... and I don't mean, Das Boot.
Although we work in a giant Returns center, made necessary by the company's famous 100 percent guarantee, little mention is made of this anomaly. I wager that the returns center at comparably-sized companies pale in comparison. No one makes even an oblique observation about class or history until we discuss monograms. When a newly-minted high school grad in my class asks why the initial of a customer's last name goes in the middle of a monogram, the answer, instead of a history of monogramming, the trainer starts to give a non-answer like, That's the way it is, when your resident know-it-all pipes up. "It dates back to Greek and Roman times; then it became a mark of aristocracy." The teenager looked interested or at least polite; the trainer, not so much. Making friends every second, right?
What is mostly missing from the Bean scene is a sense of humor about the Bean brand. No one seems to find the uber-class-centric nature of the catalog ironic or even interesting. My friend Philip's friend Gail MacColl helped write "Items from our Catalogue" more than 30 years ago. Original copies of this terrific parody now sell for more than 60 dollars. I can't find our family copy and wish it were back in print so I could at least amuse myself.