Thursday, June 16, 2005

More Kiltishness

  • All of my beautiful kilts!

  • In the comments to my recent kilt post my friend Doughgirl asked if I wore the kilt to work.

    The answer is: once.

    I had my first kilt delivered to work. One of my coworkers dared me to put it on. I went to the restroom, changed into the kilt and completed my workday at my desk (which has a panel preventing upkilt views). I was wearing boxers anyway. I did nothing that I would call inappropriate, and several coworkers confirmed this view.

    Nonetheless, a written sexual harassment complaint was filed against me.

    I can well remember the horrible feeling of fear that settled over me as I was told that I had sexually harassed a coworker. I thought I was dead, fired, stick a fork in him, he’s done. Worst of all, I could not figure out what I had done. When my supervisor told me it was for changing into a kilt, I laughed. It had to be a joke. But it wasn’t.

    It all got straightened out eventually. My boss had thought I had changed into the kilt in front of the coworker. When he found out I changed in the bathroom he was as puzzled as I was. I was ushered out of his office and he spoke to the person who filed the complaint. She then admitted she filed it in retaliation for a poor performance review I had given her two weeks before.

    I still work with her and it took a lot of 4th and 5th step work to get over that resentment. In the end I believe she was ashamed and embarrassed that she did that. But I don’t wear kilts to work.

    That really annoys me that I can’t, and there are a couple of reasons for my annoyance.

    First is, our office is not formal. Shirt with collar and jeans is the rule. My Original Khaki Utilikilt and Mocker Navy Utilikilt, to say nothing of the full formal kilt, are pretty dressy. They should be appropriate.

    The second reason is simple: I’m jealous of the guys who can wear them to work. If you go to Utilikilts Photo Galleries you will find pages of photos of guys wearing kilts on the job. Two stand out to me, the first being Genaro and Associates Oceanography firm; the kilt is the company uniform. The other is realtor J. Adam Bogle from Oregon. Apparently he went from being a pretty idle realtor to being swamped after he hung posters of himself in the kilt. It turned out it was very memorable to people and worked wonderfully as a marketing device.

    So why do I wear kilts? Well, aside from a great fondness and fascination with all things Celtic, I suspect I am Scottish in ancestry. Being adopted I am not sure, but that is what I think. The kilts are a confidence thing. You see, I really don’t believe in myself and I tend to second guess or doubt my worth.

    It takes confidence to wear a kilt. It really does, you are always going to look different from everybody else and that is not easy to do, especially not in your thirties. Putting on a kilt, I instantly know how comfortable I am in my own skin that day. The other thing is, it is a great icebreaker. People say hi, they ask questions, sometimes they want to know where to get one. That's nice. Plus, this is the only clothing I have ever worn where I find women checking me out.

    Of course, some guys check me out too. That's okay. It's a compliment.

    Hey, prayers for my friend Doughgirl, okay? She just got some brutal health news and could use some prayers. Thanks and have a wonderful day.