It is common knowledge throughout the United States that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are the most traveled days of the year. Yet, it does not stop 95% of the nation’s working class from flying all across the country as no other vacation days are allotted. It appears so unfair; you will be maligned if you arrive late to work on Monday because your flight was so delayed, or you will feel guilty for taking off the Tuesday before to travel home. The irony raised here brings me even closer to my point that post-holiday travel is absolutely the worst when turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie are involved, especially when flying on those two crucial days.
For this Thanksgiving, I had the pleasure of visiting my sister in Texas, where she had recently moved with her two children and husband. The plan was for my mother and father to travel down from California the weekend before and I would meet them Weds night in Austin, Tx. Due to the fact that I am quite the frequent flyer I was able to purchase first class tickets without shedding a dime. As I sashayed towards my first class seat, I was already dreaming of what goodies I would get; should I start the ride with something classy like a glass of wine? Or keep it real with a vodka tonic? Do they REALLY give you warmed nuts? Decisions decisions! I was suddenly knocked out of my daze by the arrival of a 15 year old child who also was granted a first class seat….right next to me. He was chattering away on the phone and immediately it was clear that my daydreaming moment was over. As he shoved past me into his seat, he commented on the phone how until take off he would make jokes about the plane crashing because…it would be funny. My dear boy…I know you were alive during 9/11!!!! Yes, you may have been more of a zygote than the pimply annoying tween you are now, but your brain must have developed to somewhat understand this is simply not ok! Thankfully, before I had to exhibit sheer physical force to shut him up, the kind airline stewardess came over and turned off his phone…for him. Despite this…minor setback, the entire flight was very smooth and uneventful all the way to Austin, Texas.
After spending the next four days in a food coma that consisted of deep fried turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pies, and of course authentic Texas bbq I was heading back to the airport to commence my Sunday post-Thanksgiving flight home. I had naively assumed that since it was such a piece of cake traveling to Austin, it would be just as easy to travel back to dc…and I could have never been more wrong. I made it safely through security and was seated at my gate when I noticed that my flight was delayed by 30 minutes. No problem I thought…since the plane leaving Austin had a connection in Dallas and then would take me directly to DCA. Well the 30 minute delay turned into an hr delay which turned into a 2 hr delay and then the stewardess calmly informed us that we all better take out our cell phones and call 1800-YOUGOTSCREWEDBYAMERICANAIRLINES to immediately re-schedule our flights if we hoped to get home tonight. Thankfully, the rescheduling was simple and I assumed all my trouble was over. The telephone agent advised me to go back out of the terminal to the check-in counter to re-print my new tickets and ensure my baggage would make it to DCA. After this was done, I had to go back through security, and since I made it through once, why would the second time be a problem. As soon as the TSA rep laid eyes on me, she wiggled her finger and said “YOU! You need to be searched!” as if I was a renegade rebel fighting for an unjustifiable cause. She made me stand in that little glass alley-way as my carry-on went through the x-ray scan. To add insult to injury, as I was waiting to get frisked, a little perky 5 year old girl stares at me, raises her hand and points her finger, while shouting ‘Mommy, what did that woman do??!” Although I wanted to open my mouth and shout “I am being racially profiled because I look Arab!!!” I refrained and just managed to give her a weak smile as her mother gazed at me sadly. Post-frisk, after it was deemed that I carried nothing dangerous in my GW sweatshirt and UGGS I was finally permitted to go and wait through my 4 hour flight delay in peace. Needless to say, I indulged in a few glasses of wine and even several bloody mary’s once I made it on the plane. Therefore lesson learned; I now would rather face the guilt of taking a day off to deter from traveling on those horrendous days and no amount of turkey, pie, or potatoes will ever change my mind.
Add a comment December 3, 2009
As duly noted in prior posts, it may be slightly evident that I have had some “minor” problems with my vehicle of choice. I wish I could say that BB has lived a long and productive life, only to be met by an honorable death, which led to her to that VIP car shop in the sky. But in reality…that was not the case.
