6/10/2011

When I am King: Affairs of State

When I am King...

Escort services will be provided for all.

I was horrified, like everyone else, at the Weiner Affair of the past week. That is, I was horrified by the public reaction of shock and surprise. His actions seemed perfectly normal to me. Especially for a, er, member of Congress.

Taking the picture of his anatomy: odd. Tweeting the picture: stupid. Screwing around (or trying to do so) after being married for such a short time: sad.

But the act of looking around while being married seems like the act of a sane person; he’s just scouting out the territory ahead.

Think about the process of getting a job. It’s always easier to find a job when you already have one. You are negotiating from a position of strength, without the feeling of desperation that occupies your mind if you really need the job offer. Quitting first and then hoping you land something is simply not the best way to go about it. Much better to look around while you don’t need to and to find the best opportunity, and make a reasoned decision about whether it’s worth leaving your current job for the new one that’s being offered.

(Of course, this last bit always breaks down, because that new job always looks better than the one you’re currently for the simple fact that it’s new. New beats old, always. Until you get there and realize that it’s not new at all; it’s just different. But at least the change in cafeteria food adds variety.)

Regardless, this is a proven technique for finding the next job - why shouldn’t it apply to relationships as well? It’s the same principle at work - people are more attractive when they’re in a relationship than when they are not. Someone that’s in a relationship has the proof point to offer that someone felt that they were good enough to hang out with. It may not be a very high bar, but it’s at least a sanity check that you’re not completely incapable of getting a date. And you’re probably not a serial killer, unless you’re just biding your time or are also a procrastinator.

Beyond this initial check, there’s just the confidence that being in a relationship brings. It’s like the job negotiation; you have a fallback position, so you aren’t depending on this new opportunity to pan out. This more relaxed approach to negotiation helps in closing the deal. Without it, your desperation will seep from every pore and you won’t have a chance.

In fact, this is such a proven technique in life that Weiner may have had this as his strategy the entire time. Maybe he was having a hard time meeting women, so he got married to make the whole thing easier. So it wasn’t a colossal screwup or a temporary infidelity; it was all part of the plan. The only mistake was that he got caught, somehow not realizing that tweets can become part of the public conversation (see my earlier comment on “stupid”).

What’s unfortunate here, besides the fact that this person was elected as a trusted representative of anyone’s interests but his own, is that a proven technique for effective negotiation can have an impact far beyond the current deal on the table. If your boss hears that you’re interviewing, you may not have a job to return to. Or in the case of Mr. Weiner, you may soon be hearing from your to-be-ex-wife’s lawyer. Clearly, we need a solution to address the underlying social issue.

When I am King there will be services available to help. For example, if you are unemployed you can hire a temporary employer prior to interviewing. It may not be a real job (since you’ll be paying them instead of getting paid by them), but it will force you to get suited up every day to get in the mindset. More importantly, the service will lend that air of credibility in the interview that arriving in your bathrobe and slippers fails to do.

You will also be able to hire someone to pretend to be in a relationship with you. Escort services exist today that can fulfill a similar role, but these pretend relationships are typically shorter and more physical than the service being proposed. Our services, which will consist of supplying cute couples pictures, answering the shared phone, and providing alibis, can last for as long as you need them. Depending on your capabilities, or on how low you set the bar, you may only need a weekend. But if your standards are higher, or if you have just embarrassed yourself in front of the entire country, you may need the service forever.
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