I am growing tired of playing defense against the absurdity that surrounds me at my day job. I have turned my mind on how to play offense.
Instead of playing rational and reasonable all the time, which will never win against complete insanity. In fact, being predictable and steady could be a complete LOSS, because people can use that against you or take advantage of it. So (tactically, at least) there’s benefit in adding some chaos to the mix.
This is coming from a few places. Trump’s advice to always start negotiations with something really off the wall and irrational, to create an anchor that brands you as predictable. Vox Day’s reflections on how conservatives will never change. And an academic’s observations that many universities are postmodern or anarchic institutions, which run mostly on symbolism and are post-structure. (OMG, 7 years after I got a master’s degree in this stuff, I finally understand the meaning of poststructuralism #fail)
Scott Adams’ persuasion filter could apply here–and indeed, one of the management techniques described by a book about academic management sounds identical to it. I’ll have to find that and post it sometime.
I’m going to work on being more unpredictable in my behavior–to a point, I still want to get things done–but I’m also exploring options for other ways to go on the offense.
First up: how I dress.
Clothes are easy to change, require very little strategy, and have a huge impact on confidence levels. My confidence in my outfits often mirrors (or dictates) my confidence for the day.
Plus, they’re a visual statement of who you are as a person (to some degree). First impressions, and all that.
I’m thinking about elements that I can add to an otherwise university-appropriate outfit that would make someone sit back and say “that doesn’t make any sense.”
Nothing big. Nothing that would read as crazy. Just normal clothes that make you say IDGI.
- Mismatched earrings
- Really weird socks (although that’s a style thing now so don’t know if it would be worth it)
- Sequins or another fabric that really doesn’t make sense for the office
- A piece of jewelry clearly worn upside down
- Shoes that really don’t go
- A color that is super out-of-place
Is this the right idea? I don’t know.
Will it work? I hope so, but we’ll see.
I’m just really tired of always being on the receiving end of this stuff where it’s contingent on my energy and time to deal with it.
I’m ready to fight fire with fire, even if it’s only a symbolic battle in my own head.