The day started like any other winter day in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Fully attired in my business fabulous best-black slacks, polo sweater, ugg boots, I decided that because my lovely mercedes has worked properly for exactly 31 days post tune-up (her longest break-free time ever), she deserved some VIP treatment. She was a bit dirty from all the snow, grit, and salt that was over the roads, so I decided to run her through the local Chevron car wash. As I promptly paid the $8.95 that would ultimately lead to the most exciting car wash of my 23 year old life, I pondered my life, my goals, my desire for those Farragamo shoes on sale at the mall-what every twenty something year old thinks about in a car wash of course.
Everything seemed to be progressing normally, until about 5 minutes into the wash. I vaguely remember thinking that the car wash was to myself, and then suddenly noticed how cold it was inside the vehicle. Now, considering it was 33 degrees outside and probably snowing, you would think the low temperature drop was the cause of my discomfort. IF ONLY! As I started looking around the car (on a whim I may add!) the sight that met me was startling. Clearly, I was getting a 2-for-1 special on my car wash: not only was water being shot at the outside of my car, but it was being shot through my airconditioning directly AT ME! Within a few minutes, gallons of water started pouring through my air conditioning by my dashboard and by my feet. The only logical solution I had to rid myself of this dilemma was to slam my foot on the gas and zoom out of the car wash as fast as I could. Now, this logic was slightly tainted, as this forced the water to pour through the air conditioning even faster. Clearly, I did not recall anything I learned in physics all those years ago about that little mundane concept known as velocity.
As I already have my mercedes benz dealer on speed dial, I called them and was told to drive the car over IMMEDIATELY. Exactly 23 minutes and 54 seconds later, I pull up to the service center in Alexandria. I am met by several concerned faces. One technician immediately starts taking pictures of my car, a second technicians offers to get me coffee (my request for a bottle of vodka and was instantly denied), and a third technician assures me that the damage cannot be that bad. Cannot be that bad?! My interior was peeling due to water damage, the air conditioning was flooded, and there were two feet of standing water on my passenger side. Their response? at least you werent hurt. I can see it already: death by drowning in car inside local car wash. A head-line article for any young journalist looking to build their career!
Being somewhat knowledgable that this was not a small problem, I called my car insurance representative and placed a claim report. I was told that an agent would come look at the car, assess the damage, and advise me if it was covered by my policy. Exactly 48 hours later, I received a call from my agent. She stated that this was one of the worst cases of water damage she has ever seen and what lake did I drive the car into. I, being naive, first assumed that I misunderstood her question, but oh no-she was dead serious. After stating several times that it was a car WASH and I do not drive into lakes on a regular basis, she seemed somewhat convinced and told me she would be in touch in regards to my claim.
Ironically, just a few short minutes later, I received a call from Mercedes Benz. The technician himself called to inform me that there apparantly was a leaf stuck in my rain gutter which caused for water to flood the main compartment of the car. Oh, and he had noticed that same leaf when I had my car serviced 31 days ago. When I kindly asked him why he did not remove the leaf then, he responded nochatantly that I had not asked me to. I did not ask him to? Am I incorrect to think that when you pay an individual an inordinate amount of money for a service that they should maybe consider going above and beyond their job description of eating greasy hoagie sandwiches all day and remove the leaf that was in my rain gutter? To add insult to injury, he also stated that if I was a responsible car owner, I should have known to clean my rain duck myself and remove the leaf.
Now, I am not claiming to be Albert Einstein, but if I was to be the “Responsible car owner” I have been accused of not being, than there is really no need for me to pay mercedes anything. In fact, they should refund me the thousands of dollars I spent on repairs and possible bills to my therapist since I can “clearly do it all by reading my owners manual.”
Poor BB; a life cut short due to moldy leaves, clogged rain gutters, and an endless supply of greasy take out food. RIP.
