Thursday, August 12, 2010

Keeping Up Appearances

Styling, 2009

I once knew a guy, a bank manager, who lived in a small Southern town. Joe was far from the smartest guy at the bank. But he was earnest, worked hard on behalf of the bank and was a conscientious husband, father and member of the community.

One year when Joe went in for his annual performance review, his boss did not take issue with Joe’s performance, for which there was, in truth, all manner of reason to take Joe to task. In fact, Joe’s boss had no comments about his mediocre job performance. Rather, the entire hour-long review involved the color of Joe’s dress shirts.

It had been noticed, Joe’s boss observed, that Joe occasionally wore yellow dress shirts to work in the summer. Perfectly crisp and starched Oxford cloth dress shirts, to be sure, but yellow nonetheless. And once, it had not escaped the bank president’s eye that Joe had gone so far as to wear a pink dress shirt to work under his tan poplin summer suit.

Yellow and pink would not do at the bank, it was clear. But that was not all.

“I don’t recall seeing you and Mary Beth and the kids at church recently,” Joe’s boss added. “I’m not sure how I should interpret this absence. But if you value your tenure with this financial institution, you’ll want to give more attention to your family’s walk with Christ.”


  1. Ooooh, man--I'm getting shivers just thinking about that conversation. I think that's when I'd have to say "Latergater." He sounds more creative than this boss of his. Hope he found someone who was more interesting to work for than that guy. Great photo!

  2. Man, am I glad I don't have to put up with supervisors anymore. Now that I'm retired all I have to do is not provoke the wife and try to be the kind of man my Lab thinks I am.