Thursday, July 27, 2006


It's perhaps common knowledge that the tech industry, NerdCo not excepted, has a distinctly lackadaisical dress code. "Business casual" dips to new lows round these parts; we have a few folks who are sharply turned out, and probably an equal number who can scarcely be bothered to put on shoes (which, EW, because a) stop tracking your toejam cooties through the common KITCHEN, and b) you don't know what I or ANYONE ELSE has tracked in on OUR shoes). The vast majority of us fall in the middle, schlumping around in jeans and one or another of the free NerdCo t-shirts that rain from the heavens at regular intervals. One of my writers once complained, "I wish they would start handing out some NerdCo pants; then I'd have some complete, branded outfits!" NerdCo doesn't care as long as you show up, clad at all, and do the work...and I imagine that if even putting some damn clothes on bent your fragile little spirit too much and you complained to the right person, some sort of accommodations could be made.

Recently I and several editors from my group have been working with an editor from another team who happens to be a very dedicated goth girl. Like us, she scorns dangling modifiers and appreciates the unintended hilarity of a poor comma splice; she just happens to do so while wearing a black lace corset top, a hoop skirt, and pink fishnets. Goth Editor is serious, yo. She is very likeable. I can't help being deeply impressed and kind of fascinated by her, because the level of commitment and time investment her daily ensemble and makeup clearly requires is beyond my ken. If I achieve the "shirt/pants/nothing hanging out" trifecta, I'm good; if I've moisturized and actually blow-dried my hair, that's a bonus. I can't imagine--though I would much like to see--Goth Editor trying to get 12 black crinolines into a gym locker, say.

Today we had a meeting in Goth Editor's office, which I was eager to see. It did not disappoint, chock-full of Edward Gorey ephemera and string lights in the shape of bats, plus the huge ergonomic FitBall she sits on--it stands to reason, I suppose, that wearing such a detailed and extensive wardrobe does require real attention to one's core strength. The thing that most blew my mind, though? She had black Post-its. Black! She had them stuck here and there, little notes on them in bright metallic pink ink.

I could not help myself. "Where do you even get black Post-its--Goth Depot?" I blurted. To her credit, she laughed.

"Actually, I found them at Michael's," she said.

And that was the best thing I'd heard all day, man. The thought of this woman, in her skull rings and black lipstick and gypsy-vampire-squaredance clothing, trudging up and down the craft aisles among ladies hoping to make goose-in-a-bonnet suncatchers or whatever--that, Internets, filled me with boundless glee.


Anonymous said...

>It's perhaps common knowledge that the tech industry, NerdCo not excepted, has a distinctly lackadaisical dress code.

One of your red-pen'd brethren remarked on this awhile back with:

"We prefer that you be dressed."



Anonymous said...

Speaking of fashion sense among the technical set, Joel Spolsky takes deep offense at an ad by the Travelers Insurance people which mocks the sartorial stereotypes of geeks:

Nice observation: "Have you looked at your own actuaries? Have you noticed how insurance people dress?"

-- Mike

Brooke said...

"clad at all"

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

(deep breath)

ahhhhh ha ha ha ha ha ha


Now I have a total crush on Goth Editor, yo.