Add a comment July 22, 2009
I had decided to spend a weekend a way from DC, as I have not left the city since November and have grown extremely restless. On an entry-level salary, it is very difficult to go to a unique and exotic location, so my choices were somewhat limited. After careful deliberation, I decided that 72 hours was the perfect timeframe to head to New York. I was planning on catching up with a few girlfriends from college and simultaneously marvel at the city, wondering why I didn’t end up living there. Based on my financial constraints, I decided to take Bolt Bus, a relatively new bus service which goes non-stop from Washington DC right to Penn Station in NYC. Prices are good, there have been no reported murders, and it’s usually a young, hip crowd. I booked my ticket and pranced off excited about my out-of-dc-weekend.
The bus ride to NYC was quiet uneventful and calm. After a fabulous 3 days in NYC touring, shopping, and of course those somewhat blackout nights we have all grown to love, my friend took me to the Bolt Stop. Now to preface this story, it is a known fact that you have to show up about 15 minutes before the bus in order to get on. I came about 5-10 minutes before my 4pm bus was supposed to depart and was IMMEDIATELY informed that I could not get on. Why do you say? Well apparently the “fine print” on the ticket states that if you are NOT there 15 minutes before, they can give your seat away. ( (I rechecked my ticket…THERE IS NO FINE PRINT!)So I and the other 5 passengers who the bus driver decided to LEAVE in New York just stood there, our Barneys co-op bags in hand! We were told that due to this “misunderstanding” we were first in line on stand-by for the next bus, coming in 1.5 hrs. As the minutes dragged on, the ticketed line grew longer and longer. When the driver finally decided to load the bus, a fight insued as a group of tweens (and I use this term loosely to refer to teenagers who make the Mean Girls look like angels) tried to clamor on the bus with the incorrect tickets.
At this point, I reached the end of my patience. I finally realized that my only alternative was to take the train back to DC. I quickly schlepped to the train station and purchased a coach ticket for DC. When they called my track number, I walked to the train and once again awkwardness struck. The only seats available were in the silent car! I would not be able to talk on my phone for 3.35 hours. I suppose it would be important to mention at this part that I have a slight addiction to my phone and all the calling/texting/emailing/chatting capabilities it has. This quiet car was the equivalent of handing an alcoholic a diet coke and saying welcome to the next three non-intoxicated hours of your life. As I sat down and realized I would not be able to talk to anyone FOREVER, I began my first Amtrak journey back to DC.
May luck truly be with me, but about 45 minutes into my journey, this homeless individual decided that the seat next to me was quite appealing. Clearly, the 103040340 other empty seats in the quiet car just wouldn’t do. So I spent the next two hours sitting next to a man (woman?) that smelled of excrement and clearly had a mental disorder as they talked to themselves about goodness knows what….the whole way to Baltimore. Needless to say, my train experience was not what I had imagined either and just caused me to think about how badly I wanted to shower and get off the train.
Now you may ask me, what lesson did I learn? Well here it comes! Become very rich so I can afford a private jet to and from anywhere I want to go and write an angry letter to Bolt bus that states the following: Dear Bolt Bus, you suck. Love always, Diana
2 comments February 3, 2009
To preface this short-story, it is important to note that I have actually only been the legal owner of my mercedes benz SLK 230 circa 2000 for 1 year (as of today ironically!) as it was previously purchased brand new by my parents as a gift to my mother for mothers day. Furthermore, it should be duly acknowledged that it has been a cumbersome, horrific purchase. Now that this preface has been set, let the story begin.
My BB (as you could say I “fondly” call her) has been a very tempermental old lady ever since she came into my posession. Loudly acknowledging that she HATES dc, the minute her brand new all-weather tires touched down on the cold asphalt in 2008, she immediately demanded to be taken for repair! Though on a semi-positive note, I had not had that many problems since then (and i pray to all g-ds that it stays that way!)
As all car owners know, every year a car needs a service (most often automated by a little service symbol that lights up on the dashboard). During this inspection, the dealership looks at the brakes, oil, windsheild wipers, etc..Well when the time came for BB to be serviced, I dutifully drove her to Mercedes Benz in VA for her inspection. Furthermore, there was a slightly irrating window leak (miniscule) that I wanted them to look at. 24 hours later, the car was ready and I went to pick it up and pay the over-blown bill.
