Wednesday, September 09, 2009

1001 Ways To Tune Up The World, Number Thirty-Three

33. Dress up, at least a little, in public.

I love my Crocs. And my t-shirts. And my sweatshirts. And I used to love that one pair of cutoff shorts I had that I'm pretty sure Sweetie threw away.

But I'm making an effort, now, to look at least a little sharper when I leave the friendly confines of my yard. I'm trying to wear tennis shoes and a nicer shirt whenever possible.

I began thinking about this about the time, two years ago, or so, that I decided that I'd wear more ties to the office instead of a lot of polo shirts and sweaters. I did that, dressing up at the office, because I wanted to advance more quickly at my firm and wanted clients to believe they were getting competent help. Who wants to hire a lawyer who looks like a bum? Who wants to promote a lawyer who looks like a bum?

That worked very well (and continues working.) I'm wearing a tie now, even though I had no client meetings or court hearings planned today. If you see me in December, I'll likely have a tie on underneath my Christmas sweater, something I do because I know I have the tie on, even if you don't. Wearing a tie looks more professional and grown-up, and so I act more professional and grown-up, and people treat me as a professional, grown-up person.

That can carry over, I think, even into casual clothes. I'm not saying that you should put on a suit to head to Dairy Queen. I'm saying that instead of heading off to grocery shop while wearing your flip-flops and pajama bottoms with that torn up Spring Break T-shirt, take a look in the mirror and the put on, say, a nice clean t-shirt, a pair of nice shorts, and some shoes. Doing that will improve the way people treat you, and the way you treat people, and make the world a little better place.

Prior entries:

32. Apply the "Line Pass" philosophy to everything (including some government services).

13. Ban driving any kind of automobile, motorcycle or other personal vehicle within 1-2 miles of downtown in any city with a population of more than 100,000.

12. Abolish gym class; instead, teach kids to play musical instruments.

11. Change copyright laws to allow anyone to use anyone else's creative work provided that the copier pay 60% of the profit to the originator and that the copier not cast the original work in a negative light.

10. Have more sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating.

9. When you have to give someone a gift, ask them what they want, and then get that thing for them.

8. Never interrupt or finish someone's jokes.

7. Periodically, give up something you like for at least a month.

6. Switch to "E-money."

5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.

4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.

3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.

2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.

1. Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.

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