You Will Be Assimilated
Over the past year I have gone from working at a huge highly institutional company that had no time or inclination to give a rip about each individual employee to a very small company that really cares a lot about each and every person. Everyone keeps an eye on each other which is both beautiful and positive and also has some downsides.
As such, this place is very big on having these company portraits taken of everyone. These are to be used on our website and as our icon on our email and generally used as the official image of record for the employee.
Since I had missed the quite recent window for portraits taken by our official photographer, I offered up this photo for use:
I think it’s a nice photo. It was taken by a professional photographer and it’s one I’m not ashamed to show.
Many people complimented the photo, they really liked it. There was just one problem…..
The background. It’s green. The “official” photos have an institutional blue background, so my photo stuck out. Heck, I was fine with that. I don’t mind sticking out like the proverbial sore thumb, but this caused much, much consternation among the compliance type people.
So phone calls were made, calendars were checked and the official photographer was called in on a Friday morning to correct this issue.
Here is my new, official, doesn’t stick out, looks like everyone else crappy photo:
Observations: Well, first of all, my hair was HUUUGE that day. I usually wash my mane at night and let it air dry naturally which makes it soft and gives me nice easy waves. I was utterly lazy the night before the photo shoot and instead showered and washed the locks in the morning, which means blow dry city. Add a little humidity that day and *booosh* I had one big hair entity all unto itself.
Next, I look like a school principal. Ugh. The angle, unflattering. The backdrop, bleah. My crazy, crazy eyes. All of it.
Finally, the official photographer guy really Photoshopped this up. While I appreciate the kindness he did to the zit on my lip, he also boosted the warmth a little too much and now I look a little flushed and my hair is not really that red in real life.
But the folks who hang the photos on the wall and post them to the corporate webpage are very happy. My photo blends in with everyone else. Nothing out of place. Everybody looks the same. No sore thumbs.
In other words, I’ve been assimilated.
Not sure how I feel about that.
Edit: This afternoon, several hours after I wrote this, I ran into the guy who had his photos taken at the same time as I did. He brought it up. “Hey, do you like your photo?” he asked. “Not really” I replied. “Yeah,” he said, “I don’t either. I look weird. Do you think we can have them retaken?” — I love this idea. Stay tuned!