Keeping up with the Joneses

by Jinryu

I work in downtown Sydney (Australia), right next to Martin Place. Internationally, the area has recently become famous because of the “Lindt Cafe Seige” of December 2014. Every other day though, this place is significant because it is one of the central business districts in Australia.

On a day to day basis, I get on a bus with schoolchildren heading towards primary and secondary school. It’s a long ride. Once we start getting to the outskirts of the city though, the student crowds start to thin out, and you would notice a gradual shift in the demographic of the bus riders.

By the time the bus stops at Martin Place, 9 out of 10 of the riders are wearing formal office wear. The 1 out of 10 who aren’t include myself, tourists, and the occasional tradesman (called “tradies” in Oz).

I do wear a suit at work when clients are scheduled, but normally, I’m in jeans. My office is, luckily, quite casual with dress code.

When you work in offices long enough, you start wondering why everyone goes through all the trouble.

It’s not infrequent for a man to dress well– and I’ll recognise that he’s wearing cufflinks and a tie that are more expensive than my $600 suit. Ditto for the women’s’ shoes.

I took a count– 23 out of 27 people who I checked at random were not smiling.