Tuesday, July 7, 2009

WAY More (or Less) Than Just Casual Fridays

If you're hired as a consultant, you have to assume that it's because people want to know what you think. That doesn't mean that they have to follow through with your suggestions, but it does mean that they think that you know enough to warrant hiring you to consult. But you must have some serious powers of persuasion or something if you are called in to help out a struggling business and your suggestion is that the staff go to work completely naked. And they do. Behold!

From across the pond (which is NOT far enough in this case) from our friends at The Telegraph, we learn of a business psychologist, a one David Taylor, who offered his expertise to the workers at onebestway after he was "called in to help the firm after six staff members were forced into taking redundancies at the start of the credit crunch." Given the choice of clothes or redundancies (which I'm not totally sure exactly what those are, but it sounds a little bit like furloughs or layoffs) I'm taking the clothes. 10 times out of 10. Clothes.

Mr. Taylor's theory was that "...by stripping off their clothes, staff could also strip away inhibitions and talk to each other more openly and honestly." Um, clothes are not so much what is inhibiting me from talking to other people openly and honestly. It's more so that those I feel inhibited around are sneaky, lying weasels who just happen to be wearing clothes. They'd still be a sneaky, lying weasel without clothes. They'd just be a naked sneaky, lying weasel.

He explained his rationale by saying "Inviting an organisation to go naked is the most extreme technique I've used. It may seem weird but it works. It's the ultimate expression of trust in yourself and each other." I'll agree with part of that. The "It may seem weird" part. THAT, albeit a HUGE understatement, I fully agree with. I'd also agree with the "It's the ultimate expression" part, but nothing after that. It IS an ultimate expression. One that would get you FIRED, likely arrested and probably committed in most cases.

But like I said earlier, but because someone suggests something, For those unfamiliar with the TV show 'Friends', that would be Ross and Ugly Naked Guy.that doesn't mean you have to DO it. That wasn't the case in this instance, but it's still true! Regardless, "Despite some initial reluctance, nearly all the staff took off all their clothes – except for one man, who wore a posing pouch, and one of two female workers, who kept on black underwear." Really? Initial reluctance? I'm pretty sure that I'd have more than just "initial" reluctance. And "reluctance" is an understatement. If you'd seen some of the folks that I've worked with, you'd be scanning the office for the nearest eye bleach stations.

What is wrong with people? You know, I'm even going to include the three folks who kept some stitch of clothing on in that question there. Because seriously, you're at WORK! In your UNDERWEAR! Why not just take it to the next level and be butt-ass naked? (Everybody's doing it!) Leaving on your underwear shows an level of indecisiveness that I find unsettling. Either take a stand or don't, but don't act like you're going to have SOME level of dignity there, ladies, while you're parading around the office in only your underwear. Granted, they could have possessed a full and ample bosom that would make most disregard the fact that they were wearing underwear, but it's the principle of the whole thing, not so much the logistics. (What am I talking about? I became distracted after "ample bosom". It happens!)

I'm assuming that this is a rather small office because the article notes that a one 23-year old Sam Jackson was "the only woman to go fully naked" and the other female worker kept on her underwear (which the article felt the need to mention was black in color. Why is that necessary? I really don't have time to daydream about the chick wearing just black underwear when I'm too busy recoiling in horror at the thought of a naked office.).

The same Ms. Jackson described the "transformation" as not being an instant one. "It took a week of David being in the office for us to build up courage. The first few steps were very nerve-racking but, once I got to my desk and got used to it, I felt totally comfortable." So y'all managed to keep your sanity for a week, did you? She also says that after disrobing "It was emotional but we found we were much more able to talk to each other honestly – and have been since. The company has improved massively."

Yes! Yes, I imagine it WOULD be "emotional" being at work without any clothes on! "Emotional" isn't the half of it!! I'm at a loss as to why the focus would be on the "emotional" aspect as opposed to that of the NAKED aspect! And if you're only able to talk to each other "honestly" when you don't have any clothes on, then I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that "honestly" you're going to have some issues with future relationships in your life. Be that they may be work related or friendship based or romantic involvement, if you can't be honest with clothes on, well, good luck. Let me know how it goes at church next week, wil ya?

The article doesn't mention if any of these folks were married and that's really a pretty big factor, I think. I'd really like to know if the two that thought they were showing some modesty by leaving on their underwear were married. I'd be willing to bet that all of the totally naked people were single. And really, with only two women in the office, to the guys, wouldn't that just be like being in a men's locker room, but with the added bonus of a couple of naked chicks? I think it would be! Tell me, when the guys were talking and being all "honest" were they sitting at their desks so that no one else would be able to see just HOW "honest" they were really being about this little freak show of an experiment?

I'm telling you, this David fellow is a dangerous man. I don't know how he managed to convince these folks to do this, but he did. He convinced MORE THAN ONE person that it was a GOOD IDEA to NOT WEAR ANY CLOTHES while they were AT WORK. AND interact with each other! Not just that, he managed to convince EVERYONE in that office to take off the vast MAJORITY of their clothes! People thought it would be a good idea to see EVERY single man's grundle and EVERY single woman's hoots at work ALL the live long day!

I'm going to need to know if he can convince another office full of workers to do the same thing before I confer upon him the title of Grand Poobah of the Mind F**k Technique. It could be that these folks were all morons and that WOULD explain quite a bit. But if they're not morons then he should be able to get the same results at a different business, right? And if he can do that, check yourself. We're all in BIG trouble.

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Ruth@VS said...

Weird, just weird.

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