The next day, fixed car in hand, I drove to work and parked the car for the day. After exiting my work holiday party, where I was told to BYOB and adamently refused, I came to my car, opened the door, and found my passenger side seat SOAKED in water. In a panic, I immediately call my service tech and drive as fast as the rain will permit back to the dealership. Of course she promises me to inspect it for free. The first hump in the road is waiting for my rental…a GT mustang as everything else is out. 45 MINUTES later…the rental is delivered.
Fast forward to 5 days later. I have quite enjoyed my time with the ‘stang as i like to call it, when I receive a call from my service tech informing me that OOPS! The technician working on the car forgot to put all the screws that hold the window in the door back. oops? OOPS? An oops is leaving a handsmug on the windsheild. This can be quantified as a major BOOBOO. Exactly 1 hour after her initial phone call, she calls back informing me that OOPS AGAIN they snapped off my antenna when they put the car through the wash…but not to worry! It will be replaced free of charge. The car was to be ready by 3pm so I planned to head over at 5 to get it.
When I get to the dealership, I go to the front desk where a young russian woman is sitting. I smile a dazzling smile and request for my car to be pulled up. After ignoring me for 5 minutes she saunters over to check on it. 15 minutes later, I see an SLK vaguely ressembling my own being pulled up. Yet, there is one difference between this SLK and mine. This SLK looks like an elephant squated and took a dump all over it. ALL over it. Now, I am not an extremely snobby person at all; but there is no way I plan on driving the car home looking like it went on a safari and was attacked by an elephants butt.
I go speak with my tech and she gives me the “oh my g-d so unacceptable!” speech and promises to have the car ready in 15 minutes. Fine. no worries. a mild hump in the road…or so I thought.
Fast-forward 35 minutes. Car is still not in sight. Mercedes benz employees not in sight. Russian lady…ignoring all my questions (thanks for the comraderie!). I finally catch this man (who of course doesnt speak english) and ask him where my car is. He proceeds to pull it up. still covered in poo. The manager comes to speak to me and informs me OOPS we broke the antenna again and why am I complaining considering he fixed it for free…again. Sir, when you break something…especially three times in a ROW why would I pay for it? He looks at me astonished that I am not buying him coffee for his “kind gesture.” 35 More minutes pass…car is driven out dirty again. I finally lose my cool. I snatch the keys, tell them that they are all incompetent, and zoom off.
Are you serious? A mercedes benz is a luxury car! I realize I may be young, and the car may be old, but you have to be kidding me that they seriously drove it out to me dirty after they BROKE it 3 times…in a row. As the anger boiled over me, I called my tech, and wrote quite an angry yet eloquent letter to management. I informed them that such behavior is UNACCEPTABLE. If I am going to be overcharged for parts and labor, at least I should be overcharged in STYLE! Apparantly my message hit home as I have been promised a free $200 dollar detail on the benz anytime I want.
So ladies and gentleman what is the lesson learned? Mercedes benz sucks. buy a honda.
3 comments January 19, 2009
As any 22 year old would do, I registered to vote exactly 1 month in advance of the Presidential election. Being a new resident of Virginia, I made the decision to go to the polls; all previous elections (aka the only other one I voted in) was completed via absentee ballot. I believed that when the clock stroke 6 am on November 4, who would possibly be up that early?
To futher make my life a little bit more…interesting, I found out about 3 weeks before the election was supposed to occur that I would be going to Hartford, CT for work. A co-worker was going as well, so we decided to carpool to work and then the airport. I felt that this would not cause any problems as I was going to go to the polls as soon as they opened, and then catch a ride with my co-worker right after.
After packing 75% of all necessary items the night before, I set my alarm for 5:45am, resolved to wake up, do my American duty in choosing a future president, and then return home, finish packing, and get dressed to go. As I strolled out of my apartment, looking especially….haggard in my baggy-yet-too-short sweat pants, ankle-mismatched socks, boyfriend sweatshirt, side high ponytail, and glasses (to obviously complete my look) I saw that the poll line stretch WAYYYYY around the block…and the doors had not even been opened. To further complicate matters, Rossyln had set up 2 polling stations next to each other, confusing all potential voters as to which line to get in.
