burning out the eye sockets of innocent rabbits if ever they should happen to gaze upon him for too long. Well, he didn’t even bother to wear a tie to the Seasonal Dance this year and he still made us all look like a pack of dyspeptic hyenas - I bet this guys farts smell like bakery-fresh cinnamon rolls. And still he managed to get kudos’ from all his peers and fashion disciples alike during the post-dinner speeches. When I later inquired him how he so easily managed to stay on the very cusp of current office trendiness, he simply winked and coyly advised me: “sometimes you just have to zig when others people are zagging”.

Okay, there, Tommy Hillpecker – thanks! Usually, for me this means proceeding to get ripping drunk, strip naked and dance on the table before passing out under my car in the parking lot with my keys up my ass – but I think I understood what he was driving at.

* A revelation that my female companion at the time was not so inclined to hear - twice - in the middle of the store at the time.

** Why they just can’t call it an office Christmas Party anymore is beyond me. Why are we so afraid of upsetting those denominations that do not believe in or participate in our own traditional holiday customs? Muslim employees are allowed to take an hour off every day for prayer for one whole month out of respect for their religious faith, so why can’t we still reserve the same right to whoop it up once a year at a holiday office rager and drunkenly make out with a co-worker on the photocopier?


Blogger Superhappyjen said...

A thought to make you extra uncomfortable in front of the changeroom mirror: That's where they hide the security cameras.

5:45 PM  

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