Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I'm too sexy for your meeting.

From time to time I get a call or an email from somebody in the college or university development office, alerting me that BigShinyCompany will be on campus and that I'm to meet with them for 10 minutes, wedged in between several other faculty members' 10 minutes.

I used to refer to this as trotting out "my dog & pony show". You know, amuse them and show them something cool and maybe catch their attention in some way. But, the other day a colleague told me on the sly that he has been formulating a new mental image of what these quick promotional presentations really are.

A pole dance.

Give them just enough to make them want more of you. Stimulate them in some way, so that they leave with the impression that, maybe they're not sure why, but they need to have you. Give them the impression - but don't ever SAY it - that they could have you, under the right circumstances. Give them no real content, but mostly the illusion of content. Leave most of it to their imagination, because if you go to far, it could be a turnoff.

I think when my colleague called it this, he was doing so with some level of disgust with the system. But he's in a secure and generally successfully-funded position, from which he can happily say no to this seamy business.

Me, on the other hand . . . well, I actually find the term appropriately instructive.