Tuesday, December 28, 2004

work persona lesson 1: psychology of the tie

I decided to wear a tie today. The dress code at work is business casual, but every now and then, I like to go over the top a bit. There's an entire methodology behind such simple seeming actions, but I don't think that you're ready for the whole picture. Today however, I'm going to reveal the secrets of the easiest component in feigning importance: the tie. I'll go over the rest when you grow up a bit.

When wearing a tie is unnecessary, but I happen to wear one anyway, it's just my little way of saying, "Oh, 'Mr. Gray' sounds so stuffy... please, call me 'Sir'." The tie is possibly the most vital element of a 'fuck you, I'm going to be your boss' ensemble. For the sake of brevity, we'll call it a 'fuck you' tie. One can't just throw on a bunch of 'fuck you' items and expect to manipulate the psyches of others, but these are tools that make the process more effective. This is only lesson one, folks... I have to babystep your asses through this shit.

The tie that I'm wearing today is tied with a very thick knot. It's actually quite inappropriate for me to tie such a knot, as it's culturally reserved for CEOs and the like, but most people don't know that. Most people won't even consciously notice that my tie's worn any different than that of some jackass highschooler heading to a school dance, but it has a subtle subconscious effect on them. For some reason, my tie looks great on me, and it stands out more than your clip-on shit; they can't tell why, but they can certainly tell. It also has the added effect of appearing bigger, which makes it stand out visually. This accentuates the fact that I'm wearing a tie... which leads them to ask, "Why is he wearing a tie?"

Most people are lazy and hate their jobs. They want to do the bare minimum to get paid, before going home to the solace of wives and children who don't appreciate them. They're going to live and die in the same job, and their entire life's course is set. They don't have any reason to put forth any energy, and they sure as fuck would never think of wearing a tie for no particular reason. This is good... they'll apply the same methodology to me, and assume that I am, in fact, wearing a tie for a reason. What could such a reason be? Around here, it means that I have an important meeting with someone who I want to impress. I don't... I'm just writing my blog, but they assume that I have some vital, once in a lifetime, career-play happening today. "I wonder how he stays so calm and confident when it's such a big day for him."

There's too much going on around here for anyone to know a tenth of the story, and they know it. When a VP sees me dressed better than him, he has to assume that something big is happening beyond his knowledge, and ends up thinking the same thing as everyone else... "cool under pressure". He's going to be thinking that very same thing when it happens to be him that I meet with in the future. Everything's in my favor... my tie is just screaming, "Fuck you!" at everyone who sees it.

Obviously, for this to work, I can't wear a tie every day... every day can't be the big, special day. Besides, people who overdo it daily are just kiss-asses, hoping that their Prince Charming, from upstairs, will come down and rescue them. I'm just one of the guys, but I'm putting forth the energy to make shit happen for myself; this is entirely commendable and is a sign of leadership. The 'fuck you' that you may have just heard is a topic for another lesson, if you didn't catch it, don't worry... I have low expectations.

Everything I do while wearing a tie seems more significant. I'm writing this in the cafeteria right now, and people can't stop themselves from glancing over. The illusion of importance that my tie lends to me transfers over to everything that I do. My tie is whispering things that I can't even fathom into the ears of all who see it. They can't avoid it - my tie can peer deep into their souls; there's nowhere to run.

They were trying to fill my position for two months, until finally, my tie and I fell from heaven, landing in my new job. Only one other person made it to the fifth interview (of six), and I found out that he didn't stand a chance against me. I am apparently lacking in skill, but have great potential. If you rearrange the letters in the word 'potential', you end up with 'TIEntopla' - a coincidence perhaps? To me, 'potential' is a three-letter word. "Rand, you're delusional."... Am I, or does my tie just want you to think that I am?

I'm going to stop here... I don't want to teach you too much at once; you're a work in progress. Be sure to keep your eyes open for 'work persona lesson 2: underdressing for success', the perfect companion lesson for the opposing theme of lesson one. Lesson two will be available the next time that I can't think of anything relevant to write about, as was the case today.