Saturday, August 08, 2015

The Engineers

Although quite a lot of my friends - and yes my boyfriend - commute to work in the engineering world, to me it might as well be an utterly foreign planet several light years away. Thoroughly cocooned in the incestuous medical world with coldly clinical wards, dank morgues and frenetic emergency centres almost 24/7, it is almost impossible for us to envision life in an entirely different sphere of work.

Till today when I had an eye-opening view into their lives.

Supposedly the engineering drones are left solely to themselves for the entirety of the day in the seeming solitude of their bland, uniform cubicles to handle their technical work, only partly alleviated by the occasional march to the conference rooms for a meeting of hive minds. Since achieving their key performance index doesn't include strict dress codes, apparently most of the drones come in whatever casual wear they deem fitting to their workstyle.

Engineer : Everyone dresses like this, really!
Paul : Of their own volition?
Engineer : Yes.
Paul : Were they recently robbed? 

Really. Espadrilles and capris aren't that uncommon. Even the occasional cropped top and khaki shorts can be found on site.

As I took an agonizingly slow, increasingly horrified look around the engineering world, suddenly an epiphany came to me and I realized why Mad Madison stubbornly persists on thinking that graphic baby tees and frayed shorts are the to-go wear for every social occasion. After that glimpse into her native world of the Engineergirls, could you blame her?

Madison : But I am dressed up!
Paul : Believe me, now I totally understand why you would think so!
Madison : What do you mean? 
Paul : Well you're the best dressed one here! You will hereafter get much less disapprobation for underdressing. 

With everyone else rocking collared tees and denim at work as the utmost in professional dressing, I can easily believe so! If that's their prescribed formal work wear, think of what these sartorial slobs would aspire to wear informally!

Seems like it's Casual Fridays all the week long at the engineering firms.

Apparently the medical world ( the legal beagles too? ) is probably the last bastion of proper dressing in the working world, apart from a couple of negligible nonconformists like Nervous Nancy and her hideous crocs. Trying to imagine the medical officers coming in off-the-shoulder tees, pink capris and slippers.... *shudder*


Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, well, here in Australia the medical dress-code tends more to the engineering line.

Most GPs and hospital interns/residents are "dressed up" in a shirt and tie; there may well be a suit-coat or jacket hanging behind the door or in a cupboard, but maybe not.

I spend quite a lot of time in our leading hospitals due either to my own needs or because friends have been admitted and it is not uncommon for residents to wear t-shirts and jeans during rounds, in many cases not even a clinical coat in sight. The ubiquitous stethoscope-around-the-neck seems to fast becoming less than fashionable. :)

Admittedly, visiting specialists etc usually wear a suit in the wards, though even that is less sure than it used to be - the haematologist that I had recourse to visit last week was in a long-sleeved shirt and tie with the shirt-cuffs rolled up. There was no jacket in his hospital-supplied consulting room.

With air conditioning in cars and buildings there is little need for 'thermal insulation' in the form of jackets (the exception being the Australian winter for the time between car and building) though sleeveless pull-overs do have a winter popularity.

Given that Malaysia generally enjoys an even hotter & more humid climate than Australia, one has to question the need for suits-as-a-work-uniform. Perhaps a suit is warranted for dress-up occasions but smartly-casual often suffices.

Yes, yes, Malaysia is a quietly conservative country so dress-codes are somewhat different but I suggest that a suit is not often warranted in the work environment. In your own case, the time from home to 'scrubs' or clinical coat could well be more 'relaxed'.

Just another viewpoint.
Best wishes, Yraen.

savante said...

Hi Yraen! Nah suits aren't warranted here and we hardly wear them except for exams and meetings. Shirts and ties are formal enough here. But my friends in the engineering firm are in capris and tees!