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Bug In Your Ear? October 2, 2009

Posted by Chuck Musciano in Random Musings, Technology.
Tags: , ,

Let’s set the groundwork for this post: I love gadgets.  Any and all of them.  Any device with a battery and blinking light gets my undivided attention; if it has settings and preferences, I’ll spend hours learning every last mode and option.  I have yet to meet an electronic object I don’t want to know more about.

Groundwork, part two: Although I have strong opinions on shoes and ties, I will never be thought of as a sartorial trend-setter. I enjoy fine clothing and constantly seek advice on how to mix, match, and wear the right shirt and slacks at the same time.  I’ll never learn, mind you, but hope springs eternal.

However, when gadgets and fashion collide, I am compelled to provide some general guidance.  And that brings me to today’s bit of fashion advice for the gadget-lovers in the audience:

Never, never, never wear a Bluetooth headset in public. Ever. Never.

As much as I love gadgets, and as cool as the concept of a wireless headset may be, there is no excuse to have a chunk of plastic stuck in your ear, twenty-four hours a day. Who in their right mind thinks this is a good look?

We have abandoned, with great reluctance, the pocket protector.  The vast majority of people would not consider strapping a calculator to their belt.  Yet an inordinate number of people seem to feel that a Bluetooth headset is a crucial part of their everyday attire.  Apparently, nothing completes an ensemble of sweatpants, tank top, and flip-flops better than a glowing thing stuck to your head.

Consider the person behind me in line at the deli counter, waiting to get sliced luncheon meat.  What crucial call do they expect to arrive while they are otherwise occupied with the details of turkey and cheese?  What call could be so urgent that the time it takes to get the phone from pocket to ear could make a difference?  A massive stock trade? Providing a nuclear launch code? Advice to a befuddled brain surgeon?  I can’t imagine, but that blinking blue light on the side of their head certainly tells me that they are much more important than the rest of us.

There is one exception to this rule.  I do use a Bluetooth headset while driving, but only when driving alone, and only in my right ear so it is not visible from the road.  My driving skills are such that the headset significantly improves my chances of arriving at my destination in one piece.  But when I do arrive, the headset comes off before I exit the car.

I suspect a lot of people think that these headsets look cutting edge, and tell the world that you are technologically savvy.  Well, they do prove that you can master pairing a headset with your phone, but other than that, you look like a dork.  I can say this with confidence, because I mastered that look long ago.

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Dressing For Success January 11, 2008

Posted by Chuck Musciano in Random Musings.
Tags: ,

Obviously inspired by my recent posting on tying your tie, the Wall Street Journal has a good article on dressing correctly for job interviews and for work in general. Among the advice that they share, and with which I agree:

  • Iron your shirts. Better yet, have then dry-cleaned and starched.
  • Press your pants.
  • Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.

And my personal favorite:

  • Wear good shoes.

Amen. For men, especially, who only need six or so pairs of dress shoes, invest in very good shoes (I like Johnston & Murphy) and maintain them. That means getting them shined regularly, and having them resoled as needed.

I like to get my shoes shined whenever I have a layover in an airport. Airport shine stands give better, longer-lasting shines than almost anywhere else. Plus, it is fun to sit in the big chair, high above the streaming masses, and watch the people go by. The best shine stand in the US is in the St Louis airport. Second best was a guy who was giving free shines at the Microsoft CIO Summit last May. Never miss an opportunity to shine your shoes, and tip well. You’ll look better and feel better.

Update: more than a year later, the Journal is still reporting on shoes, this time focusing on how the recession is helping cobblers.  Buy good shoes and keep them shined!