The company I work for is a privately held French firm. The partners are all naturalized French citizens - they of Lebanese descent. Most of their families, and those of many of my colleagues are still in and around Beirut.
It's a cool place to work. They let us be. As far as attire is concerned, they don't care one bit. We dress to our nines only when we go to the client side. Rest of the time, everyone is casuals - Jeans and t-shirts, even on weekdays. Yes, they are nice to us. Which is why I was stunned when I saw my teammate wear "Israeli Defense Forces" T-shirt to work. I casually asked him if he didn't think that it was kind of inappropriate. He said "It's just a T-shirt man! My friend got it for me". Following which, he hurled a mild accusation at me for making a big deal out of it. I smiled and changed the topic. I admit, I have heightened sensitivity to things, but somehow this unnerved me, and I began wondering how much are our T-shirt messages meant to demonstrate what we stand for. Maybe it struck me as odd because I feel the company is being nice to us by not insisting on proper business attire, and my colleague shouldn't misuse this freedom.
It really is a T-shirt. There is little reason for one to be sensitive, or to believe that it portrays ones allegiance. Like a foreigner wearing a t-shirt with a bold "Om" emblazoned across it, doesn't mean he believes in Hinduism, or is remotely spiritual. The figure of Ganesha has become more or less a commodity, till a bunch of religious fanatics find it on a piece of clothing and create a furore. We argue - it really is nothing but a t-shirt.
And yet, I still feel that there is a thin line between coolness and impropriety.
Now playing: The Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps