The Boardroom

by Jinryu

Yesterday, I attended a meet-n-greet function for the UNSW Faculty Board. It wasn’t quite what I expected– I left feeling a lot more positively than I thought I would. I thought it would be a lot more politics and bureaucracy, but so far, it’s off to a good start. We’ll see how it pans out during the rest of the year.

One thing did amuse me though. I always tell [CM] that, although I don’t understand women’s fascination with shoes, I do know one thing– no matter how good girls think other girls’ shoes are, there’s few things as unattractive as them wearing heels and walking like crippled ducks. I guess what I’m getting at is that seeing people statically and seeing people in motion are two different things. A real commanding presence doesn’t come from just posing in a mirror or for a camera– it has to do with how one carries themselves, both physically and mentally. And if you can’t physically be comfortable? It often crosses over into the mental realm, and it gets projected quite noticeably.

I’m not actually mentioning this because of women though. It comes to my attention because there were a buncha undergrad student reps at the board meeting. Sure, it’s a meeting for the Law Faculty– but some of these dudes were wearing full suits with ties and cufflinks. And they looked, to me, kinda silly, considering that it was like 35 degrees Celsisus outside, and the boardroom airconditionning wasn’t working. Heat aside though, they clearly weren’t comfortable wearing what they were wearing. And for all the formality of dressing up like that, it’s supposed to add respectability or charisma or something. Unfortunately, because of the awkwardness with which they moved, or the age they wanted to project versus the quality of what they were saying, the impression it gave off was more of an “awww, isn’t that cute” in a “he’s pretending to be a grown up!” kinda way.

I guess one doesn’t learn to be comfortable in new clothing unless they wear it. Personally, I was wearing a button-down short sleeve north face shirt and cargo shorts. You didn’t see me mopping my sweat with a handkerchief. Some of us realize that it’s the middle of summer in Australia.

I’d like to think I’m not superficial and that I can look beyond peoples’ superficiality at their deeper ability or potential. But I’ve also found that a lot of people who do superficiality badly do it because there’s not much on the inside. Mind you, this is different of course from people who have a lot of substance to them who also know how to clean themselves up.

But please, stop making such a big deal of taking your jacket on or off, or rolling your sleeves up and down repeatedly. Stopping acting like such a tourist!

I have another board meeting toady. I’m wearing another north face shirt, this time with jeans and running shoes, and a military hat. I don’t expect everyone to dress as casually as I do, and actually, some people might think to themselves that I’m underdressing for such an important event– but hey, this isn’t a fashion show, and I don’t need your votes. In fact, quite the opposite– I’m at these meetings because in large part you want me to vote for your issues.

And this is what a voter looks like.