mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The worst-dressed occupation in America...

Via Instapundit comes this article calling for college professors to dress better.

It starts out saying that Professors, it’s been said, are the worst-dressed middle-class occupational group in America. Clearly, the author hasn't spent any time hanging around IT departments.

There are exceptions, of course - but for the most part, IT people are not known for being snappy dressers. This is for two reasons - first of all, IT people are by definition usually kind of nerdy, and nerds aren't known for their fashion sense.

The other reason is that IT people usually fall into two groups. The first group are people who sit at desks all day, and don't really have a lot of face to face contact with end users - helpdesk phone support, systems engineers, programmers. They don't really need to get dressed up, because nobody sees them. The second group is people who have face-to-face contact with end users - desktop support, network engineers - but who spend part of their time moving equipment, crawling under desks or through wiring closets, and otherwise doing stuff that makes them dirty and tears clothing.

I fall into that second category. My work "uniform" is usually a sweater or untucked button-down shirt, or a polo shirt in the summer, and jeans/cords/khakis/cargo pants. Footwear is usually "casual" sneakers or doc martens. I sometimes wonder if I'd get taken more seriously if I dressed better, but it's hard to justify it when I'm crawling under desks or lugging computers across campus.

As far as the original subject of if professors should dress up, ehh. I don't really think it matters - college students don't really care, and if a prof is more comfortable in jeans, I don't see why they should need to dress up.


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