Americans have long pimped themselves out to sportingwear manufacturers, musicians, and athletes--advertising their logos, names, and numbers on our chests. Now, it appears the rest of corporate America is getting in on the act.
That's what I thought while looking around a packed 747 on Monday morning, flying out of Memphis to MSP. Everywhere there were windbreakers and billed caps, suitcase tags and laminated badge straps that identified a person as belonging to a Fortune 500 company. We are emissaries of their might; we wear their uniform.
The man in seat B of row 32 donned a matching cap and t-shirt for Novar, which boasted of the company's relationship to Wal-Mart. Apparently the sandwich boards are too big to fit through the metal detector. Does Novar pay a wardrobe inspector, I wondered, to see to it that its employees are donning the company shirt on company time?
On one hand, I'll admit that I'd never heard of Novar--a newly acquired subsidiary of Honeywell. Having been inspired to look the company up on a website called Google--the T-shirt worked!--I now have learned that "Novar Retail has proven itself an industry leader in delivering advanced automated building control solutions to meet each customer's specific needs."
And so if I ever find myself in possession of a big-box retail superstore, I'll know who to call to set the thermostat.
To the extent that he was sitting behind me, I can provide no word on whether Novar's vassal availed himself of the airline minibar.