Thursday, October 13, 2005

Cutting ties

We have recently employed a student on his year out to gain some work experience. His job is a slightly ill-defined admin role; not necessarily the best way of enriching your working experience. The thing is we’re busy, so he gets to do stuff that makes us less so. In fact, the hardest thing, he says, is the fact he’s supposed to work 9am-5pm, presumably without a nap, or a beer. Bless.

Aside from the half-projects placed before him, probably the meanest thing we do is allow him to wear a suit. I don’t wear a suit to work unless I’ve something important on, but at least when I do I look like I should wear it.

Young men in their early twenties don’t wear suits well. They look all awkward, like they’re about to receive another ASBO. Part of the reason is economic; a lack of money means that they probably have only one, which is cheap, will get dirty and is probably slightly too big (they’ll grow into it). There’s also something about ties; young men don’t like wearing ties. I don’t like wearing ties. But, again, my cool, if I have any, is left at home; I am culturally indoctrinated to wear my tie, clean my shoes, tidy my hair, and make appallingly dull small talk with work colleagues. Doing my top button up and making sure the knot is straight is all part of Work-Me.

You don’t see people shopping on a Saturday wearing a suit and tie, a majority of people would not choose to wear one. You have to change your mindset, compromise who you are to wear one. Younger men have not been matured into this sad state of affairs. It is this, not the fact they’re brought in to enrich their working experience then left moving boxes and getting sandwiches, that makes internships most cruel.


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