Summer is here! It rudely announced itself to me on Monday in NYC when I walked outside the apartment on the walk to work and into the stifling humidity. I keep getting told that NYC is the worst place during July and August. Something to do with the humidity that brings the worst out in the smells and the people… Well so far, 8 days into July, and I am loving it. Sure it has its downside; the continuous outdoor steam room is definitely one especially as I am dressed like a true Brit in full suit and garb. Now I am thinking about it I really must look to likes of Michael Forbes or John Suguitan our resident GQ fashionistas for help. Back to the ups and downs of the NYC summer.
The upside is great as it reminds me of the early days of CDM in Hawaii and one time in particular when CDM was mistaken for a spy outfit.
When I first arrived at CDM I was picked up at the airport by Glenn in his bright yellow Jeep. I was fresh off a 23 hour marathon trip from London to Toronto, Toronto to Vancouver, and Vancouver to Honolulu I didn’t know where I was and then BAM!!!! I had stepped out of the A/C and into the tropical humidity in the airport parking lot. Now, for some of our long serving CDMers who were also in Hawaii they know all too well that if the trade winds are gone then Hawaii is very similar to that of NYC this Monday morning. It was in NYC on Monday as it was in Hawaii without the trades – a brick wall of dense humid air. This said I had arrived, my CDM journey begun. I was the other side of the world, an archipelago (see Dad I still know my geography terms) in the Pacific some 7,000 miles away from my family. All these years later and I’m now I am the oldest fart in the company.
Apparently you can’t call your boss an old fart hence why I am the oldest fart and not Glenn. It’s actually quite amazing that half the CDMers right now won’t know what that means. That again is a sign of the huge growth in our ranks we have experienced in the past month and a bit. So, for those CDMers who haven’t been around the CDM British contingent long enough, an old fart is somewhat of an endearing term. I don’t know why but it just is.
Anyway back to the story and our first office in Hawaii. It was an amazing time and it’s for that reason, and that the humidity of the NYC summer that means that half the men here carry a spare shirt with them, triggered a smile and this post.
I had arrived in Hawaii missing my luggage, which sucked. Should anyone ever see someone wearing a pale yellow v-neck t-shirt with an image of a red parrot that squeaked like a dog toy on the shoulder it’s probably mine… Especially if it was a medium and slim fit… OK maybe XL, but still if you see someone let me know. I thought I was going to stand out like a sore thumb in the hustle and bustle of Honolulu’s business district wearing my flip-flops, shorts, t-shirt and hoodie. Actually I didn’t stand out at all and I never saw the hustle and bustle compared to what I’ve since experienced in Chicago or NYC. Honolulu is a major city – I don’t know the dollar figures it contributes to them, but there are some huge companies and Honolulu has a big downtown – but the businessmen and ladies wear Hawaiian shirts. Apparently there is a nomenclature based upon the colour of your shirt that I never figured out because I never wore one myself, instead we wore suits.
I had now spent my first three 3 weeks dressed in the same garb I arrived in, except I had gone from surfer chic (Heather don’t comment) to grunge, or more accurately grungy. It was time I purchased a suit. Now in Honolulu if you wear suits you are several things: firstly mad, secondly very hot, and thirdly going to court either as a lawyer or otherwise. I’m glad to say that I never set foot in a Hawaiian courtroom. I did however buy my first suit in the Labor Day sales. I think it was a very fancy Sears brand that would be the very envy of the runways of London, Paris, Milan or New York. Or not.
That following Monday I donned the suit and tie and headed into work, as I would continue to do so for the next several months. Our office was next to those of a couple of military contractors. Having seen three suit-clad guys with accents walking around the floor everyday, one of them plucked up the courage to ask our then very new office assistant what we did. Her reply, much like a lot of us when trying to explain what we do to someone outside of events or technology, left the enquirer very perplexed and muttering that we must be spies. We weren’t although I did try (and fail) to order a Martini at the local Tiki bar that evening.
How did you arrive at CDM? Did you buy your first suit for CDM recently? Did you fail as bad as I did trying to imitate Daniel Craig asking for a Martini? Love to hear your stories…