Going Back!

12 Sep

Just for the sake of getting something posted – it’s been over a month and I now have seven or eight other articles looking for an ending – I offer you the following:

For the first thirty years of my working life, (which covers, The Inland Revenue, Barclays Bank Trust Company and temping at the Norwich & Peterborough Building Society) I was required to wear a suit and tie. This was in spite of the important (to me anyway) fact that for the last six of those thirty years I was not in direct face to face contact with my clients and I don’t believe that they would have been able to detect it by phone or letter if I hadn’t been wearing them. Except, of course that my telephone voice would have sounded a lot less choked without the tie!

I had to wear that “uniform” because of the whim of small-minded Managers who get off on exercising that type of petty and unnecessary power over others!

And then I got my first IT job which involved a lot of crawling about under desks and dressing up in protective gear for going into supposedly sterile factory areas. I discovered to my great relief that not only was I not expected to wear either suit or tie but that it was positively discouraged! I think my IT Managers would have thought I was after their job if I’d turned up looking smart!

Ever since that first break into the computer industry my suit, along with my ties and smart shoes, has been reserved for job interviews, weddings and the very occasional funeral.

And what, you may ask, got me thinking about that?

Well, it was the follow-up to considering pockets, their contents, and how they have changed over the years.

When I was at school my jacket and trouser pockets contained all of the traditional schoolboy things – furry unwrapped toffees, a penknife, pieces of string, a grubby handkerchief, a comb (sometimes!) and (in the right
season) any number of conkers!  Then when I started office work my suit pockets contained money, a penknife, a clean handkerchief, a comb, keys and various pens and pencils that would have been stolen by colleagues had I left them on my desk!

Later when I moved to IT work the pockets of my casual black trousers and the fleece jacket that I can now get away with instead of a suit jacket contained an assortment of small screwdrivers, a device for testing network cables, a USB memory stick, a clean handkerchief, a comb and a penknife.

“But why” I still hear you asking, “were you thinking about pocket contents at all?”

OK, I’ll tell you. I was doing the usual Monday morning thing of swapping the contents of the jeans I’ve had on all weekend into my work trousers when I noticed something interesting.

The items I took from my jeans included a penknife, a grubby handkerchief, a slightly sticky mint imperial and a couple of pieces of string! Just like a schoolboy!

I think I must be regressing to my childhood and will have to go for a walk at lunchtime to try to find some conkers!!



Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Uncategorized


2 responses to “Going Back!

  1. Cy Quick

    September 13, 2011 at 6:39 am

    I love this Post! But I must admit, in passing, that I always thought it was a shame to pierce a hole through a lovely shiney conker. I wonder if horse-chestnut trees are native to England. I have never seen a TV documentary about conkers. I expect that, many years ago, the girls were first to pick up conkers, and made necklaces. Then the boys saw the possibilities for contest…

    Suit and tie tradition… there’s a weird phenomenon indeed! And anyway, I always found that no amount of dry-cleaning gets suits to smell fresh. Forever in blue jeans… much better idea! What a good thing the IT culture came along and swept away the tie nonsense, at least in the world of productive work. Ties get caught in machinery and drag you in…

  2. Alfie

    September 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    There were good reasons for the contents of my jeans pockets:
    The penknife is always there (regardless of “knife crime” laws).
    The mint was one of several that my mother-in-law gave me as a “reward” for taking some of her bulky rubbish to the municipal dump (or “Peterborough” as I call it). Such generosity!
    The string was present as I had used it to tie up some old quilts and pillows for said dump trip.
    The handkerchief was grubby because my wife and I had been out for a cycle ride and my chain came off – nothing else to wipe hands on.
    But putting all that in the piece would have ruined the “flow”.



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