Look, I'm as fun-loving as the next guy. After work I like to loosen up my tie, unbutton my collar and relax with a couple fingers of sourmash whiskey in front of the news. So, when the boss announced that Friday would be Casual Day at work, I was all for it.
On the first Casual Day I wore my brown loafers instead of the black oxfords—the ones that usually go with my pearl grey jacket—and the Minnesota Vikings tie that I won at the office Christmas party for guessing last quarter's fiscal growth. I don't really like the Vikings much, and the loafers always make my feet smell like donkey, but I didn't want to be considered a spoil-sport.
When I arrived at work that morning I thought I'd walked into the wrong office! It was like a circus in there, or some sort of a young people's night club. Some of the men were wearing polo shirts as if they'd just come in from playing tennis. A bunch from marketing had blue jeans and tennis shoes on. A few others from client development were wearing khaki pants and sweater vests. I half expected them to break into "Greased Lightning" at any minute!
This utter lack of decorum was not limited to the gentlemen, by any means. Our staff is made up of at least 50 percent fairer sex, what with the need for typists and such. But as I glanced around, I asked myself, "Where have all the women gone?" Then I realized what was going on. The women were there, but they were wearing pants!
I approached a woman who was wearing a dress in order to compliment her on her choice, but as I neared I saw she was, if you can believe this, not wearing stockings. Suddenly the place of business has become a beach! What was next? Mini-skirts and go-go boots? Long hair and bare feet?
I was afraid for the future of the company, so I went straight to Mr. Klavert's office to inform him of what was going on. I rushed into his office and found him turned toward the window. When he swiveled around to see who had entered, it was as if I was trapped inside a nightmare: He was wearing tan Dockers and a short-sleeve pullover. Arrgh!
I ran out of there and into the main office to monitor for other signs of decay, and sure enough—the coffee fund cup was completely devoid of quarters! I looked around and saw at least five people with steaming mugs. "That had better be Cup-a-Soup!" I yelled.
There were soda-pop cans in work cubicles, and the supply cabinet was left wide open, just inviting abuse of envelopes for personal use. Someone had failed to clear the copier after use, and the employee refrigerator was a holy terror. Things had gotten way out of hand, and when I expressed my grave concerns, everyone acted so, well, casual about it.
The last straw came when I looked up at the intra-office announcement board and saw a comic strip pinned among the memorandum postings. The irreverent humor of Dilbert has no place in a serious office. Maybe in some other place, one which invites scandal and reckless whimsy, but not in our office. I pulled the Dilbert funny down and ripped it up into tiny pieces before depositing it in the appropriate recyclable paper basket.
When Casual Day was over, I felt embarrassed that I had ever lowered myself to take part in it. The very first thing I did when I got home was take off those briefs and put on a pair of crisply ironed boxers.