The Clothes Make The Manhood

There’s a new signed print and poster in the new HE store! 

The Fifth Element meets Calvin And Hobbes” [PRINT or POSTER]
hijinks ensue calvin and hobbes fifth element print poster

This flashback comic introduces The Two Dicks (Dick Henderson and Dick Flenderson) Joel’s dual bosses at his previous (pre-cartoonist) job. As a guy constantly searching for positive, adult, male role models, Joel looks up to these guys. They are financially successful, self employed and live a lifestyle that Joel THINKS he wants. We’ll see how long that admiration lasts once Joel’s priorities shift.

Clothes and I have always had a very contentious relationship. It’s rare that I find clothes that I actually like; that I actually feel comfortable in, much less clothes that I think look flattering on me. These difficulties are always compounded by the idea that I am wearing clothing I specifically hate because someone told me I had to. Call it a rebellious streak, but I do not like being told what to wear. I’m 100% sure this stems from a latent overbearing/disapproving mother issue and is compounded by having been an overweight kid who didn’t want to tuck in his shirt, take off his jacket, etc.

Every uniform, be it a maroon polo and a pair of my own khakis from Target or a full on dress shirt, slacks and tie, I have ever been forced to wear has caused me actual physical discomfort if not pain. I focus so much on how uncomfortable I am, and how stupid and dishonest I feel my appearance to be that I start to get stomach pains. I’m a weirdo. Considering this history, it should come as no surprise that when left solely to my own devices (the main selling point of being self employed and working from home), I wear a white t-shirt and scrubs. Feeling comfortable in my own skin, and whatever second skin I have CHOSEN, is essential to me actually being productive and paramount to me finding joy in my productivity. There are 100 reasons I wasn’t cut out for corporate life (even in a small company), but in retrospect I bet a large portion of my incompatibility with traditional employment stemmed from people telling me to wear clothes that I didn’t like.

COMMENTERS: What’s the worst uniform you’ve ever had to wear? I really hope there are some theme park mascots among you Fancy Bastards that can regale us with some war stories.

Have you seen my wife’s Etsy store, “Science and Fiction?” Check out her Tetris earrings!

Tetris Earings!


Comments (36)

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Snag's avatar

Snag · 86 weeks ago

BrerBear's avatar

BrerBear · 86 weeks ago

I didn’t get the psychological stress from wearing it but it was uncomfortable none the less to wear what i had to wear when working in the aluminium-foundry in the town i grew up. I worked with the elektrolysis oven and i had to wear wool long-johns, a marlan(tm) shirt, fireproofed cotton/wool blend trousers and jacket, thick woolen socks, and big woollined steelcap boots. All this while the ambient temperatur hung around 70-80 deegrees celsius and the relative humidity ( lived in a coastal town and the foundry was right at the water) was about 80-90%. We ussually worked about 15 minutes on the hour.

The one that caused me the most psychological discomfort was the McD uniform. I dont need to elaborate on that do i?

Stuey's avatar

Stuey · 86 weeks ago

I used to work in a club called Flares that had a seventies disco theme. Needless to say we had to wear sparkly flares and a bright purple shirt with wide lapels. The worst part is that at the time I had a sort of mini-afro (by choice, although it probably helped me get the job) and this was repeatedly tugged and pulled by the drunk and lonely middle aged women who populated the place on a Friday and Saturday night

Like Joel I feel intensely uncomfortable in wearing anything I don’t want to wear, especially in work related settings. This is probably why I entered academia, everyone is too liberal at my university to care that I mainly wear star wars and iron maiden t-shirts except for the rare occasion I have to teach classes

2 replies · active 86 weeks ago

Stuey's avatar

Stuey · 86 weeks ago

Yes, generally to check if it was a wig or not which apparently people felt was adequate justification

I was on good terms with the bouncers who would quickly throw people out no questions asked if I asked them to. I only worked there for about 2 months when I needed the cash while studying and quit as soon as I could afford to

Wesley's avatar

Wesley · 86 weeks ago

I actually like uniforms. Most of them suit me, so I’m not all that uncomfortable in them. I dislike when they don’t fit, though.. as in being overly large or too small so that they’ll make me look stupid.

I was in Ireland a couple of weeks ago and Connemara National Park had a teahouse where these women had the ugliest company uniform imaginable.. it was horrifying to look at, and the fact that these women didn’t do their job with a smile on their face didn’t surprise me. Any job that requires you to wear clothes that ugly must come with a horrific employer.

