Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Working Naked From Home

Everybody is freaking out about so called “Fake News”, but there is an even more serious danger lurking on the Internet.  I will call these the Pure Bullsh*t Advice Article (PBAA).  This drivel consists of some phony know-it-all advising you about a wide variety of topics. The writer’s argument sounds logical, practical and believable to the unknowledgeable, but in reality, it is pure horse hockey.

Recently I came across two PBAAs giving advice on the proper way to dress in certain business situations, something I have considerable experience in.  Sadly, I’m sure there are some poor saps out there that are actually following the advice from these ridiculous articles.

The first one promotes the idea that you should always wear a suit and tie when flying for business purposes, especially on intercontinental flights.  The reason? The writer always does this and one time he was able to close an enormous business deal because someone commented on his fancy duds.
I doubt that this story is even true.  Even if it is, it was pure luck.  If the clothes didn’t initiate the conversation, something else would have.  While there are situations that dictate dressing up on a flight, an important meeting soon after you land for example, for the great majority of flights, there is absolutely no need for this.

The two most important things when being jammed into a tight metal tube with a hundred strangers for a few hours, are to be comfortable and to not stink. These far outweigh any slim chance of closing some magical business deal with a random stranger.  No thanks, I’ll just wear comfortable, respectable clothes and buy a lottery ticket.

Besides that, based on the photo of the guy in the article, this guy is a real d*ck.  I can recognize a d*ck because I have worked with many d*icks over my career.  They dress so fancy and are always bragging about their house, their car, their wife, their investments, their travels, etc.  If you tell an interesting the story, a d*ck will immediately jump in with “That’s nothing, …… and then tell some d*cklike story.  The laughable photo shows this d*ck with his colleagues d*ckhead and d*ckster, all suited up, yucking it up in the front row on the plane. 

I think the real reason this d*ck dresses up for flights is to “chase tail”. Most of the d*cks I’ve known like to chase tail and business trips provide prime opportunities.  Some women (now I’m not saying all women, because that would be sexist) are very attracted to men dressed to the nines.  If you dispute this statement or find it offensive, I will refer you to the ultimate authorities on this subject, ZZ Top, who once proclaimed “They come runnin’ just as fast as they can, ‘cause every girl crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man”.  

The other PBAA, but there are many articles on this subject, instructs people how to dress if they work from home.  The gist of most of these pieces is that you should dress like you would if you worked in an actual office and working in your pajamas is strictly verboten in all circumstances.

This is total hogwash and bullsh*t in its purest form.  These articles claim dressing up for work at home helps you maintain “professional perception” and boosts your productivity”!  

Now there have been numerous research studies (people seem obsessed with this subject) and all they all tend to conclude that office business clothes must be worn when working from home.  Why is this?  These “scientists” are extremely jealous of people who get to work from home. You see, the researchers work in laboratories and have to wear very uncomfortable lab coats, even in the summer, when the accountants won’t let you turn up the air conditioner and you sweat in your shorts all day and go home all stinky.  Yeah, these squinty, egg-headed nerds are very envious  of us work-from-home people, enjoying our comfy, casual work attire.  I can hear them yell as they finish their “scientific study”: “If I have to be this uncomfortable at my workplace, then everyone should suffer!”

Could be a productive worker? 
I will concede that “dressing up” will benefit a few work-from-home people.  The key word is few.  Every home worker must determine for themselves the best mix of comfort and productivity.  For me that means, sweat pants in the winter (no lounge pants) and canvas-type cargo shorts (no athletic shorts) in the summer.  Tennis shoes, (no slippers) but I often will work barefooted in the summer, with absolutely no impact on my productivity whatsoever, oh the audacity.   However, these are my personal standards. I will not judge anyone who can be productive working in their pajamas.  I will also not criticize someone who prefers to dress up, if they work better that way.  There are no universal rules.  That’s why all these articles and studies are rubbish.

Unfortunately, the shenanigans don’t stop there.  I found an article that gives recommendations on stylish, comfortable, clothes for work-at-home woman.  There are the cashmere sweatpants for $498 – “cashmere for comfort – the ribbing makes you look cool!”.  The Gucci sneakers for $695. The silk shirt for $153.  This article says these clothes have the powerful ability to make you feel internally professional and increase your productivity! 

One of the benefits of working from home is that you can spend less money on clothes.  To spend $1300 on one outfit that no one else will see, makes you look externally ridiculous and decreases your bank account.  And, oh, better not spill any grape juice on those cashmere sweats.

To prove how bogus these articles and scientific studies are, I did a little study of my own.  I decided to work completely naked for one day to prove I could still be productive without any clothing at all.  Hey, if I can work fine with naked feet, then I can go full monty, right? Centerfolds and porn stars work fine like this, so why can’t I?

My Naked Productivity Study

I log on my computer and begin the day.  I start working but get distracted by the feeling of my butt cheeks nestled against my leather chair.  Mmmm, ooooh, that feels sooooo goooood, sublime even. Ohhh baby  --- Whoa, snap back, let’s get going on that spreadsheet!

Mid-morning, I realize I have the curtains closed and the dark room is stifling my creativity. No one can see me while I’m seated, so I decide I can walk over and open the curtains ……  Oh, no!  Hello, neighbor Sue, out there walking her dachshund. Well, I got to see neighbor Sue’s wiener dog and she got to see my ……. I hope neighbor Sue doesn’t call the authorities because explaining the situation would really put a crimp in my productivity.

A few minutes later, my dog needs to be walked, guess I really didn’t think this one through.  I throw on my robe and sneak him out in the backyard.  But the dog doesn’t want to do anything in the backyard, even though the world is his bathroom, he prefers the front yard.  It’s rather uncomfortable outside because it’s a bit nippy, especially with that gusty wind.  The dog finds his spot and then … Whoa, holy Marilyn Monroe!  Sure hope the widow Cooper next door didn’t see that.  She’s been feeling rather poorly lately and a shock like that could push her over the edge!  Would hate to have people whispering and pointing at the funeral, “That’s the guy, the tall, bald one.” 

I put on a nice corporate business shirt for the big video meeting after lunch.  The boss is rolling out a big, important, corporate initiative.  At the end of his presentation he declares, “We need total buy-in on this. So I want everybody here and those patched in remotely, to all stand up in a show of solidarity!”.

“Ake! You’re not standing!”

“I’m standing in spirit, sir. I’m standing in spirit.”

After that unfortunate event, I run downstairs to grab a cup of coffee when the doorbell rings, but I don’t have time to go get my robe.

I crack the door slightly, stick my head around the corner, and see a nicely dressed man and woman.

“Good afternoon!  We are Jeneeva Watchneses and we need to talk to you about your spiritual condition.”

Me: I’m sorry, I can’t talk …

Woman: (trying to peak around the door - you naughty girl) Are you naked, sir?

Man: Is your wife at home?

Me: No

Man: Then who are you in there naked with in the middle of the afternoon?

Me: No one, I’m just working, really, I’m working.

Woman: I think someone as sinful as you needs to read every one of our tracts, twice!

Man: Here you go. (throws the literature through the slot) Make sure you read all these carefully and we will stop back next week to talk with you, when you are not “working”.

Alright, I learned that working in the nude is not a good idea and does hurt your productivity. I also learned you should never fart while sitting naked in a leather chair.  Regardless, I still believe that you are most productive, when you are comfortable (but not too comfortable) and people should not follow the fashion advice of these misguided know-it-alls.

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