There was no mistaking her intent when she aimed the full glare of her cleavage at me: it was to distract me from a mistake. The mistake was all hers.
Distraction with a D
Recently I was on the receiving end of a calculated and motivated display of cleavage. This was not an accidental display but a shoulders-arched, forward-leaning, undoubtedly deliberate display.
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Aware that age has, to some extent, wearied my personal charms, my first thought was the possibility of being caught in a cleavage-crossfire – accidentally intercepting a non-verbal cue directed elsewhere. But there was no one else in the room.
My next thought was an almost overwhelming sense of nostalgia for the time when it was remotely possible that such a display might have been genuinely intended.
When those hazy memories cleared, I returned to the question at hand: what was the purpose of the display?
Clearly the young lady in question was trying to divert my attention. Rather than attempt a distraction that had some degree of relevance to my work – which is the course that I advocate (see previous blog), she selected a strategy that relied upon baser instincts.
It is undeniable that allowing oneself to be so distracted, and taking no action about whatever it was that she was trying to hide, had some superficial appeal, if only because it would avoid the unpleasantness of the paperwork that inevitably arises whenever one identifies a problem.
However, a reputation for being thus distracted spreads quickly and is never lost, and there was also the possibility that the problem might emerge later in such a way that might prove embarrassing to your correspondent. No, investigation and action was the only course.
As it transpired, the problem to be hidden was something that I would not have noticed, and but for my petulance at being taken at face value, would have been far too lazy to pursue.
Which leaves this blog in the rather unusual position of providing a moral – and your correspondent (once more) appreciating the anonymity that will shield him from those of his colleagues who would otherwise criticise him for campaigning against workplace cleavage.
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