Welcome to Lunacy Now’s guide for creatives on how to fake conformity to get ahead.
You’ll likely have heard many people telling you “think outside the box.” Creativity is valued, they will tell you, and in a fast-changing economy what’s needed is innovative thinkers who can break through pre-existing paradigms and bring a much needed breath of fresh air to stultified organizations.
It’s all lies, of course. For one thing, thinking “outside the box” is something only someone deeply inside the box would say. Such a person is so deep they can only conceive of outside the box in vague terms – they have never experienced anything outside it, so they cannot even begin to think about what it would be like.
On the contrary, companies and society in general want polite, conformist, worker bees. They want the occasional mildly innovative idea, sure, otherwise the economy would stagnate, but nothing that might genuinely disturb the status quo.
So what if you’re naturally a creative, expressive person who finds it difficult to think in the conventional path? How do you pretend to be such a worker bee?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
1.Always Dress How Everyone Else is Dressing
If you’re already a non-traditional kind of person, the wardrobe is not the right place to express that. You know you’re liable to make eccentric, offhand comments, or make inappropriate suggestions like having your next company meeting at Six Flags (and making it clear that you were never joking). You want your wardrobe to scream “safe, reliable, employable.”
Leave the loud shirts for the genuinely boring, and stick to a classic haircut and stylish, professional business casual wear. If you’re a man, get a decent suit, and keep it a normal color like black. But only wear it where appropriate, you don’t want to be overdressed. If you’re a woman, wear a simple skirt and blouse combo or a pant suit.
You want people to notice that you look smart, in a bland and comforting way.
Look at what everyone else is wearing and then go out and get those clothes.
2.Say as Little as You Can
Speaking can get you into trouble. You may say something stupid like, “I wonder how many playpen balls it would take to fill this office. We could drive the truck right up to the front window and stick a pipe through the top, hang on, let me grab a calculator” or “say what you like about ISIS, they are go-getters with a can-do attitude.” It’s best to just shut up, so everyone thinks you’re normal.
But you can’t just sit there in silence. When you have to speak, keep it light and breezy. Talk about the weather, or sports. If at work, talk about business, people want to hear that you’re a team player who is devoted to the company.
If socializing, talk about whatever whoever you’re with wants to talk about, and ask them questions. That takes focus away from how crazy you are!
3.Do As You Are Told
Even if you are receiving stupid instructions. Blind, unthinking obedience can get you far in this world, especially if you’re working for a large corporation.
Find out what you’re instructions are and follow them to the letter, without hesitation or deviation. Then report back for more instructions.
Let your mind go blank while you work and just carry out your tasks in a kind of hypnotic trance. If you keep this up, your positive attitude and team spirit will get reported to the higher ups. You will soon be in line for a promotion!
4.Do Whatever Everyone Else is Doing
If everyone else goes to the water cooler during the break, that’s what you should do. If everyone in your office loves baseball – guess what your new favorite sport is! You don’t have to watch it obviously, just get the highlight reel on YouTube and check the scores and you should be good.
Shove down your individual weird interests, your Warhammer fanfic obsession, your incredibly specific knowledge of the different kinds of healing crystal, and become the consumerist automaton that society needs you to be.
Anything to convince your colleagues that you’re just another ordinary, average human, with no quirks or strange thoughts, going about their business here on planet earth just like everybody else.
There you have it. Stick to our four simple rules and you probably won’t get fired for being a freak.