"OK – I smell a bit" – but leave us BoFHs alone!
Letters Our story SME's sniff at smelly techies brought this impassioned letter to our Tim, which we reproduce in full.
I just read your piece and as one of the "smelly techies" I just had to write a you a foaming rant, if just to set the record straight.
So these people don't like the fact I like to wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing when I go about my job.
Clearly, a three piece suit is what I should be wearing when I'm on my hands and knees, grubbing about in the dirt trying to repair machines your staff have mercilessly abused and beaten, or when I'm hanging from the rafters, trying to trace a piece of cat 5 back to it's source.
After all, constrictive formal wear is really appropriate in such situations.
I really love being distracted by persistent itching when I'm writing code and slipping and sliding about in formal footwear when I have to transport machines back and forth.
Yes, I do smell a bit and have bad breath. It's a little difficult to find time to maintain a regular hygiene routine when you have to work 8-12 hours a day, nursemaiding idiots who couldn't find their own buttocks and running around like a headless chicken, then having to read and study most of the night, merely to keep the demeaning, degrading and abusive job you spend your day performing.
As another side effect of this is that you have to live on caffeine and cigarettes merely to stop yourself falling asleep at your post [Ah, press conference - I know what you mean. Letters Ed.], I think a bit of an odour is to be expected.
Face it, the people making these complaints are middle to upper level management. Now let me see, their working day consists of sitting on their lazy, pampered backsides while talking twaddle to their associates.
Maybe, if they get a bit bored, they'll type up a little report or some such, just to make themselves feel good, as though they've actually done something of value. When five o'clock comes, they wander home in their overpriced company motor to sit on their fat, overfed backsides some more and crack one off over the men and motors channel.
Face it, these people wouldn't moan about electricians, mechanics or other suitably skilled trades showing up in such apparel, so why do they moan about this? It's because they're the kind of idiot who judges people by appearances, with no actual awareness of what my job involves. "It's unprofessional" I hear them cry.
Rubbish, professionalism is about what you do, not the way you look and perhaps if the populace at large was encouraged to realize this, we wouldn't have such a problem with con artists fleecing people in this industry. To hear companies moaning about such small details really worries me, as I have to wonder what such people would have done in 1930's Germany. I suspect they'd all be adopting a business model popularized by Siemens...
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