Name the last time your skin was clear, you looked well, you spoke well, your hard work was recognised and led to a resounding success, you were disciplined and productive and, entering the lift at work, you were greeted by a couple of high-ranking managers in your firm, upon which you said something both witty and to the point.
Can you? Congratulations, you are an alpha person, your life is a by-word for fulfilled ambitions, efficacy, inspiring others and forwarding your causes while looking after yourself and your loved ones without once failing!
Should you ever fail, you will not feel sorry for yourself, OH NO, you will learn a few precious lessons, which will help you succeed more in the future.
You deserve to be described by the first letter of the ancient Greek alphabet: alpha (after all, the ancient Greeks tended to be overachievers) Health and safety warning: this blog will appal you, look away!
Can’t you? Neither can I! That’s because I am a beta person. I can rightfully and easily be described by the second letter of the ancient Greek alphabet.
How do I know? Because I have devised my own alpha/beta test and have tested myself.
On good days, I can tick only one of the following elementary rules of alpha-ness
1) looking well no matter what
2) resist everything including temptation
3) work hard and efficiently
4) always win an argument/ a match
5) always pass a test in style
6) use humour/flirt to one’s advantage
7) charm everyone with aura of serenity and poise, look calm and benign
Alpha people, if you are still reading this and you notice any omission to the cardinal alpha rules, take this as a further proof of my beta-ness.
Last time I got close to checking 6 out of these 7 cardinal rules, I was wearing my best suit, having followed a strict diet, which had led to a considerable weight loss. Meanwhile, I had worked very hard on a niche project, which had made my team look forward-thinking and my company look well when it turned out to be the only in the industry able to discuss the niche matter I had taken in hand.
Tick rules 1, 2, 3, and 4.
I ticked rule 5 in the afternoon of that fateful day, when I was further able to reply to follow up questions re: the niche project. My boss was so puffed up with reflected glory that I briefly considered charging people for taking pictures of him parading up and down the office, collecting praise.
I did not: people secretly took pictures without paying a penny and I stood by. To this day, I regret it, because my alpha-ness abruptly ended soon afterwards, and it would have been handy to fall back on a few quid, to console myself.
Here’s what happened: at about 8pm, after a 12-hour-day, I decided it was time to leave the office and, as I walked calmly (and exhausted) to the lift, I entered it, tripped over and ended up hanging on the lapels of the £3k suit belonging to the COMPANY’S BIGGEST BOSS.
(Still hanging on to the lapels) the only witty thing I could come up with was: “What can I say? I obviously work too hard”, thinking inwardly: I have just ticked rule 6.
The big boss, a very alpha person, graciously smirked and helped me up, dusted himself off and kept a dignified silence until the end of the lift journey.
I said something like: “If I have ruined your suit, let me know. My dry cleaners have the best tailor in town, she can mend everything. She patched up my friend’s vintage corset in no time. It had been ripped in pieces but she managed to put it back together”
“The tailor, not my friend”
“Not that I am suggesting that your suit is like a vintage corset. Nor that I wanted to rip it apart. In fact my friend had an accident, it was all very innocent”
Alpha silence, Olympic calm.
The bell rang, the lift had plummeted to the ground floor, as had my alpha points.
Next day my boss told me I must never, ever, ever approach or talk to senior management in a lift or anywhere else unless I was spoken to.
True to my beta-ness, I tried to see the funny side, so I cracked the following joke: “Shall I make eye contact, if they talk to me”
My boss, a good man, but one who would not recognise irony, if it tickled him, considered this point and informed me, via e-mail: “Eye contact would be ok.”
I roared with laughter with my best friends for a whole week afterwards. I passed my annual appraisal, but I was not promoted.
Moral of the story: I am not sure I have one, but if you are someone who sees the funny side in any situation, like to laugh at yourself (and have good reasons too), sometimes indulge in temptation, do not always look your best, can sometimes use your sense of humour not in your best interest, are not great at flirting, make people laugh without even trying, are a little irreverent, are not a natural leader, make a lot of mistakes (but promptly apologise), CONGRATULATIONS: YOU ARE A BETA PERSON.
You may not be a captain of industry, you may very well not become the next Doris Lessing, or Richard Branson or Marie Curie, you may never drive a Lamborghini or fill the room with your presence, but you will never be short of things to laugh about!
So, come on, stand tall & proud and repeat after me: I am beta, I am beta, I am beeetttaaa. Je suis beta, ich bin beta,
sono beta, soy beta, ana beta!!
It’s not all bad! The main character in my first novel: Auntie Rita (Auntie Rita is Coming to London) is a beta person, but boy, she is shrewd!
Have a GREAT WEEKEND, everyone: alpha, betas and gammas too!
Want to know more about my book? Shoot me an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org