My sister and I are complete opposites. The other day I was on the phone with her and she said something that made me laugh. She works in the President’s office at a major University. She was telling me about the qualifications that she looks for in students that she’s going to hire in office positions. She said they have to have this innate quality of “Schmoozability” which she defined as “looking sharp and knowing how to turn on the personality.”
She said you have to have this quality if you’re going to work around people of power. She said it’s just the way a person presents themselves that makes them appealing to powerful people. It’s an innate quality. A girl came into her office asking about a position. She had major bed head and a huge nose ring. My sister didn’t even look at the girl’s application or qualifications. She said, “No we aren’t hiring.” The girl just didn’t have that Schmoozy quality.
I said, “Oh, I’d slit my wrists if I had to kiss up to powerful people all day! More likely what would happen would be that I would smack someone across the face for thinking too highly of himself and then I’d get fired.” We laughed. I said, “I guess I don’t have Schmoozability, so what does that make me? Go ahead and say it… dirty hippie! Go ahead, I know you’re thinking it.” We were almost in tears laughing, by now!
“Nooooo! That’s not what I meant!!” She protested. But it was too late. The filter had failed. I wasn’t cut out for a position of power.
“I guess I’m JUST a missionary. I don’t have to look sharp for anyone, right?” I teased.
We laughed, “It’s just a niche thing, I guess.” She smoothed it over… very schmoozy-like.
Never mind. That’s why I don’t work in the corporate world. That’s never, EVER appealed to me. I much rather prefer professions that are creative, out-of-the-box, and meaningful in the grand scheme of things. I like helping the underdog get a leg up. I love teaching. I love serving quietly in my own little way. I love not having a boss who hovers over me and tells me what to do.
My sister and I are just so different. Schmoozing just feels… disingenuous. Like a politician. I can’t imagine that this is a quality that anyone would admire or desire or cultivate. I’ve always said I’d never make a good politician’s wife or ambassador’s wife. Number one, I’m super Klutzy. Number two, I’m not schmoozy enough. Number three, I admit it… I do have some hippie tendencies. Not gonna lie to you, I like the clothes.