After everyone finally figured out what line they needed to be in, the poll doors opened, and I realized that I would most definitely be in line for the next hour. Lucky for me, the young woman standing behind me was a news anchor for a hip, online tv station, and gave the 411 on the election, candidates, trends, and most importantly poll-line standing statitistics. Based on her filiming experience, she assured me that I would make it through the line by 7am, with even a few minutes to spare. As the minutes ticked on, I realized I had two main regrets: one being that I should have realized that I live right by the nation’s capital and knowingly come to the polls at 4 am, the second being that I should have put on a bit of make-up since a lot of cuties were in line and I could have found a potential politician boyfriend!
I finally made it to the front of the polling line at about 7:00am. With only 10 individuals before me, I finally was checked in and given the option of voting electronically or by paper ballot. As the paper ballot line was non-existent, I opted for that option as it seemed the fastest. As i quickly bubbled in the circles voicing my choice for president, I placed the ballot in the machine, but ALAS! the machine stated “Error, ballot not read.” After repeating this process 3 more TIMES, the ballot finally was taken and I bolted OUT of the polling station, with 7 minutes left to run home, change, finish packing, and wait for my carpool to come.
Yes, due to sheer luck, all of this WAS completed with me being only 3 minutes late AND most importantly to note, no consumption of coffee!!
All I can say is…at least now I know that for the next election…ABSENTEE BALLOT!
Add a comment November 4, 2008
(this is a response I sent to my friend who sent me a very biased article on which candidate to vote for, which had no significant information on the actual issues. Scary if that is the logic people are using to vote on, instead of basing their decision on what they feel is important) love, the-usually-unpolitically-driven-diana
It is important to note that despite the attacks mentioned and the so-called ferocity of words used, the overall trend is that if one intends to vote on fiscal policy, they tend to vote republican. On the other hand, if one tends to vote on socialist issues, they tend to vote democratic. Individuals our age are much more swayed by socialist issues as these are topics that are more common and strike a greater cord with us in our day-to-day life (clearly evident by how Obama appeals to the younger American population, while McCain appeals to the much older American population who are more often conservative in their view-points).
Although the importance of being a great orator is a deciding factor in picking a candidate and clearly evident within Obama’s speeches, it is most important to look at the content of the speeches and what each candidate stands for. Despite one’s presentation within the public eye, it is the very policies that they will actually go to issue that will make a difference. Therefore, judging a candidate by their personal or public attacks on another individual, are not the way to go in this election. In many situations throughout this election, opinions have been formed of candidates (on both sides) by mundane aspects of their performance which have no bearing on the changes that they will enforce (evident in the vp debates on expectations of palin and biden and their performance, in addition to mccain and obama). It is a bit shallow therefore to claim one candidate is better than the other; without any reference to the actual context and policies to be implemented. If the policies are what you feel should be represented within the United States, than that is the way the vote should go (just as gender and race should not play a deciding factor in the election either and clearly this aspect has been brought up by both sides in what I believe is a very shallow and unnecessary tactic).
Furthermore, this election is just as important as other elections that have taken place (I would even argue that the 2004 election had an even greater impact on America as the continuation of the Iraq War was clearly the deciding factor of the winner because it has been the impacting event of what has happened in the world as of today, therefore being a greater impact on this current election). If the deciding factor that this election is the greatest one ever because it is an African American and a conservative woman from Alaska running for president and vp respectively, clearly individuals have not examined the issues properly and have a completely jaded view of America. Though, not all blame should be put on the public, as both the democratic and republican parties have beat this issue to a standstill on both sides, undoubtedly causing for it to be such a hot topic throughout these past months.
