Archive for June, 2010


Day 13

Many people are unaware of this, but UPS drivers have to abide by a fairly strict dress code (not strict compared to what I assume to be the dress code of a bell hop or cop circa 1920, but strict in that it is basically the exact same dress code of a UPS driver circa 1940).

A male UPS driver needs to have his hair in a short, “conservative” cut (the official dress code is more precise than “conservative,” but I don’t have the dress code memorized). If he wears jewelry, he is only allowed one ring and it has to be a wedding ring or class ring. He is allowed one earring and it cannot be anything but a post. He is allowed a watch, but no bracelets. If he wears a necklace of any sort it has to be tucked into his shirt. His shoes, which have to be black or brown and made of a polishable material, must be polished daily, his uniform neat, clean, and tucked in if applicable.

He must shave daily and the only facial hair he is allowed is a mustache, which cannot extend past his upper lip. If a driver comes in unshaven, there are supervisors that will give said driver a razor and tell him to go to the locker room and dry shave.

As for the supervisors, their code of appearance was basically the same except that they had to wear a full suit to work.

In my UPS center, I would estimate that at least 1/3 of the drivers wore mustaches.

I am no longer with UPS, but the importance of public appearance is something I have taken with me. These days, so many professional motherfuckers walk around like they just hopped out of bed. They are unshaven, sloppy, smelly, wearing jeans and a t-shirt at best. When I first interviewed for Pepsi I was taken aback by the guy that interviewed me (who was a supervisor). He was unshaven, wearing a Northface pullover and slacks. These days, it generally comes down to convenience. Obviously, it is more convenient for people to look like slobs and wear what they want. Needless to say, when I was 16 I was vigilantly opposed to suits and ties and looking polished. At that time, I really thought that sort of bullshit defined a person. And in a way, maybe I still do except now, when I see a slovenly looking or casual person in a professional or public position, I immediately think that person is lazy.

Day 12

Day 11

I have often wondered what possesses a man to grow a mustache or any sort of purposeful facial hair. I should note that what I mean by “purposeful” is facial hair that requires care and shaving and all of that. A full, Grizzly Adams-like beard is not truly purposeful. On the other hand, in most cases, said beard involves forethought; very few people just happen to grow a big, old beard.

That said, I am now wondering if a mustache is like some running joke that a person eventually grows into. In other words, a man—of any age—decides he will grow a mustache for kicks. He does so, and for a few weeks it’s pretty funny. After all, in the words of H. Boggs, “Everything is funny with a mustache.” Then, so many weeks go by, and he becomes used to the mustache. He begins to like it. He begins to think he looks dashing. After a few months, he can’t imagine himself without it. By then, perhaps the people in his life have rotated a bit and some people have never seen him without the ‘stache. By that point, the facial hair has become bigger than the man. Is that acceptable? Can I live with that sort of life?

Day 10

Yesterday, I—or more appropriately, my mustache—was attacked by a jealous and vengeful mulberry tree (or it might have been the raspberry bush). We were out picking mulberries and raspberries. It is a somewhat random mulberry tree under which is a somewhat random raspberry bush. The mulberries are fully ripe and the raspberries are just beginning to come around. We noticed the tree coming back from walking the Puppy, and we decided that we would pick up a good bunch of them and freeze them for the winter. We later proceeded to carry out our plan, at which point I found myself well within the inner confines of the tree/bush picking the middle level mulberries. I got my share, turned around to get into the clear when a branch swung down and slammed me on my upper (mustachioed) lip. It was obviously the desperate act of an angry, bitter, clean-shaven god that realizes that the true key to happiness is a hairy upper lip. I shed a little blood, but it will take more than a smack on the face to make me shave.

Day 8

Look Closely. It's There.

Two days ago, my significant other decided that I would try to grow a mustache. This—in fact anything concerning my facial hair is something of a running joke, as I really can’t grow facial hair. I can grow a bit of something around my upper lip and chin, but it stops growing after it gets to typical pubescent boy length. As for the rest of my face, I just get wisps here and there. Frankly, I think said wisps look somewhat ridiculous and I refer to them wolfman-looking. I have no idea why as I would assume a wolfman would have a great deal of hair as opposed to wisps.

Regardless, here I am in all my mustachioed glory. I wonder if, in three weeks when my results are no more visible than they are today, if I will throw in the towel. As it is, I have over two months to try and make something happen, as I don’t foresee any work until then.

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