The Background: A shelf of books with suspiciously un-creased spines.
What They’re Trying to Say: “I read books. And I will prove to you I read books by displaying all of these books. Which I have totally read.”
What it Actually Says: “I want to be smart. Or at least feel smart. But most important: I want you to think I’m smart.”
What We Think: “There’s no chance they’ve read all those books. And wait, is that Fifty Shades of Grey?”
The Background: His favourite team’s colours, pictures, logos, bobbleheads…
What They’re Trying to Say: “Sports!”
What it Actually Says: “In place of an interesting personality, I have an ever-growing and ever-useless knowledge of this specific sports team. Please ask me about it.”
What we Think: “He definitely has a stats page open and is dying for this meeting to end so he can argue on a sports message board.”
The Background: An obviously fake image that blurs the edges of the person like a bad green screen.
What They’re Trying to Say: Am I quarantining on a tropical island or did I just blow your mind?
What it Actually Says: “My idea of being spontaneous is picking a preset background image while raising one eyebrow and giving a knowing smirk until everyone comments on my spontaneity.”
What We Think: “Oh god, they’re going to keep that up for the entire meeting, aren’t they?”
This article appears in the December 2020 issue of Edify.