Lessons in style

If Richard Nixon could leave the White House for the last time in style, looking like a winner, after he’d been run out, forced out, after he’d lied to the nation, and had faced impeachment, you can emerge from your little adversities looking like a winner, too.

And that’s more than half the battle. If you look like a winner, you are a winner.

(Of course, results may vary).

Here are a few examples of situations you may find yourself in, and the proper response.

1. You go to an all-you-can eat tex-mex buffet, and just as you’ve loaded your plate with nachos and salsa, and guacamole, and cheese – a lot of cheese – and meat and beans, and just as you’re about to get some more nachos with your right hand, while balancing the tray with your left, you realize you forgot to get a glass, so you take a few steps back, then trip on the bag you left on the floor, and while trying to hold onto your food and the glass, you fail miserably at both, and drop everything on the floor.

As you get up and see the entire food court staring at you, you stand up, brush the nachos and the cheese – a lot of cheese – off your shirt, and you do this:


2. You go to the airport security control. You know you’re already late, so you try to rush through that obstacle. You remove your shoes, and your hat, and you remember to put all the coins in your pockets as well as your shoes into the box, and you walk through the metal detector, and nothing happens, and as you wait for your bag to come through, it doesn’t, and you tap your foot, when the lady looking at the screen asks you if the brown leather bag is yours. You say yes, ma’am. She says, follow me, please, and you walk to the end of the belt, and she points at a brown leather bag and asks you if it’s yours. You tell her it is, and she opens it, and takes out three knives that you just bought and left on top of the bag. And she asks you, “ever heard of 9/11?” and you nod and you blush and say yes, and she throws the knives away.

You stand there barefooted, and glance at the line of people behind you. They’re getting frustrated, some even angry, but you simply turn around and you do this:


3. You know you’re not much of a skier, but when you tell the stories at the office, they come out a little larger than life. Especially real life. So when you go on a skiing trip with your colleagues, you naturally want to show off your skills from the moment you hit the slopes.

Except you aren’t exactly in the Alps, but just at the bottom of a landfill molehill. You put on your rented skis and you hurry up to be the first one at the lift, so nobody can steal your spotlight. You promise to show your colleagues, the amateurs, the rookies, how things are done, and you proudly tell them you’d even show them how to get on the lift.

You stand in the spot that the T-bar lift will hit in a few seconds, and you smile, and wink to a cute colleague, and wait for the bar to hit your behind, and maybe you wink at the wrong moment, or maybe your new pants are too shiny and slippery, but before you know it, the T-bar has hit you in the butt, and kept on going. You’re fast, though. You’re very fast. You’re so fast that you grab the T-bar with your left hand, and then quickly with your right hand, and you’re holding onto it tightly, so tightly. You’re laughing, because you’re cool. You’re simply waterskiing, but on frozen water and uphill, you think, and decide to tell that joke later that night.

Then your arms get a little tired, and you see that people are passing you on another lift, and they laugh at you, but you just smile back. You try to wink, but when you do that, you get sweat into your eye. Sweat. There’s a lot of it. Your face is covered in sweat, your arms are shaking, you look up and you see that you’re only a third of the way up. So you let go of the T-bar, and decide to walk the rest of the way.

You kick off your skis and lift them onto your shoulder and start walking up in the space between the two lifts. After an impressive twenty meters in the knee-high snow, your legs are starting to shake, and you can’t take it anymore. So you decide to ski down from where you are, and put your skis back on. And as your colleagues are passing you on the lift, you wipe your face, and you do this:


4. Oh, Friday afternoon. The office TGIF get-together is only two hours away, and you’re stuck in yet another pointless meeting with the boss. He’s going on and on and on about the need to streamline, and the need to cut costs, and he’s using all the buzzwords, and not all of them correctly. Then he asks for ideas, and you look down on your notepad, and draw a stickman running across the page with his hair on fire, and the boss stops talking, and stares at you. You notice this when you lift your eyes from the notepad to see why everybody’s so quiet, and the boss walks closer and closer, and then he spits out: “And what are you going to do about it.”

And you forget about the TGIF, and you forget about the paycheck, but also remember the TGIF again, and you just want out of the office and into the pub around the corner so you tell him you quit.

Then you get up from your chair, and as you realize you probably can’t go to the TGIF when you just told your boss you quit, you do this:


5. … and on Monday, after a weekend spent agonizing over your situation, and cursing your stupidity, you decide to simply walk back in to the office, and embrace that stupidity, and own your silliness so you yell, “I’m back!”, and you do this:


Now go out there and be the winner that you are.

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