Life-saving sartorial advice

Snap-on, snap-off!

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

It’s the late 1960s and pilot fish, freshly discharged from the Army, gets his dream job. He’ll be maintaining equipment manufactured by a large computer company. Not to name names, but this company has a strict dress code for men of suit and tie, but to fish, it’s just another uniform; no big deal.

After fish gets his in-house training, he’s assigned to accompany an old-timer who can show him the ropes of working in the real world. And the old-timer has great advice, even about maintaining the uniform. For example, how do you remove grease and ink from those very white shirts?

Oh, says old-timer, you’ll want to lose that very nice tie you’re wearing. Go buy some snap-ons.

Fish has never even heard of snap-on ties, but as a trainee whose recent experience has been in a strict command structure, he follows directions, gets some snap-ons, and as he goes off on his own, he uses nothing but. That expensive new tie will just be for special occasions.

It only takes a few weeks for fish to learn the wisdom of the old-timer’s advice. He goes on a call to sort out a malfunctioning card sorter, which he does, and then he leans over it to watch it do its thing. That’s when his tie gets too close to the moving parts. It’s instantly ripped from his neck, and then wraps around the rollers and brings the sorter to a screeching halt.

Fish can’t help but wonder: How ugly was it the day the company’s technicians learned that snap-on ties would be a good idea.

Sharky’s uniform is sweatpants and T-shirts. But no one needs know that when they send me their true tales of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

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