Personally, based on the demise of the economy, nationwide and worldwide, I feel that fiscal policy and the current steps that are being taken to help revive the financial industry, banks, and even the stock market are what should be looked at on both sides of this election, followed by the stance on the war, and of course the various “hot topic” socialist issues that have pervaded society for the past several years.
Now, as usual I am just trying to flip the coin and speak for the other side, to cause a bit of a commotion of course J . My mom also did just have lunch with Sarah Palin and met her, so she’s been yapping in my ear about it for days.
And based on the article you sent, I do feel that the issues brought up are swayed to one side (more of a liberal democratic angle) and maybe the issues that really matter have not been examined fully. But then again who can ever find a news article that is not biased with personal affiliations and beliefs.
I just think its interesting that so many people our age are now getting involved in the election…I wonder is it because people actually care about the politics? Or is it more of a race to see if a black man or a white woman make it to the white house?
Only time will tell and of course…always interesting would be how our generation’s political view points will undoubtedly shift as we get older and other values begin to take a precedence in our way of thinking.
1 comment October 13, 2008
On this lovely Tuesday morning, I felt the beginnings of a craving very early in the am for some delicious dunkin donuts coffee. Furthermore, after seeing the new advertisements for the dunkin donuts flatbread sandwich that boasts 250 calories and healthy egg-whites in each bite of deliciousness, I felt that today was the day that I should try this concoction.
As my car thermometer read 55 degrees, I shivered my way down the freeway to the humble town of Chantilly (25 miles outside of DC where my job resides) and scoped out the nearest dunkin donuts. Mile after mile, my desire for this low-fat breakfast treat coupled with decadent dunkin coffee grew and grew. Finally, as I pulled into the parking lot, all I could think about was which sandwich I wanted to get, or if I should just get all three at once!
When it was my turn to finally order, I looked up at the menu board and to my surprise, no flatbread sandwich options were listed! Even though all the windows were adorned with advertisements for this treat, there were no such selections present. Under the assumption that this store just did not have an opportunity yet to update their menus, I went ahead and ordered the sandwich I most craved: the cheese, ham, bacon flatbread. Yet, the reply I received was not along the lines of “would you like more cheese with that?” but instead I was told that these sandwiches were not available at this location! At first stunned, I naively replied that yes they were; I had seen commercials and voila! The advertisements all over the windows at this particular location! Yet once again, in broken English I was told that the sandwich I had longed for all morning was not available! As I stood, trying to wind my mind around this fallacy, I could hear the grumbles of the customers behind me, angry that I had not yet placed my order. Begrudgingly, I ordered my medium coffee with cream and splenda and a plain croissant, wishing that instead I had the toasty, warm, cheesy breakfast I had been dying for all morning.
Now, as any simple-minded marketing guru would know, dunkin donuts had clearly initiated a very drastic campaign to woo health mongers everywhere to partake not only in their coffee, but the food options available. The commercials obviously appealed to the younger, on-the-go crowd, looking for a healthy, quick bite to eat on their way under-paid, slave-like suit-designated occupations. Therefore, being a member of this target class, I was so appalled that the said item was not available for my consumption! The commercial in no way stipulates “available at only select locations and too bad if you’re not near one!” Dunkin Donuts clearly needs a refresher course on the P’s of marketing because clearly, their slogan “America Runs on Dunkin” is going to be changed to “America runs away from Dunkin because they don’t practice what they preach!”
Add a comment October 7, 2008
When the clock strikes 5 on a friday, every normalized workaholic immediately runs out of their little office space cubicle straight to their car (or the metro if you don’t happen to work out in the middle-of-nowhere, virginia) to make it home for that happy hour cosmopolitan. Like every other responsible adult, i was speeding home to make it back for a night infused of wine, sex and the city, and catching up on life outside of the executive insurance bubble. Yet my plans for relaxation where immediately…stalled.
As I was driving down the one and only freeway that takes me from Rossyln to Chantilly (yes, virginia has only 1 freeway I can take…how typical of the east coast to be still underdeveloped in the world of highways), I suddenly see signs illuminating the phrase “traffic ahead.” Now, as a veteran of this road, I thought it just meant slight congestion at the merge up ahead. Yet, I was beyond wrong.
