Any underling in the business knows that whatever other talents they may possess — assassination, weapon design, or underwater architecture — there is only one ironclad requirement for the position, and that is the one of the demonstration of total submission to the villain in charge. There's no way around the hierarchy in this business, but there are ways to profit from the subordinate role in any relationship, just as there are ways to botch all one's prospects by misbehaving in the role of lackey. In a survey, criminal masterminds indicated over 90% of the time that they would rather have no henchmen at all than the kind who allow their dismissive attitudes to be seen in public. Paradoxically, however, many underlings have bold aspirations to surpass their masters someday, putting them in a peculiar psychological state to have to profess their inferiority on a daily basis. To alleviate the strain, there are a number of simple coping techniques which a minion can practice to free his or her mind up the better to attend to the job at hand.
- Cast down your eyes. The chief thing is to look suitably subservient, not necessarily to possess this feeling in your heart, and since such things are best communicated without words, a proficiency at pantomime is highly recommended of any lackey seeking to rise in his or her master's estimation. By averting the gaze, you express the idea that the overlord possesses so much grandeur that it is physically impossible to behold, whatever the truth may be. Plus if you direct your attention to others who may be vying for the same honors as yourself, you may learn a thing or two about their schemes as well.
- Get on the D-list. The D stands for DOG, the creature the most successful at putting the pack's needs before its own. If you can put your mind in a prehuman place where the dominance structure is as unbreakable as the laws of arithmetic, you will naturally and intuitively know how to abase yourself convincingly whenever you are confronted by an individual of higher rank, free of value judgments or resentment.
- Humble is as humble does. While words of deference are always necessary in these situations, the effect is doomed to fall short unless the same message is conveyed bodily and in the language of action. One really solid act of submission is worth a dozen statements of unworthiness when it comes to the subconscious mind of your overlord. Here is where a basic course in acting can pay dividends when the crunch time comes.
- Serenity curse. Now matter how demeaning and insulting an assignment you draw, a moment or two where you reflect upon how all of this will help to further your ultimate goals may be all that is needed to make it all seem palatable. Do your best to keep it all beneath your breath, and minimize the appearance of steam jetting out of your ears.
Strokes of genius
- The spotlight's over *here*, master. If scraping and abasement are wearing you down, remember that you can also achieve the same thing by raising your boss up to a higher pedestal, since it is only the comparison that really matters. A little bit of glorification goes a long way in establishing your own self-effacing credentials.
- Self-harm. There are times when your performance fails to meet the standards which apply, whether these standards are real or imaginary, and the most satisfying way to twist this to your advantage is to apply a goodly amount of discipline to oneself. The more painful and eye-catching the mortification is, the better.
- Convenient lies. Evil masterminds are usually pretty good at rationalizing things that didn't go so well, but that does not mean that they do not appreciate it when one of their flunkies puts a nice spin on a fiasco. For one thing, it spares the big dude/dudette from having to utter the actual weasel words, and adds the attractive fiction that the alternative explanation has already passed into accepted wisdom.
- Sex it up. The human mind is wired to associate matters of social status with those of sexuality, which you can turn to your advantage by incorporating one or more risqué elements to your repertoire. Deceit is an essential technique in both realms and it thrives on the mind-clouding effect of the flood of hormones that come into play as the ancient ritual behaviors start to take over.
Traps for mere fools
- Footnotes. If you can't package your flattery in a tweet-sized sound bite, rethink your tract entirely. Nothing is as dismal as having to wade through paragraphs of sycophant stew.
- The world's tiniest violin playing. Nobody but nobody's interested in your pathetic self-pity, loser, so keep it crammed deep down inside yourself where it won't bug the rest of us.
- Pining away for past times.
Precious and needful
- Visual aids.
- Tokens of appreciation.
- Engraved certificates.
- How to avoid a gruesome demise
- How to lie to someone's face
- How to earn money part-time
- How to prank your adversaries
- How to escape from shackles
- How to betray your master
- How to give everyone their heart's desire
- How to rewrite history
- How to craft a backstory
- How to get started with giant robots
- How to roll with a gang of energy beings
- How to root out an informer
- How to be roguish
- Image credit Ferrachu. 075 by Elmo H. Love
- Image credit Monkey 'Like' Hand by MailChimp®
- Image credit I Got The Message! by gaby53mt
Created by: . Last Modification: Monday 13 of August, 2012 21:58:41 EDT by .