Writing Exercise #5

He was a sharp dressed man. But apparently someone didn’t think so. He threw the door open and stormed off towards his car, not really caring what the people in the lobby thought. Jared just didn’t think it was right to tell someone that they weren’t dressed appropriately.

Style. It’s all about style. And who’s idea of style. Jared thought of himself as a stylish guy. He liked to wear sports jackets, not like the cheap salesmen at the electronics store, or the irritating guys down at the sports bar who thought that somehow the addition of a sports jacket meant they were dressed up. Those were the kinds of guys who would put a sports jacket on over a stained sweater and think they were dressed to the teeth.

Not Jared. He wore a slick sports coat, pants that matched, a dark button down shirt, and for part of the day, a solid colored tie. After the lunch the office usually gets hot and the tie becomes a little too much. Jared took off the tie, gave himself the once over in the men’s room and decided he still looked more than professional.

But that’s not what Mr. Hodgson thought. Mr. Hodgson is the manager in Jared’s section. He’s the kind of guy who likes to give the impression of being loose and fun and easy to get along with. But in reality he’s just like the guys who hang out at the sports bar and try to pick up women. He’s big on impression and small on actual substance. He worries more about whether or not Jared’s dress slacks are pleated than whether or not Jared’s customers are happy, which they almost always are.

Jared fished the keys out of his pocket, unlocked the door and slumped behind the wheel. He slammed the door and wondered for a second if he should quit his job. He was being sent home to change his clothes, with the idea that he’d come back for the rest of his shift. But Jared had other ideas. You don’t send someone home at 1:45 and expect them to come back to work. That’s exactly the kind of thing Mr. Hodgson would want you think he’d approve of, but in reality, he’d heavily frown on that kind of the thing. A big, thick frown, full of frustration and sour milk and a rainy Saturday. Not exactly the kind of frown you want to run into when you’re walking around a corner.

Jared started the car and took off down Theodore Avenue, wondering if maybe he should pick up a paper and check out the Want Ads, just to see. Just to toy with the notion of seeing what’s available and who’s hiring who. Jared was the kind of guy who would quit his job at a moment’s notice and not really care. Now Allison would probably kill him, but Alice worried about things like that. She didn’t really care for change. Her idea of change was trying out six outfits in morning. But she always left with one she was satisfied with, and it would seem silly to her to want to change in the middle of the day. Jared, on the other hand, usually kept a few extra ties in his desk in case he got tired of one and wanted to switch to another. Not only did it satisfy his spontaneous desire to dress a certain way, but it really confused his coworkers. Jared liked to do that. Keep people guessing.

That’s why this dress code stuff was crap. There’s no spontaneity when they tell you what you can and can’t wear. How are you supposed to have style when everyone’s walking around like a fourth grade boarding school with the same ties, starched shirts, and pleated pants. Jared hated pleats.

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