The software doesn’t need to dress properly, but the boss certainly should
Serving the public includes more than some people are able to grasp. The proprietor in the current Windows ad running on nationwide television might be savvy enough to work her store effectively, but she doesn’t know the first thing about personal presentation.
Recently I had an interview.
I shaved and showered and groomed, put on a nice pair of tan trousers with a dark gray long-sleeved shirt and a just-this-side-of-interesting tie to pull the two together. I tucked and belted and tied and checked to make certain nothing seemed out-of-place and grabbed my suit coat. Then? It was out the door I went to the interview.
Now, I could have sloughed it. I could have opted for a completely decent pair of jeans and matched them up with a nice shirt and casual shoes, an ensemble that would have looked proper but not quite “dressed up” dressed up, if you follow me.
I could very well have gone in the opposite direction, too, since it wasn’t a formal interview. I mean … it was just a meet and greet with a recruiter-in-the-know — I could have done myself up on the better side of casual because, after all, it wasn’t the recruiter I was trying to impress. Right?
Wrong. Dressing properly was required. Necessary. Because the situation called for it. It was called for by the tried and true statement “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” Proper attire conveys several things. It shows respect to the person you’re meeting, it puts forward an atmosphere of “business” at the introduction. It reflects you and your attitude, especially at an initial meeting. You’re not auditioning for class dunce after all. Impressions, remember?
Understand as well it works both ways. Take for instance the Microsoft Windows commercial currently being aired on television spots nationwide: Why the creators of the piece feel the need to spurn the no-brainer (one would think) first impression logic and common sense is beyond me.
So … what, exactly, are these Brainiacs trying to do with the ad? Is the commercial a testament to the empowerment of women? Something to foster pride the “boss” has done it all on her own? That she continues to do it all on her own? And, of course, being done savvily with the assistance of the Microsoft Windows 2-in-1 software? Or is it a nice little melding of the two? Maybe it’s something else all together different they’re trying to tell us? But I digress from my true point …
Forget the software being used.
The point of contention I have with the advertisement is noted at the end of the piece, when the delivery guy is on the hunt for “the boss” to deliver that important package. Know why the guy doesn’t recognize her as a person of authority? How about because she looks like a slob? Because she’s dressed shabbily? There’s no air about her indicative of anything other than she’s another nondescript employee in the place. And when I say a person of authority I don’t mean someone who appears haughty or whose presence is overtly-powerful. I’m simply implying an appearance that makes it look to the Average Joe walking in off the street that that person right there behind the counter appears to be someone of import. Because the fact of the matter is the disheveled hair, tank top and necklace accoutrements don’t announce “Here I am … I’m the boss.”
Bottom line: Dress the part. Have enough presence of mind that while your brain might discern the benefit of Microsoft Windows 2-in-1 program to add musical atmosphere for customer pleasure it completely failed with the seemingly hurried, throw-any-old-thing-on look in which you’ve chosen to present yourself. That authoritative air that says you’re the proprietor of the store? That you’re the one who built the business and you’re running it effectively? You didn’t take the time to establish that. It wasn’t even a passing thought when you woke up this morning.
Hmmmmmmmm … I wonder if that Microsoft Windows 2-in-1 software has a “dressing for success” tutorial for that …