Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hand Shake Banditry

Perhaps not everyone was taught or received the memo when it comes to the traditional handshake.  In the male world, it is supposed to be firm, but stop short of a grip pressure contest.

I've encountered those who want to prove dominance by catching people off guard with a vise-like, bone crusher handshake.  Their smile is invariably a odd sneer as they try to play alpha dog.

One of the big tricks some guys play is the quick grab.  They close in on the end of your hand before you can get in there far enough for your fingers to wrap around the other palm.  They trap the last half of your fingers and crush.  Since the rest of your hand can't get in on the act there is little you can do.

I've met a few women who attempt bone crushing handshakes, but very few.   Those who use the shake to some purpose generally add a subtle caress which is every bit as powerful and far more persuasive than the bone crusher.  But that's another story.

I get the motive behind the bone crusher.  It means that someone is trying to prove something, or intimidate others.  The quick grippers are merely cheating, or else they fear you might be a bone crusher so they beat you to it by trapping your fingers before your palms can meet.

What I don't get is the limp dish towel, dead fish handshake.  If I, too, just stuck out a limp hand, I'm not sure how it would go or if the handshake would ever occur.  Maybe lazy people do that so the other has all the responsibility for making the handshake happen.

It isn't as if the handshake is unknown in our culture so, even though the dead fish seemed confused and baffled by the custom, it is unlikely that the mystery of the process is really a explanation for the odd approach.

The crusher usually comes from prospective mates' fathers and brothers, and business people who want to mess with you for some reason.  And from crime boss types.  The last two categories can overlap, and often do in the world of government-business partnerships.  Crony capitalism, which is what that is.

Political types will pull that crusher play, while pulling you toward them, grabbing your arm.  It is a message; I'm top dog here and I dominate.

Some say you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes.  I say you can tell more by how he acts.  Paying attention to how someone behaves and interacts with you and others is probably more telling than staring at his shoes.  Anything to avoid contact and reality.  Like the hiring process at many firms.  Let's avoid actual contact with the candidate.  What are his shoes like?

Applicants must submit one page resume detailing the last forty years of job experience, and a photo of your shoes, being worn.  Photo must not include anything above the ankles, just the shoes as they appear on your feet.

The evolution of the culture appears to be solving the handshake issue with the fist bump, or even the air fist bump.  So far I have not encountered anyone who can turn the fist bump into much of anything.  I don't see it taking over in most business situations.  

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