50th memories: What to wear?

We Fermilab folk dress casually for work. Photo: Cindy Arnold

In the 1990s, I was a summer research student here at Fermilab, either in high school or as an undergrad. I’d worked at Burger King for a couple of summers, and then I got the job at Fermilab. I actually hadn’t been to the lab more than once when I got the job.

So I worked up the nerve to call — I’m this young kid calling Fermilab — and I said, “What’s the dress code, what should I wear? Is it a suit and tie?” And I remember the response on the phone: Whoever it was laughed and said, “There’s no dress code. It’s shorts and sandals.”

So I put on a button-down shirt with slacks and went to work at the lab. And after the first week I switched to shorts and sandals.

That was my first experience with what actual working physicists look like.

Tim Meyer is the Fermilab chief operating officer.