Of all the days

I knew I was going to have a potentially difficult teleconference call
to determine the IP concerns for my research, so I decided to dress
interestingly. IBM dress code isn’t strict at the Center for Advanced
Studies because we’re expected to be geeky researchers, and I knew I
could get away with it. Besides, Fridays during off-seasons, there’s
hardly anyone there.

So I decided to wear the skirt Kathy gave me. I thought I might as
well get a few more uses out of the skirt before winter really set in.
The skirt naturally suggested this whole pink outfit: a heavy maroon
corduroy shirt/jacket, a pink T-shirt, a plaid miniskirt, and shocking
pink tights. Fortunately I didn’t have pink winter boots, only black
ones! ;) (Despite all your assurances, Kathy, it is *NOT* a winter
mini!)

In the middle of cramming my presentation for the teleconference, I
heard the distinctive clicking of the shutter of an SLR camera. I grew
up around photographers. I’d know that sound anywhere. I looked up to
find five or so people standing in the middle of the Center for
Advanced Studies. One of them has a serious-looking camera, and he was
pointing it in my direction.

“This is just perfect,” said the person who appeared to be in charge,
smiling.

I stopped slouching and looked around. There was no one else in my
corner of the lab: just my desk, the brightly colored kite dangling
from my wall, the wobbler toy I occasionally talk to when I podcast,
and me in a shocking pink outfit.

They said that they’d talked to my manager already.

I pushed up my glasses and touched my hair, self-conscious about a
messy ponytail. I’d gotten just five hours of sleep and hadn’t had the
time to put it in a bun.

“Oh, don’t worry, it’s just for a poster for IBM 3600. We want to show
them what the Lab is like.”

I smiled while thinking, “Oh no oh no oh no…” Of all the days to
catch me in a miniskirt and shocking pink tights. Then again, it
would’ve been a tossup between that or a brilliantly colored malong.

And hey, if word got out that IBM technology gets invented by cute
girls… ;)

I suppose that dressing conservatively would allow me to avoid stuff
like that, but then it wouldn’t be *nearly* as much fun. Although
maybe I should start seriously looking for ethnic accents like scarves
and stuff like that, so that I can still spice up a conservative-ish
wardrobe…

Another interesting thing is that this was the second time my desk has
turned up in promotional material. Apparently, my desk was included in
a recently filmed video about the Center for Advanced Studies,
although I wasn’t there at the time.

Possible explanations:

  • The brightly-colored kite and stash of hot chocolate packets at my desk give it far more character than other grad students’ desks.
  • They want to archive potentially embarrassing material for when I’m famous. ;) “See, this was her first IBM desk!”

Heh. IBM. Gotta love the place.

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