Let’s be honest and admit that were it not for men in suits, America would not be where it is today.
So you can understand why Republicans who worked for George W. Bush would criticize President Barack Obama for letting his workers doff their suit coats and work in their shirt sleeves.
Allow such disrespect for proper White House decorum, and next thing you know, the country will be tied up in two wars while its economy goes right down the sewer.
Here’s what former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card said about Obama’s Oval Office casual:
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“I’m disappointed to see the casual, laissez-faire, shirt sleeves, no shirt and tie, no jacket, kind of locker-room experience that seems to be taking place in this White House and the Oval Office.”
No one has cared this much about the president and his staff keeping their clothes on in the White House since Bill Clinton was president.
So, Obama’s buds strip to their sleeves, when they get down to business, and this offends Bush’s backers, without whom we would not be where we are today — nor would Barack Obama.
Check your scrapbook of old news clippings, and you may note that Bush’s people have not always had a big thing about keeping coated.
Remember Hurricane Katrina? Remember “Brownie,” the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael Brown? Remember the e-mails he exchanged with his staff, in the hurricane’s aftermath?
Several concerned his attire. In one, his press secretary advised him to follow President Bush’s example in giving the public the impression that he was working really hard:
“Please roll up the sleeves of your shirt, all shirts,” she wrote. “Even the president rolled his sleeves up to just below the elbow. In this (mess) and on TV you just need to look more hardworking.”
So, did you catch that fashion tip? If like Brownie you want people to think you’re doing a heck of a job, you don’t just take your coat off. You roll your sleeves up, too.And that’s not all you can do, to make people think you work for a living. I called Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce President Mike Gaymon to ask whether his staff has a dress code, and he said yes: Everyone is required to wear clothes. So that’s a relief.
But he also offered these tips on how to look hardworking:
Get a thick reference book, a No. 2 pencil and a yellow legal pad, scribble lots of notes and page numbers on the pad, and keep that on your desk or carry it around with you. That way it looks like you’ve been doing a ton of research.
That’s what I would do, if doing a lot of research would help me get ahead at work. Except I’d use a Pilot G2 pen. I hate pencils.
Gaymon said rolling up your sleeves could have other advantages. A couple of people still smoke where he works, so they could roll their smokes up in their sleeves, and that way they wouldn’t have to stuff them in their socks, he said.
So, whether you work in the Oval Office or a tiny rectangular cubicle, remember that in a crisis you can look more hardworking not only by taking off your coat, but by rolling up your sleeves.
Make people think you’re doing a heck of a job, like were it not for you, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Contact Tim Chitwood at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8508.