Friday, December 16, 2005

If Looks Could Kill



“Warning: Too much cleavage can be hazardous to your career.”, reads one of the focus headlines in a CNN article in partnership with CareerBuilder.com.

“Harvard librarian Desiree Goodwin, who holds two advanced degrees from Cornell University, charged that she was passed over for promotion 16 times because of her attire and physical attractiveness. Goodwin claimed the jobs she sought were given to women with less experience and education and that a supervisor told her she was perceived as a "pretty girl" who wore "sexy outfits."”

I won’t spoil it for you, go read the whole story. (linked via title bar)

There are a couple of points that I could bring out, both had to do with excessive cleavage. While working as a locksmith, I was looking for a particular person at a small time car dealership, I needed his signature on some work orders prior to getting paid. Upon walking up to the receptionist, a young woman of average build who for one reason or another had decided to try out one of the “push up” bras, revealing quite a bit more to view. I started to talk and there I stood in mid sentence, having forgotten why I was standing there, my jaw dropped along with my line of sight. I’m not saying that her face was not worth looking at, she was very pleasant to look at; there was some magnetic diversion pulling in another direction. I guess she got the results she was after, although I’m sure it had nothing to do with selling cars.

The other could have been disastrous had luck not intervened. I was directing traffic at one of the busiest intersections in downtown Houston, Walker street at Bagby. It is a major freeway entrance to I-45 and traffic is heavy from both streets trying to exit downtown during evening rush hour. Bagby street had traffic moving North and South while Walker was Westbound only. There was always heavy pedestrian traffic as well, it being next to City Hall and some large parking facilities.

My approach to working traffic was to let Walker run wild and fast to clear out as many vehicles as possible. When the lights would change it was important to let the pedestrian traffic cross; but only until their “Wait” sign lighted, at which time I was quite forceful in halting anyone from crossing while at the same time directing those drivers in the turning lanes to begin the mad dash to the freeway. I stood in between, much as a matador directs a bull fight, intimidating drivers to turn the steering wheel to accommodate traffic from both directions at the same time. It was challenging, maybe that word covers how I managed to stay alive each time the lights cycled and the process was repeated.

One day, a light and breezy mild afternoon with clear blue skies, I was in full swing directing traffic when a drop dead gorgeous young woman began to cross the street. You may recall the movie with Dudley Moore, “10”; perhaps I should rephrase that, the movie with Bo Derek, a young woman of exquisite form, perhaps beyond belief. The point being that most men have never seen a perfect 10; a few 7’s or 8’s that made them forget their names and maybe a 9 but they were too blown away to remember any of the details.

The young woman crossing the street at Bagby and Walker that afternoon was somewhere between a 9 and a 10. How do I know this; because I was temporarily removed from my mortal body, not a good thing to do while standing in the middle of moving traffic. I remember directing two columns of opposing traffic into each other, one from Walker street and the other from Bagby. The only thing that kept everyone from having a terrific accident was luck; either that or the fact that all the male drivers had stopped observing my orchestrations, their attention diverted to something quite a bit more appealing. I caught myself and forced my arms down, a sheepish grin on my face for having proven once again that I was a victim of hormonal influences.
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