Imagine you're a senior guy in high school who wants to get in a top fraternity in college. But there's a problem: You have no clue how to act during rush. "Should I wear a blazer to a kegger?" you think. "Are brothers' girlfriends strictly off-limits, or would some consider me hooking up with them 'chill'"? you wonder.
So you hire two forty-year-old frat guys to teach you how to act. You pay them 8 grand for a weekend course on how to drink Busch Lite correctly, how to balance your schedule with different rush parties, and how to not fail out of school while drinking every night.
Would this ever happen? Of course not. That's idiotic.
And now we transition into today's lesson on the differences between men and women, courtesy of this absolutely insane New York Times article today on "sorority image consultants":
Samantha von Sperling is an image consultant in New York, but lately her bread-and-butter Wall Street clients have asked her to help their daughters get ready for rush at schools like Harvard; the University of Wisconsin, Madison; and New York University, which has added three chapters since 2006 and more than doubled the number of sisters, to 570.
“It’s the same kind of coaching I do on Wall Street,” Ms. von Sperling says.
Ms. von Sperling offers a Friday-to-Sunday intensive, for $8,000. One day is devoted to carrying yourself properly and the art of conversation. Treat rush, she says, as you would a job interview. Avoid politics and religion. “I teach them how to make interesting small talk: what you saw at the cinema, a trip to Europe. I don’t know too many 20-year-olds who are having a debate about economics.” Another day is for getting physically ready — hair, makeup and wardrobe. Ms. von Sperling organizes “outfits down to accessories, completely strategized.” Just in case a client forgets, outfits are photographed and placed in a style file.
It gets worse. Here is what happens during one session in a Birmingham, Alabama suburb:
During the session, the rushee, Mallie, who did not want her full name published because it might affect her chances, was mostly quiet, worn out by her recent finals. Her mother took notes and asked questions. Later, Mallie talked about rush: “It’s going to be stressful — not only making a decision for the next four years but for friends you will have for the rest of your life.” Because the experience can be so emotional, consultants provide “on-call services.”
Can you imagine the call transcripts from these on-call services? It would be like the world's lamest suicide hotline.
Regardless, I have to know about this. Are you in a sorority and have you been consulted by a woman about how to act during rush? Did it help you at all? I want to hear stories. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.