Runcibletune's avatar

Runcibletune · 86 weeks ago

I like your writing style; you described that very poetically.
PokeyPuppy's avatar

PokeyPuppy · 86 weeks ago

Worst was probably the cheap nylon shit clothes at my first job – fast food is horrible. The clothes were always greasy.

Second would be when I was in a magic show. We’d wear these outfits with lots of spandex for about 30 min max each day for each outfit (yay lots of shows & costume changes). They were SO DISGUSTING at the end of the week, and had to be handwashed. GROSS.

90percentgeek's avatar

90percentgeek · 86 weeks ago

I worked at a theatre for a while that had pretensions of grandeur so called itself a ‘Hippodrome’ (they didn’t understand when one day I asked them where the horses were kept).
Anyway, even more illogically they had a mascot called Harry the Hippo and once in a while one of us lowly ushers would be forced to dress up in a giant red furry hippo suit to wave and hand out sweets and pose for photos with groups of kids. The suit was never washed so reaked of about 1000 farts and every kid took the opportunity to kick you in the shins to ‘prove you weren’t a real hippo.’ Never mind that you were 6 foot tall, covered in red fur, wearing a baseball cap and were able to talk without moving your mouth!

I quickly came to the conclusion that kids in the north of England don’t actually know what a hippo is, just like the management ddidn’t know what a hippodrome was!

I worked at Six flags before Warner Brothers bought it. The “Costumes” (Because we were told to call them that) never fit right. And you got a new set to change into every shift. If they didn’t have your size, Oh Well! Make due with what covers you the best. At least they had a locker room so you didn’t have to wear the stuff home.
Paul's avatar

Paul · 86 weeks ago

I used to work at a Barnes & Noble quite a few years ago. Every day wear wasn’t too bad, khakis, button-down and tie for us guys, women had a bit more flexibility. Didn’t much like wearing the tie myself, but I dealt with it. During one of the hottest days of the summer, in early august, the town of Norwalk, CT was celebrating the SoNo Oyster Festival, and many sponsors (us included) sent people to partake in the Parade of Characters. I stupidly volunteered for this as a reason to get out of the store. They dressed me up as Peter Rabbit, covering me fully from over-sized head to over-sized feet. Damn near passed out from heat exhaustion as we walked up and down the parade route. Luckily I had a friend from the store tagging along to give me brief reprieves of cool-ish water. I will never ever do that again,
bubujin_2's avatar

bubujin_2 · 86 weeks ago

Air Force days and donning a chemical protective suit during the occasional readiness (war game) exercises. The charcoal impregnated suit itself wasn’t so bad (kept one comfy during cold weather) but with the rubber overboots and the bulkiness of the suit you felt like the Michelin tire man. BUT it sucked if the weather was hot and when the exercise up-tempoed so that you were required to don the gas mask. Literally sucking rubber was the pits.
S.Vescott's avatar

S.Vescott · 86 weeks ago

I would love to be able to wear a suit to work every day. Mostly to cover up my big fat fatness. {gentle weeping}
Kelly's avatar

Kelly · 86 weeks ago

My day job is at a huge national moving company and the boss insists on business attire even though accounts rarely visit. Running around a warehouse and dealing with truck drivers in a suit is never fun. Then I get to my night job where I teach ballroom dance, the boss there was business attire too which isnt bad for most dance lessons because your dealing with beginners who arent doing anything too fancy but when I am teaching a professional couple or working with my own partner on high level stuff its very uncomfortable……and its all done in 4 inch heels.
When I worked at Burger King my polyester uniform was designed for a male body so it fit incredibly poorly in the hip/butt/waist area and the chest/arms area in ALL the wrong ways. It also soaked up grease like a sponge. I’d go home every night and wash my uniform in hot water with a degreaser in addition to detergent, and it was still sticky afterward. I smelled like rancid grease ALL THE TIME.
Worst uniform: Braum’s. When I worked there from 1986-1988, had to supply your own white polo-type-shirt and chocolate-brown slacks. You were charged for your (mandatory) apron and (mandatory) trucker hat (actually deducted from your first paycheck).
Fren's avatar

Fren · 86 weeks ago

Any job wherein I’ve had a uniform, I was actually glad for it. Didn’t have to ruin my own clothes.

However, I once had a job as a Uniform Route Salesman. One of my biggest stops was a giant landscaping company. The uniforms of 125 men, soaked in stale sweat and fertilizer, all baking inside of a steel breadtruck in the mid-atlantic summer humidity. I think that takes the cake, maybe?

