Friday, March 03, 2006

A Tale of Obstinacy

I wear a uniform at work.

I hate uniforms. I hate neckties, I hate the polyester, I hate the brass decorations. I hate the uniformity of the uniform.

Pilot uniforms betray the job's origins as a military endeavor. We have epaulets on our shoulders, and stripes on the sleeves of our jackets. Our hats carry our rank, with a Captain's hat being differently decorated from a Co-Pilot's. This lineage goes right down to our very job titles: Captain, First Officer, Second Officer.

But flying an airplane is not a military endeavor. There are no officers in a civilian cockpit, and especially in a cargo operation, nobody sees us; and even if they did nobody knows what the number of stripes means!

So I'm always in a quiet, impotent rebellion against The Man. I refuse to shine my shoes (which look as though I've been working the fields), and I wear the (approved) sweater as much as possible--it covers the shirt entirely, so I need wear neither epaulets nor my brass wings. I haven't figured out how to jettison the tie yet, but I'm working on it.

I guess you'd call me

recalcitrant (rĭ-kăl'sĭ-trənt)

Marked by stubborn resistance to and defiance of authority or guidance. See synonyms at unruly.