As I approached the merge, all traffic was immediately brought to a stop. For once being a responsible adult, I switched onto the AM radio station only to hear that 66 was completely shut down due to a huge accident. After waiting 45 minutes to move exactly 5 feet to the exit to take the backroads, I might have slowed down (to an even slower snail’s pace) to see what type of multi-car pile-up and grotseque injuries were strewn on the freeway. To my suprise, do you know what sight I witnessed??
An SUV hit a large white minivan. Minor damage was evident to both vehicles. Yet, the true catastrophe of the obviously debilitating accident was in fact the 25+ individuals who were handcuffed all along the highway. As there was no ambulance present on the scene, it was obvious that these men had only sustained minor injuries.
Therefore, my weekend of relaxation from the stresses of work and the dire bad luck was utterly stalled by the presence of handcuffed men who were UNINJURED in their fender-bender.
All I can say is that I miss California and the 6 by 6 freeways that are present there.
Add a comment October 5, 2008
When going through a multitude of tough moments in life, big decisions, and overall bad luck what does one do? detach themselves from life aka the book. lets see what happens.
1 comment September 26, 2008
As more of my peers and acquaintances find themselves out of college and ready to begin that wondrous moment in life where classes end and 8-5 workdays begin, a prevalent problem has developed among the masses. One may think that finding that first, perfect job straight out of undergrad is the biggest concern generation y has, but sadly this is not the case. A deeper, greater problem is pervasive within this age group, often causing many to go through their savings and even kiddy trusts in order to try to quell the utter cognitive dissonance they feel. This problem has been prevalent for years and the different ideologies surrounding have only grown and grown. Yes, ladies and gentlemen the phenomenon that I am referring to is the ever daunting idea of “business casual.”
Although it may appear that this issue does not pose a great problem, the belief of what these two simple words really mean have changed from coast to coast, industry to industry. Furthermore, it has even become a more common practice to place intense value on what an individual wears during the interview process and even during evaluations upon employment! In order to better understand this ever-growing conundrum, it is first important to analyze what “business casual” means nation-wide.
The general definition (as stated on Monster.com) reads as follows: “In general, business casual means dressing professionally, looking relaxed yet neat and pulled together.” Such a vague definition to explain the exact way one must wear at a location in which they spend the majority of their time! Furthermore, different parts of the country have distinct viewpoints of what exactly this type of dress code is. Having grown up in Silicon Valley, it initially became clear to me that “business casual” refers to jeans, collared/button shirts, and flip flops. From Cisco to Google, this is the “relaxed yet professional” dress code imposed by companies state-wide. The east coast, on the other hand, has a completely different definition of what business casual. Washington, D.C. my current home, stresses dress pants with an array of collared shirts and even casual jackets, coupled with patent flats (for women) or loafers for men. As one travels even further east to New York, individuals are often forced to dress in suits, with a much greater restriction of color. Clearly, those on Wall Street are not avid watchers of project runway!
From a monetary standpoint, it must seem much more financially feasible to be imprisoned within a suit 5 days a week instead of jeans and sports jackets. Well, quite on the contrary! Suits, especially those of the ever popular color of black, dark gray, or even pinstripe run almost a grand a pop. Furthermore, tailoring is often required, in addition to the bi-weekly visits to the over-priced dry-cleaners. So financially speaking, the cost of business casual grows exponentially going west to east! Therefore, it is quite obvious the dilemma recent graduates face. In order to appear professional, fashionable, and discreetly noticeable, many are spending an obscene fortune on their post-college wardrobes. Often, many believe that a specific tie, or headband accessory is the make-it-or-break-it addition of their career.
So, what is a young professional to do? Rebel from these standards and come to work in sweats, protesting that it is not the outfit that makes a successful employee, but their hard work? Of course not! The true solution is honest, simple, and financially freeing: M-a-r-s-h-al-l-s. Learn it, live it, LOVE IT.
Add a comment September 15, 2008