Wait! Why is that pack animal lumbering into our elegant office building?

Can we agree that four bags for one misguided creature are more than overkill? Such shoulder and back destroying behavior is unnecessary.

There was a time when men had to wear suits and ties to work, and women were expected to wear hose, heels, and dresses or suits.

The most notorious company to enforce über-strict dress code was IBM. Except for physical appearance, the IBM employees resembled stuffy robots in brown and blue suits. For the most part, we are past the strict dress code days of yesteryear.

It is interesting to look through photographs of people in the 1950s and 1960s attending baseball games. Men wear hats, suits, and ties while the women look prim and proper in dresses, hats, stockings, and heels. In fact, the women resemble Donna Reed and Leave it to Beaver mom clones. Neither gender would fare well wearing those outfits during a Texas Rangers baseball game when temperatures hover around 100 plus degrees. Can you say dripping and wilted?

Today, our more casual lifestyles influence and often dictate what is considered proper workplace attire. Business casual is acceptable in many companies, but in some cases only on casual Fridays. Of course, jeans, flip flops, athletic shoes, and T-shirts are de riguer on many job sites, particularly at tech-related companies. If you spend all day sitting in front of your computer and only your fellow worker bees see you, why not dress for comfort?

Gloves and hats, have gone the way of the Dodo unless you happen to be British royalty or attending the Kentucky Derby. Except for special occasions, moderately sized purses are rare as well.

Today’s female employees lug satchels large enough to double as overnight suitcases and the men replaced the standard briefcases with backpacks or mail carrier bags, also known as man purses.

The question is how many bags does a person need to haul when going to work? The answer it would seem is as many as they want or need. But do they need three or four bags? Females are not alone in the human burro parade. Male employees are equally guilty of hauling multiple bags to work including the ubiquitous backpacks. One would hope an automatic age limit prevents business professionals from sporting backpacks. Certainly, anyone past the age of thirty could manage to forego those utilitarian and declassé packs that contribute to bad posture and sloping shoulders.

Are the number of bags we haul signs of our insecurities?

Let’s dissect the items which transform a professional business man or woman into a pack animal.

If your company has a gym, expect employees to carry duffle or gym bags for workout clothes and shoes; clean when entering the building and mighty stinky upon departure.

Another possible bag for either gender is a computer case or something that fills the role of a briefcase. That bag usually holds work-related documents, a laptop, and a mobile phone.

Some folks carry plastic grocery bags or thermal lunch bags. The contents make the difference between performing your work energetically or passing out at your desk from hunger and low blood sugar with your face uncomfortably planted on the keyboard.

The final item for our discussion is the fourth bag women either clutch in their hands or add to the other bags hanging from tilted shoulders. Since most purses today are labeled tote bags due to their gargantuan size, tiny females look like children carrying their mommy’s purses. What possible need is there for the extra bag?

Women and some men are compulsive over-packers. Look inside any woman’s purse and do not be surprised at the contents. The things found in women’s purses are a tribute to preparedness. Cosmetics, perfume, comb, wallet, extra pair of stockings, a paring knife (to peel and slice fruit). Could the fourth bag be the overflow bag of what did not fit in purse one?

If you ask a woman the burning question, “Why are you carrying so many bags?” She may not have a rational answer, but it may be pithy.