In anticipation of washing my hands afterward, I’ve gotten into the habit of rolling up my sleeves as I walk to the office restroom. Our receptionist must think I’m about to undertake some arduous task when I’m alone in the bathroom stall.
Pop Quiz: think of another image (or physical gesture) whose symbolic meaning is further from the reality it depicts, than the man with the rolled-up sleeves.
Not too many people actually have to roll up their sleeves to work hard. If I was in the market for a dedicated employee who would put in long hours of efficient work, I don’t know if I would rely on the state to his sleeves to access his work ethic. With the exception of a baseball player with a dirty uniform, I don’t know if you can accurately judge a person’s effort by the clothing they wear.