“I want you to design me as your best coach,” she says, perhaps forgetting that she has already been not only designed but “branded.” If I were “designing” her, I’d throw in a major serotonin antagonist to damp down the perkiness.... The session has left me drained and her more excited than ever....
No matter how crowded the room, the networker prowls alone, scavenging to meet his or her individual needs.
So why is the corporate world [she asks], which we think of as so fixated on empirical, in fact, quantifiable, measures of achievement like the “bottom line,” so attached to these meaningless personality tests? One attraction must be that the tests lend a superficial rationality to the matching of people with jobs. No one, after all, wants a sadistic personnel director or a morbidly shy publicist; and if you failed at one job, it is probably comforting to be told that it was simply not a good “fit” for your inner nature.
Mainly, as a writer, I have no need to dress for work in anything other than gym clothes, or no clothes at all for that matter, and when writers do try to “dress up,” they are generally granted a lot of leeway. I remember attending a banquet with the poet and short-story writer Grace Paley, who appeared in a loose pink floral dress. When I complimented her, she confessed it was a nightgown, which was obvious on closer inspection.
This pretty much condemns me to nudity, since my entire wardrobe is black and grey, and not because I’m striving for New York City-style coolness, circa 1995. The truth is I spill on everything, so no peach or yellow item has ever survived more than two or three wearings.
...after almost seven months of job searching, an image makeover, an expensively refined and later upgraded resume, and networking in four cities, I have gotten exactly two offers: from AFLAC and Mary Kay....
No one, apparently, is willing to take a risk on me.
...Surely there are plenty of actual sales jobs offering a salary and benefits in addition to commissions, but a real job involves some risk-taking on the part of the employer, who must make an investment in order to acquire your labor. In real estate, franchising, and commission-only sales, the only risk undertaken is by the job seeker, who has to put out money up front and commit days or weeks to unpaid training.
Put in blunt biological terms, the corporation has become a site for internal predation, where one person can advance by eliminating another one’s job.