Wednesday, May 14, 2008

224th Post - Fake It Until You Make It

The title for this post is a piece of long-offered advice that people offer each other in the event of someone applying for a job. Nobody likes going through a job interview. (When I was interviewed for the job I have now, I was so unwilling to let people at my then job know about my having applied that I left my suit jacket and tie in my car that day. I drove to the interview, which is only about a ten minute walk from where I was working at the time (well, ten minutes if you have to pee real bad, that is). When I got to my car, I put on my tie and jacket, drove to the interview, parked the car, had the interview, returned to my car, parked it where it had been up to the point where I had left for the interview, took off my tie and suit jacket, and returned to work. )

The concept of "fake it until you make it" applies more to people who have the gift of gab, the ability to speak without saying anything, and who are applying for a position where such traits are revered and appreciated. It doesn't work that well in my line of work.

However, it can be applied to other things.

It is no secret that I am not exactly the biggest sports fan in the world. I wouldn't know a Toronto Raptor from a Pittsburgh Penguin. I wouldn't be able to identify a Vancouver Canuck if one came up and bit the psoriasis off my left elbow. When Patricia and I were at an Irving Big Stop a couple of years ago, Patricia turned to me and said, "That's Sidney Crosby ahead of us in line!". "That's nice", I said, patting her on the head and taking another swig off my Slurpee. I just can't wrap my head around becoming interested in sports.

However, I do feel a need to fit in. We all want to do that. You do, don't you?

So, I devised a full-proof scheme to make it seem that I know what I am talking about when a sports discussion comes up. It has stood me in good stead.

And now, I share it with you, the readers of Bevboy's Blog. Call it extra value because I care.

Things you must do:

1. Learn one thing about the sport in question.

For example, I notice that when it comes to baseball, people always talk about the "pitching", whatever the Hell that is. All you have to say about a particular team (pay close attention to your chums as they discuss the team in question, or you'll blow it for yourself) is discuss the "pitching" in terms contrary to the success of the team. You might say, "Oh, the pitching for the [insert team name here] is erratic, and steps must be taken to improve it, or [the team] will not achieve a satisfactory level of success". And, of course, your chums will nod in agreement, and you will win their admiration and respect.

2. Go along with the opinion of the majority of your chums.

If you are a disagreeable, vexatious person, you will not be friends with your chums very long. If, for example, most of your chums are of the opinion that a hockey player's performance is sub par, then by all means agree with them, offering a fictitious anecdote to lend further credence to their thesis that the player in question needs to improve. "Yes, I agree that the performance of [insert player's name here] has been disappointing of late. I fondly recall reading statistics about this young man a few years ago which were most promising. He has thus far failed to live up to that early potential. I fervently hope that his situation improves. Now, pass the brandy, my good fellow!". Of course, your chums will be amazed by your keen insight and seek further counsel from you in the future.

3. Of course, you're not going to watch a particular sporting match tonight, but pretend you did, speaking in general terms.

Perhaps your colleagues were going to watch a hockey game this evening. Tomorrow, during your 15 minute coffee break, as they discuss what happened, you can contribute to this discussion, too. However, you must be very careful, because you didn't watch the game. "Yes, I enjoyed [the sporting match] very much. Both sides were well skilled. While my allegiance is with [mention the name of one of the teams, being careful to mimic the name from one of your chums earlier], the skill, the verve, the passion exhibited by [the other team] were most enjoyable to watch, and my favourite team was sorely tested."

Be extra careful now.

If "your" team, the one whose name you learned a moment ago from your colleague, won, then you can say something like, "But while they were tested, they were not found wanting, and I rejoice with you all in their continued success".

If they lost, say something like, "I join you in sorrow for their loss. I was deeply disappointed. Perhaps if they improve their pitching, they can achieve a level of success that will please us all. Now, pass the port, my good fellow!"

If you try some of the simple tips I offer above, you can engage in an intelligent, thoughtful discussion of sports with actual sports fans, and they will have no idea whatsoever that you do not share this passion.

You're welcome.


1 comment:

nohup said...

A mighty good post!