Google in crusade against neckties
Global privacy counsel obsessed with male physique
A brief summation of Google's new privacy policies. One: Your search data will be made anonymous after it sits on the company's servers for 18 months. Two: Your Google browser cookies will expire if you don't visit the site for two years. And three: a man should not be allowed to hide his "shrinking shoulders" and "protruding paunch" behind a business suit and necktie.
Last week, after The Financial Times asked whether the necktie still has a future, Google's global privacy counsel fired off a letter to the venerable paper that clarifies the company's stance on the matter.
Following harsh criticism from privacy watchdogs, Google data retention guru Peter Fleischer recently unveiled changes to the company's server log and cookie policies, but he refuses to endorse the necktie, claiming that any privacy it affords is outweighed by its threat to physical health.
"It constricts circulation to the brain," he explained. "And it acts as decorative camouflage for the business suit, designed to shield the middle-aged male physique, with its shrinking shoulders and protruding paunch, from feeling sufficiently self-conscious to hit the gym."
He went on say that, in the long run, traditional business attire actually undermines trust between co-workers. "Men should lose their 'business attire' and wear T-shirts to work," he told The FT. "Wouldn't you like to know whether your business partners are fit? Why should you trust a man in business if he abuses his own body? And heaven knows what waves of creativity might be unleashed, when men are freed from conformist garb."
After The FT questioned whether alternative garb is a proper representation of male virility, Fleischer pointed to Google as proof that T-Shirt-wearing men can still have high testosterone levels: "If your fashion editor can hardly imagine a better garment for men to exhibit their personality, power and masculinity than wearing ties, well . . . I work at Google. Our unofficial motto is, 'Be serious without a suit.'"
Yes, he did say "unofficial motto," but Reg readers can rest assured that Fleisher laid out Google's necktie policy in his official capacity as global privacy counsel. There's little doubt that the company thinks its employees are overflowing with "personality, power, and masculinity."®
What can I say? The reasons behind their HR policies are as superficial and vacuous as their company motto "Do no evil" (whatever that would mean for advertisers is beyond me).
It reminds me of a meeting that I had with "security guru" from a large router vendor. I was in a business suit, the "guru" was declaiming to his companion (the sales exec.) that anyone who worked in IT security and wore a tie or a suit was a complete moron who had no idea. Problem was that the first question we asked (whether their signed code had dates for versioning) he did not know. In fact, he had absolutely no idea.
On the other side of the coin, I have been berated by managers for being a bit scruffy and therefore having no credibility.
These sorts of comments come to one thing: those without substance put too much emphasis on form. Fleischer's comment says more about him and his inadequacies than anything else.
Re: First impressions count
Suits and other required clothing are most certainly deductible from your taxes. So while you might not recoup all your costs you can at least get quite a bit back.
First impressions count.
I don't like ties, they need to die a death. In saying that I'm one of those
'insecure' people who feel good wearing a suit. Maybe with a sweater or an open collar shirt. If it makes me better at my job it is only because it imbues me with a sense of confidence, I believe it can improve anyone's sense of confidence and that's hardly a bad thing.
When I see someone in a suit I usually get an impression of professionalism so I always wear my best suit to job interviews.
I have one grievance, if I am required to wear a suit for work, it should be paid for as an expense, that and commuting expenses. They are happy to pay for the equipment I use (phone, computer, the building etc) but not my clothes, however they specify that I have to wear a suit. Doesn't seem logical to me.