Monday, July 30, 2012
Timed Writing: 7/30/2012
Time: 15 minutes
Prompt: "Gaining the trust of those who work with you..."
Source: The Business by Iain Banks
Gaining the trust of those who work with you is especially important when you work exclusively with yourself. Or selves. And it's not as easy as you might think.
The first thing to contend with when spinning off a new self is the "you're not me, I'm me" response. It's natural, assuming you've allowed the spin-off to retain some concept of its own appearance, for it to experience terror and even revulsion. This is counterproductive. It does not help you gain trust. Suggestion: Wear a mask. No, not a silly papier-mâché or leather thing that you'd sport for Mardi Gras. I mean that you should do something subtle to dispell the autoresonance in the spin-off self when it sees you. A beard or glasses or a new hair style is often enough.
Also, speak to it immediately. Speak with an air of supreme authority. It's going to feel lost and confused when it wakes, and when people are confused, they cleave to manifestations of confident strength. Position your spinner set carefully—perhaps in a holochamber with vague shifting forms decorating the walls and medium intensity lighting. Some recommend ambient music for wake-ups, but I'm not of that camp. Silence is the perfect accompaniment to my reassuring baritone.
"Rise, servant," is what I say. I say, "Rise and embrace your life and your destiny." It's a bit over-the-top dramatic, yes, but it's so much more effective than the typical "You're gonna be fine, don't worry about a thing, everything will be alright" mother hen approach that I see so often. That kind of blathery-pandery inanity induces seizure of the anal sphincter and gritting of the teeth. No. I tell the spun-off me, "All of your questions will be answered in due course."
I always stand several arm-lengths away from the spinner set when I'm waking a self. I position myself at the very edge of his visual field. Thus, when I speak to him, he is forced to respond with a physical act. He must exert himself—exercise agency—immediately. He must sit up from his pallet and turn toward me to enjoy an optimal view of my face—to pair the person with the voice. The unstable images surrounding him seem only part of a dream, but I stand still and constant and I speak to him with strength and resolution. He takes action. He looks to me. Even though he knows nothing, understands nothing, by contriving to make his first act in life a physical response to my voice and form, I set a precedent in his mind that is not easily unseated. Everything else is built on the assumption that when doubts or questions assail him, he can turn to me. I am his source of stability in the midst of chaos and confusion. He trusts me.
This is how I gain the trust of my selves—those who work with me.
How do you do it?
(about my timed writing exercises)
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