Sunday, 5 August 2012

Thought Picnic: The Importance of Being Distinguished


The element of dress
I was on a mission yesterday, a mission to appear and say very little, in what was a basic exercise in the importance of being distinguished.
Indeed, I have been called a dandy but there is really nothing to it, wear a shirt but don’t forget to don a day cravat, don’t wear jeans, chinos are the bare minimum otherwise wear a suit.
If you are not wearing a suit, at least have a jacket on, remember never to do up all your buttons, if you have more than one on the jacket, leave the lowest one undone.
Never forget the pocket square, have a good hat and if you are using a cane, I use one because of my back, it should have the bearing that belies your sophistication and footwear can never be trainers, good leather possibly black and side buckles than laces are more to my fancy.
The presence of presence
We were visiting an estate agent's whose reputation for unprofessionalism, rudeness and abuse was second to none as if the agency chain had trained their staff to frustrate tenants at every turn, making rules on the fly and always threatening to levy costs at the slightest opportunity.
What I had heard of them made my blood boil, what I had read of the agency chain on the Internet showed that they had form. I was ready to be present and present a presence of utter disapproval with all the gravitas I could muster – I know why I do not suffer fools gladly and I know why I can say to any customer service person I am not a vexatious customer, only one with a particular requirement that I expect to be met.
Demeanour matters, always
One does not need to raise one’s voice, slow measured tones delivered almost with a lockjaw buccal movement is as deliberate and effective as it comes – presence is an art, never a science.
We arrived at the estate agents, they shook hands, I had taken a seat before I stood up to be introduced and then observed the proceedings from a distance.
The estate agent was unusually nice, constantly seeking validation for which I would nod or sometimes interject, corroborate or elucidate.
My job was done and my friends left quite happy with the fact that they were offered the courtesies, dignity and respect a paying customer should expect. Obviously, by rights, it should be unnecessary to bring in a cavalry of dandies to impress and impress upon, but if needs must, then must one be offered on the pedestal of the importance of being distinguished – clothes, whether you like it or not do make a man and the way you wear them says a lot more than you will ever know.

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