One morning not too long ago, a Friday to be exact, I was running a bit late (when are they going to invent an alarm clock that turns its own volume up when you need it?) and a quick shower and then throw on my clothes as quickly as I could to get out the door and catch the bus on time. I made it to work on time but also found myself in an interesting social dilemma.
You see, as I noted above, the day was Friday. At the office, CASUAL Friday. For those of you who live under a rock, Casual Friday is a new tradition whereby the office relaxes its usual dress code and allows casual dress. No, not flannel pants and bunny slippers (which is how my wife goes to work at her desk at home - yes, digressing as usual) Tee shirts, and jeans can be found in abundance. Now, in my haste to get dressed, without thinking of the day of the week, I followed the standard office dress of khaki slacks, polo shirt and dress shoes. I was dressed nice. I was well within the standards for social acceptance any day of the week. Except that it was Casual Friday.
Casual Friday is viewed by office workers today almost as a birthright. Tell them that they can't wear their jeans and tennis shoes (oh, yeah... CROSS trainers, is that better?) and they start petitions and back room meetings. New Taxes get fewer grass roots movements.
So I am sitting at my desk, in my khaki pants (did you know that the word Khaki comes from an Arabic word for "Sand Colored"?) and I hadn't even realized the problem until...In comes the first one. A co-worker, in jeans and a sweater. She walks up to my desk and in a VERY serious quiet tone she says,
"Did I miss the memo?" I look at her like she's speaking a foreign language. "Is there a big meeting today?" she says just as intense and just as quiet. When I don't respond she finally points at my pants (no we won't go there) and I get it. I am not dressed for Casual Friday. Light bulb in on position.
"Oh, I was running late and got dressed quick today." I laugh it all off, "put on the standard work clothes before I realized it. heh heh." There is a long pause while she took this all in. "Heh...Heh..." I trailed off as she glanced at my slacks, back up at my polo shirt, then into my eyes and again down and up...and then she left. I'm pretty sure she really didn't know what to do and thought I was up to something.
Ok, one down, about 80 more to go. For the rest of the day I had to admit to EVERYONE that I had overslept, that I put on the Khaki pants without taking into account the fact that it was Friday - no, wait CASUAL Friday and may indeed now be MANDATORY Casual Friday and each time I had to assure each and everyone of them that the Casual Friday Rule was still in effect. You'd have thought I was wearing house cats as clothes the way some of them looked at me.
But the real problem is (or seems to be) that I caused this. I caused all this excitement over whether or not Causal Friday still existed. Did you catch that? CAUSUAL Friday. Yeah, now with its own moniker: CAUSUAL Friday. Yes, that's what I'm going to call it. Put on the wrong clothes and you can cause an uprising. I think a few of them actually thought I was trying to get RID OF Casual Fridays by my dressing in normal work attire. Go figure.
Someday on a Monday I may wear Jeans just to mess with their heads.