The Robe of Entrepreneurship, A Short Story
September 24, 2009
The Robe of Entrepreneurship by Adrian Perez
Clarke’s Robe was a t-shirt with one long sleeve that covered his left arm, the other sleeve being like a normal t-shirt. This asymmetrical black shirt represented the entrepreneurial class. It was his brother Raymond’s idea.
Raymond felt the middle class was in decline in their country. And it seemed like no amount of stimulus packages or tax restructuring was alleviating the issue. Clarke’s brother decided what was needed was eccentric symbolic warfare on the problem. He felt entrepreneurs were the source of a burgeoning middle class, so last month, Raymond convinced Clarke to wear a shirt that he had hastily put together.
Clarke had been a software engineer at a startup that made Facebook applications. That is until there was a major money implosion that got him laid off. Ever since then, Clarke was very depressed. He had invested so much of himself in the technology, and it was obvious the company was not going to be able to sell off the remaining tech.
To pull Clarke out of his post-job depression, Raymond sewed together the black shirt and explained to Clarke what had been kicking around in his head.
The shirt gave Clark immediate feedback. He walked into a Starbucks and it was only seconds before the shirt caused comment. The lady in front of him, casually glanced behind her and in a flurry of fashion fascism demanded an explanation for Clarke’s social deviance.
Clarke explained it meant he was an entrepreneur. And in a bout of social fear, he made up a fictional company to talk about it. The woman was greatly assuaged, and half an hour into their conversation he realized she was hitting on him.
Over the course of the next month, wherever Clarke went, the story started to spread. He realized that he better make his fictional company a reality. Much to his surprise, the symbol of his shirt aided him in this. Only a week later, while at another Starbucks, a bearded and portly fellow introduced himself to Clarke. Clarke wasn’t processing that the man was asking for a job. He was too stunned at seeing the man had on a black shirt with one long and one short sleeve.
A lot of people liked this story, so I decided to actually make the shirt described in the story (thanks to Margaret Glass for showing me how to sew).
Enough people have asked, so I am now making shirts for $22 (I am only shipping within the US)
Here are some pics: