#8) Corporate attire

Thursday, August 14, 2008

***RECENTLY UPDATED***

The other day, I did something awful for which I will surely be shunned throughout Williamsburg:

I got hired.

Oh, it gets worse. I didn’t just get hired at any old dive bar or bodega – I was hired by a corporation in the financial district where I would work 9-5 shifts. At such an institution, the term “disposable income” might cease to be an intangible concept like “the real world” and “success.” (Note: especially for hipsters, these things are eternally intangible.)

I don’t know what made me apply with that temp agency in the first place. Hipsters characteristically abhor employment and having self-generated income, preferring instead to spend their days complaining about their lack of adhesion to the larger world outside their college bubbles. To be a genuine hipster, I should have embraced my inner insecurity and continued spending business hours searching craigslist job postings at the local internet cafe and sleeping in my windowless room. By joining Corporate America, my hipster dilemma would cease to be a dilemma.

But as I would learn going to my job interview, the worst part about being employed by a corporation is that you automatically become excommunicated from hipster social circles. This happens for many reasons, the most prominent of which is that you are forced to do something that is intolerable in a hipster’s mind: You must wear “corporate attire.”

It was on this day I realized that while hipsters will enthusiastically faux-grudgingly wear any combination of seemingly ridiculous or unfunctional clothing and walk down Bedford Avenue with pride (or at least with a “I know I’m hot but if you look at me again I will fucking kill you” ambiance), the one thing a hipster will not wear is a suit. They are also hesitant about anything that falls under the “corporate attire” category.

For example, here is a website that attempts to market corporate attire to hipster females:
working and new trends. Perhaps they thought they would be fooled into buying because of their irony?

This website attempt to lure its target audience by advertising with two things hipsters dislike: working and participating in "new trends." Perhaps they thought the irony would fool them into buying their merch?

As you can see, this company is trying to market it’s clothing to both the hipster and the corporate whore, but I anticipate their plan will fail due to the prominance of the “how to” section on their site. Hipsters would never buy anything from someone who is telling them how to do something, especially if that something is dressing like a yupster.

Walking down Havemeyer at 8:00 am (AM!!! Note: This is a hipster’s deepest REM sleep time), the streets were empty save a few hipsters in suits. If you think that the disposition of a hipster is generally distraught, seeing the agony on the faces of the few hipsters whoring themselves out to Corporate America, onlookers would surely assume they were on their way to a concentration camp.

Beyond being physically uncomfortable in the loose-fitting slacks, non-v-necked button-up shirts and other items of customary corporate garb, hipsters feel the utmost sense of embarassment while walking the streets of Williamsburg in such blasphemous clothing. As researchers have learned through in-depth interviews with corporate hipsters, this feeling can only be compared to what hipsters felt when were forced to walk the halls of their middle schools wearing parentally-purchased items that weren’t at all what the “cool” kids were wearing. As this crippling stage of development is known as the root of all the common hipster’s problems (and is therefore considered the inspiration for their pilgrimige to Williamsburg), the irony that these feelings should be rekindled in their place of solace is too much for the hipster to bear. To compensate, the corporate hipster then spends approximately 85% of his gross income on cocaine and Jack Daniels.

At my interview I was instantly hired and asked to come in for a background test the next morning. I left feeling desolate at the thought I would have to endure the hipster walk of shame every week day. I couldn’t even fathom what the walk home from the JMZ would be like, what with the hipsters awake and in full force. I resigned myself to taking comfort in that I would soon be home and could change into an empire-waisted plaid dress and flip flops.

****UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!****

Good news: By a stroke of luck I slept through my background check! I was deeply humbled by that extreme close call and have since vowed to never work anywhere where “corporate attire” is required. Or anywhere that I have to wake up at 7:30 am every day. Or anywhere with the word “Corporation” in its title.

That same day, I was hired on Bedford Avenue! When I walked in on my first day, my manager (who wears tight jeans and has hella tattoos) was smoking a cigarette outside while the front desk was unattended. Hence, my first official training exercise was “how to smoke cigarettes and stand around.” I go into work at 4pm and the only requirement is that I “try to be nice to people.” I’m making a full $10 and hour less than I would be at the corporation, but I can do whatever the fuck I want (which consists of blogging and drinking coffee)!

Expect great posts to come.

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[Hipster scouting: Craigslist New York]

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One of the girls I share a Williamsburg artist loft with recently sent me this cry of desperation yuppie fantasy romance plea she came across in the Craigslist personals (I don’t know why she was looking through them. Don’t ask don’t tell, right?).

Anyway, I thought I would post this to give hipsters hope that, despite their outward standoffishness and unemployability, they too can find romance with the middle-aged banker of their dreams!

Banker looking for hipster

Who knows if it’ll work out?
You can’t wait to tear off my pinstripe suit. If you rip any buttons I’ll totally stretch out that tshirt you bought off etsy and pass off as your own.
On Monday nights you’ll try and get me to drink. You’ll think I won’t because I have an adult job. But I won’t because I want to be lucid for this week’s episode of The Hills.
The next day you’ll tell me that my job is boring and that you hate the Upper West Side. But the truth is that you kinda like making out in central park and enjoy that my bonus can cover all the grilled cheese sandwiches you dig. I’ll make fun of whatever dirty street you live on in Brooklyn, but I know it’s a lot more fun.
You’ll pretend you can cook and make me pancakes. I’ll probably distract you while you cook and you’ll probably burn them. It’s OK; I’ve got waffles in the freezer.
I don’t have to tell you what I do or my background. I’m great on paper (school, work, charities). I’m 6’1”…handsome and jewish/irish. You be cute, wear scarves, make witty/biting remarks, and have an infectious smile/laugh.
After a while I’ll probably become a vegetarian because of you and you’ll probably start bringing up op-eds from the wall street journal when you’re hanging out with your friends. It’s cool. Don’t fight it. I promise we’ll have the sweetest combined movie/CD collection of all the couples you know.
Send a PICTURE, AGE AND LOCATION. thanks. :)

I have a feeling that this scenario, should it be actualized by a lone hipsteress with a yuppie fetish, could lead to the most epic tale of unlikely romance of the century (think Pretty Woman but more high-tech and awkward). As a precaution, I will claim rights to that screenplay right now.

Be warned though: evolutionarily speaking, the human race has never experienced a cross of this kind. If said couple actually achieved a combined movie/CD collection that kept them together long enough to mate, the result would likely be a new species…

He can watch sports and pretend to listen while she tells him all about Catcher in the Rye...

He can count his money and pretend to listen while she tells him all about Catcher in the Rye...

According to evolutionary biologists, the yupster offspring would likely experience inclinations to both climb the corporate ladder (which would be met with seemingly unmotivated gifts from his father and poorly-masked glances of disappointment from his mother), and defy corporate dress codes by wearing neon ties and metallic converse high tops (earning grim diatribes from his father and loving gestures of acceptance from his mother). This will result in the need for staff psychologists to develop a whole new scale to measure neuroticism and an entire section in the DSM-IV manual, aka the crazy guide.

The yupster hybrid would go on to create intriguing controversy within the company but would ultimately end up quitting to explore the possibilities of his sub-par punk band (which would of course emply viral marketing schemes to gain followers) or move to Hollywood to direct the movie of the story of his sad existence. Both courses of action would inevitably result in failure (note: the directing plan had promise, but was unfortunately aborted due to an inadvertent copyright breach, followed by a hefty lawsuit).

Mr. Banker, I don’t know if your romantic quest will work out either, but I sure hope it doesn’t – for the sake of the children.

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Photo of hipstress reading by Christophe Legris for Stuff Hipsters Don’t Like ©2008