A thought: Needless formality annoys me.
Did you read about former Bush chief of staff Andrew Card calling out Obama for not wearing a jacket in the Oval Office? Or the varying reports showing Bush and others also not wearing a jackets in the office? This got me thinking. Not about Card’s silly hypocrisy, but instead about how much I dislike formality for the sake of formality.
Two things come to mind.
First, I rarely understand dress clothes. I can appreciate tuxedos and gowns for those few special occassions or celebrations, times that you want to remember as particularly unique. But, what is the point of wearing superfulous garments day in and day out as part of work attire? It is arbitrary. It has nothing to do with comfort or functionality and everything to do with random formality.
Second, I hate titles in front of a name. I do not see how I am disrespecting someone by calling them by the name given at birth, Jim/Tom/Mary/Louise/Harold, instead of a sterile, Mr. Elderly or Professor Goldsmith. The random titles always create a barrier, making me feel less connected to that person. It is unnecessary. Respect shouldn’t depend on something that has no purpose. The folks I respect and those I have learned the most from are those who insist that I call them by their first name.