When we arrived at work the other morning, the shop superintendent, Shoemaker, was standing near the punch clock handing out shirts to all the guys.
“What are these?” asked Slim, as Shoemaker handed him a shirt.
“Benito just ordered them,” Shoemaker said. “They’re the new company uniform. He wants all employees to wear them while they’re working.”
“I’ll take a medium,” I said.
“Once size fits all,” Shoemaker said, thrusting an extra-large shirt at me.
I frowned, holding the shirt to my chest. “This is a dressing gown.”
Shoemaker snorted. “That’s because you’re a runt. They’re designed for men who’ve actually filled out.”
“Filled out how?” I asked. “With their beer guts? Because that describes most of the men at this company. Particularly you.”
Shoemaker glared at me, clenching his goatee.
Slim unfolded his shirt and scowled. “Why are they such a bright, neon green? They look radioactive.”
“Don’t complain,” Shoemaker said. “You’re getting a free shirt. Besides, they’re lightweight, and the neon color reflects the sunlight instead of absorbing it. Benito wants his employees to be cool and comfortable as they work.”
“Benito’s putting our comfort first and foremost?” I asked, narrowing my eyes. “That doesn’t sound right. There’s got to be more to the story.”
“There is,” Shoemaker said. “The bright neon also helps him to spy on his crews from several hundred yards away, so he can make sure they’re actually working.”
“OK,” I said, nodding. “Now that makes sense. That’s the Benito I know.”