Tuesday, August 01, 2006
NGO dress code
The weather in the Kingdom of Belgium has turned from tropical to sub-tropical. This means that the extremely hot days have turned into hot days with colder temperatures at night and in the morning, which makes sleeping easier. Hooray! But it’s also more humid because of the occasional showers and thunderstorms. Boo! Boo!
As a consequence, I already overdressed twice this week (i.e. yesterday and today). By that I mean that I wore jeans instead of shorts. Yes, shorts. To work. You see, unlike you poor suckers who have to dress up each day in a suit with shirt-with-long-sleeves and tie, I can hop on the bus in a T-shirt and short trousers. That’s the advantage of working for a non-governmental development organisation. We have an alternative image, so we can afford to look like that. Plus we can always say we’re so underpaid that we don’t have the budget for a suit.
Because I have to pass through the European district of Brussels, there are loads of men on the train and subway that are dressed up as if they are going to their own wedding. The women have got it easier; they can wear a short but classy (under the knee!) dress or skirt or something, with short sleeves or no sleeves at all. Apparently, their have been some protests over this coming from their male colleagues. The suckers!
Off course, these ‘suckers’ working for the European Parliament or Commission have air-conditioned offices. I on the other hand work in a mix between a greenhouse floating closer to the sun than the planet Mercury, and an oven in a steel foundry.