Truly Creative Problem Solving

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Is it so wrong to think of hiring an agent just for the sake of having an agent?

I hired this Realtor® to walk into a business meeting with me. When asked who she was, I simply replied, “My agent.”

What’s the big deal? She is. I mean she still thinks I’m selling my house which is totally untrue so she’s going to be pissed, but I needed an agent to intimidate someone so I hired one.

Honestly, she did a terrible job. She kept looking around the room all confused, asked “what are we talking about?” about a million times, and even got up to leave. Christ! What are you doing lady? Agents don’t leave unless their rock star client is so over the edge he’s going to kill somebody and they just don’t want to be a witness.

Anyway, I call this temporary agent-hiring of mine Truly Creative Problem Solving. I added it as a skill on my LinkedIn.

You should have seen these fools squirm behind their Gucci face shields. They thought they were going to be able to tell me what to do. But no. No! I told them what to do. With my agent.

Telling people what to do = victory. This is why so many people get into management: #1 to work at a place that has a fridge. #2 to tell people what to do so you achieve victory through your paycheck.

Sometimes there’s a #3 that revolves around status but I really think it’s about the fridge and paycheck.

Anyway, these tools in their Prada gear looked absolutely terrified of Beverly. I didn’t even have to say a whole lot; every time she tried to leave I just produced my poutiest gaze at this ridiculous gaggle of Senior Vice Presidents and nodded my head at an awkwardly slow rate. Like really slow, to the point you think I may be having a seizure or something.

Have you ever tried the awkwardly slow head nod? It’s the best! It obviously implies a “yes” or “supplication” based on cultural mores, but the disturbingly slow pace is the equivalent of spraying nerve gas in someone’s face; they get so confused and have no idea where you stand! Ultimately they’ll just want you to leave so ‘boom’ you’re out and next thing you know you’re eating a delicious raspberry scone at a European-ish café and hoping to bum a smoke from that guy who looks like he may have venereal disease.

(Bonus tip: When you’re having a terrible phone call and it’s hard and awkward and you’re getting yelled at for sleeping on the Zoom call and you’re scared, tip the balance of power in your favor by going completely silent. Totally silent. Not even breathing.

Eventually the unjust other person will start asking if you’re there or if you’re listening or whatever, but their harsh tone will automatically be lessening in fervor which is already to your advantage, but right when they start to say “(insert your name here) are you listening,” right at the “are” part, just start talking from the midpoint of a sentence. It totally ruins the whole conversation!  It’s so great).

(Also, and this is important, you need that midpoint sentence preestablished, otherwise you’ll choke like you did in Little League and you’ll never get that moment back and it will haunt your professional life because you refuse to go to cognitive psychotherapy about ritual humiliation. My favorite midpoint sentence is…are you ready? Now say this with authority, real authority, like The Rock:

“…cross-functionally!…outreach, content generation, link-building, onsite and offsite optimizations! And now!”)

Am I right or what? I mean, what would you say? Don’t answer that, I know. It would be “…hon get me napkin” because you just spilled your $6.35 Chai Latte all over your keyboard.

So that’s the lesson. I was going to tell you what the meeting was about, but now that’s beside the point. This turned into a free tutorial on Creative Problem Solving Skills. Now you’re ready for all the perks of Management.

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Engaging irreverence, occasional coherence, often pointed, mixed with enough indelicate humor as to create a want, a craving for more.