Your tiniest ideas blossomed into huge ambitions, but your biggest dreams were crushed into pointless daydreams

Rumble rumble whistle and stout, turn my little pea pod out!

Here’s a cool Power Move for anyone who is about to be onboarded into a new job. At some companies when you get assigned an email address there’s some pattern like or whatever, and everyone just has to follow that template. But at others there’s a policy of letting people just pick their own address. How nice! If you want to have matt@ instead of matt.jankowski@ — they’ll just let you do it.

Anyway, the power move here is to make a request for something sort of insane like StonyMcBlaze420@ or HailSatan666@ or whatever. Basically think of a collection of names that a 12 year old signing up for Reddit might pick as a username, and just go with that for your corporate email address username. I feel like this could lead to a ton of interesting discussions with HR reps at the org that you are onboarding into.

There are some buttoned down places that would be shocked at your request and ask you to reconsider. They might even take just your one single request and use that to justify a template policy! HR people love to find a policy to put in place wherever they can. If this happens, you can claim to have been impactful org-wide right from day one.

But if you find yourself at a forward looking organization that wants their employees to express their identities as part of the larger brand, they might just let you do it. You might also have some HR reps that are like hell this is so stupid but I’m just gonna let this guy do it because he’ll have to live with this decision and it will probably be a challenge for him.

A controversy around how many broken strings the bass guitar player had caused

In ex-military and adjacent circles there’s an idea of “stolen valor”. If a person who was not ever a TROOP is wearing a uniform and some pins to represent that they may in fact have been a TROOP and are just walking around that way in public, they are said to be stealing valor. That is, whatever acclaim that should (rightly or wrongly) be going to the legitimate genuine TROOPs is instead going to this pretend poseur guy instead. There are entire YouTube channels of actual valor guys going around finding valor stealing guys and calling them out on it. Frankly this strikes me as a questionable use of one’s time, but alas. The concept is clear enough.

Separately, you have the classic story of a college age girl “working her way” “through school” by working at a local strip club and performing exotic dances and otherwise degrading herself … but again, to GET THROUGH SCHOOL. This one is sort of nuanced but I think the implication here is that being a stripper is less ok than whatever you become after you’ve gone through school, and the claim that you are in this job merely to work your way through school is doing some work to remove the perceived degradation of the job in the first place.

On a side note here, I think a fun thing to get fake-angry about and a position to pretend you hold would be to harshly judge all the college-attending strip club employees and say that they are taking good jobs away from hard working non-college going strippers. Man that is another tough needle to thread, but I think there’s some daylight there if anyone wants to get fake-mad about this and run with it.

Point being, I wonder if the idea of stolen valor has ever been embraced by the working their way through college stripper community? Like, to the extent that the whole thing is looked at as some sort of sacrifice being done to serve a larger goal, I think that’s similar enough to the troops thing conceptually to sort of work. So what you’d need to have is some college junior who is majoring in accounting and dreams to one day be a CPA, but while she’s in school she had a paid internship at a local gentlemen’s club where she is — technically! — working her way through college at a strip club. Then she’d need to go around making this claim in public but being a little sly around the details of her being an accounting intern and not a stripper, and the people who actually are strippers there would call her out for stealing their valor.