Simon, Martin, Charlie, and I were talking about the new dress code the other day. I took the unpopular position that our dress code was arguably too lax before they relaxed it. I’ll justify this at another time, but it’s important to note that I was on my high horse so that you know what they knocked me of off.
There seemed to be little consensus what the dress code ought to be. Kirk and Martin more-or-less supported “anything goes” unless someone important is supposed to be in the office that day. Simon, however, said that all that mattered to him was consistency. He said that it bothered him when people would wear sneakers with their slacks, but now that we work in jeans they were okay. In addition to singling out sneakers, he singled out workboots.
Naturally, he knew I was wearing workboots. I wear them to work every day. By “workboots” I mean steel-toed safety boots. The funny thing is that I own my various steel-toed boots not just to wear at work, but specifically for work. Not only that, but the pair I was wearing was purchased by work, some time ago.
I got my first pair when I was in high school. I got a job as a receptionist at Snippity-Snip, a national haircutting chain. Without thinking, I showed up my first day to work in a pair of black tennis shoes. They were inconspicuous, but they were deemed inappropriate for work. Now, I wear abnormally large shoes, so selection is somewhat limited. I stumbled across a pair of steel-toed boots at Academy that were the only non-tennis shoes I could find that I would still be able to stand up in all day.
I fell in love with them instantly. I don’t know why, but they seemed to suit me perfectly. It was neat to be able to walk in an inch of water without incident. I could also kick doors open, which with the heatswell in the south is not insignificant. I wore them until the sol was so ripped that it pinched my feet and I couldn’t walk in a millimeter of water without getting wet.
Not long after that, I used to work for Wildcat, an engineering and fabrication plant for oil refinery equipment. As you might imagine, I worked in the office. There was a shop outside. For insurance reasons, they would buy one pair of steel-toed boots per year. Once I was able to find them (I love you, Internet), I was completely set.
Now, in a just world, I would have been able to say all this during the discussion. Up until that point, it had never occured to me that workboots were inappropriate for the office place. It was like cowboy boots in that one of the things I liked about them was that they were appropriate for just about anything — though mom didn’t like that I wore them to church and I figured she had a point I switched to my biker boots, which are completely inconspicuous under slacks. Except, of course, to Mom.