Tony's avatar

Tony · 86 weeks ago

It should probably be Target’s red polo and khakis, but Culver’s takes a slight lead for the fact that my manager made me write an essay about how important it is to wear a belt and never forget this when the area where a belt would be is covered by an apron and hidden from all the customers by a thick concrete wall that separates them from the place where the fast food “magic” happens.

In retrospect, I probably stayed at the job where “write me an essay about how you fucked up” was the preferred response to policy violations way longer than I should’ve, all like 3 months that I was there…

Bruceski's avatar

Bruceski · 86 weeks ago

Assuming a logo inside the collar’s okay, should that ever come up again Harbor Bay fits the bill perfectly. I get them because the local XL Men’s store sells that brand. I’m sure there’s others that work too, it’s just the first shirts I’ve found that fit me (a tall fat man) and if the style’s hard to find I may as well pass the info on.
JGE's avatar

JGE · 86 weeks ago

I worked at a Chik-fil-a as a high schooler and I had the worst boss in the history of fast food bosses, he expected me to love working there and to be extremely grateful I have a job. I was the Cow, The Chik-fil-a Cow. The worst part is they have a tail on the suit and kids always wanted to pull it. when that happens I get in essence a nice nut check. I was the Cow at a Bowl Game and I got molested by several drunken football fans. The Cow suit was not only hot but basically made you a target for physical abuse and if you defended yourself in anyway than you got in trouble.

1 reply · active 86 weeks ago

tom327cat's avatar

tom327cat · 86 weeks ago

The Navy issued me 13 different kinds of dress uniforms, which seemed odd as the only uniform I ever had to be inspected in was always my work coveralls. And I was always told that they were too dirty, because you know, spending 12 hours rolling around a greasy ship or drilling aluminum on an aircraft covered in hydraulic fluid should leave you sparkling clean, right? But the worst uniform of all was the never to be sufficiently cursed full dress whites. Made of the most ionically charged, sweat inducing, polyester, this uniform could attract dirt over distances of half a mile, which it never had to as a Navy ship is basically a dirty surface factory.
FSilvermane's avatar

FSilvermane · 86 weeks ago

I was Chester The Cheetah for 2 months,….. it was rough. I had to wear a special brace that allowed that overly long snout [basically 3 ft long and 2 ft wide] to sit right which meant that the brace bar was right in my sternum. Add to this that the suit is not only fur but also some neoprene type material so it did not breath at all. I had to have a snorkel type thing to breathe out the eyes of the head. Also no matter which suit they brought me the fan would stop working within 30 minutes of putting it on so that added to the heat factor. My only saving grace was when I worked inside grocery stores and could stand nearby the meat displays [which meant instead of sweltering hot it was merely damn hot]. I lasted as long as I did only because I needed the money badly. I quit when I could and swore never to don the fur suit again. I broke that rule years later for a one shot deal for a photo shoot for a friend who put me in a wolf costume to promote her Furry garb business,….lol. Now I am an Historical Entertainer at local Medieval/Rennaisance/Pirate festivals and wear the appropriate garb for the era but to me the stuff is comfortable [except for the chainmale but thats just heavy]

1 reply · active 85 weeks ago

lou's avatar

lou · 85 weeks ago

Obvious joke in 3…2…1…

So it wasn’t Easy bein’ Cheesy.

StephC's avatar

StephC · 86 weeks ago

I’m generally comfortable in whatever I’ve needed for work (Except Walmart. Fuck Walmart.) but I’m a female and have never had to wear a tie. But… is nice that my current job lets us wear whatever we want so long as it isn’t ratty or blatantly offensive. We only have to dress up for the dog and pony show when bigwig-types visit.
nenslo's avatar

nenslo · 86 weeks ago

I’m in IT, like proper end-user support, scrabbling under desks type support. In my last job I had to wear a full on suit – shirt, trousers, shoes, the works. They wanted me to wear a tie, which I said I wouldn’t for health & safety reasons; thankfully they backed down pretty quickly on that one. But still, wearing proper dress shoes and nice trousers to crawl under desks, etc was really uncomfortable (and expensive!).

What I never understood was that the company wanted us to look smart for our clients, but our clients were mainly university academics who would roll up to our offices in casual attire. The number of professors who came in wearing Hawaiian shirts, shorts and sandals was pretty stunning.

1 reply · active 81 weeks ago

Original Nenslo's avatar

Original Nenslo · 81 weeks ago

Who are you, phony nenslo?
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